For Some Strange Reason, The Playwright Didn’t Think “N-Word” Carried The Same Dramatic Punch..

Yes, this is another Strange Tale of the Great Stupid.

A depressing one.

In the opening scene of Down in Mississippi by African American playwright Carlyle Brown, a white man calls a black character “nigger” multiple times and threatens him after learning that he’s in the area to help register black citizens to vote. Texas Wesleyan’s Black Student Association shared an Instagram post about how many students were “deeply disturbed” that such scenes would be shown on campus, because it might “hurt Black students and possibly students from other marginalized communities.”

So the university decided not to mount the production. Brown, the playwright, argued that the word’s use in the play was necessary to maintain historical accuracy and to provoke strong responses. Yes, and he might have also pointed out that this is live drama, and the objective of live drama is to arouse the audience’s emotions. Glenn O. Lewis, the first black board chairman the university has had, diplomatically said that he understood how the language could make some students uncomfortable, “But when have we ever … learned anything in our comfort zone?” Lewis asked. “You don’t learn anything new until you get out of your comfort zone, and I think that is what Mr. Brown intended for this play to do.” Lewis added that censorship of Brown’s work is not a real solution.

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More Weird Tales Of The Great Stupid! “Death Of A Salesperson”?

Watch out! This one is really, really stupid.

Increasingly embarrassing New York Governor Kathy Hochul signed legislation last week officially eliminating the word “salesman” in official parlance and replacing it with “salesperson.” “Jobs have no gender, but unfortunately, many of our state’s laws still use gendered language when discussing professions that are practiced by people of all genders,” state Sen. Anna Kaplan (D-Nassau) said of the bill she sponsored with Assemblyman Danny O’Donnell (D-Manhattan).

No, unfortunately the legislators’ political party is now addicted to Orwellian GoodSpeak measures, as it tries to control thought by restricting language.

The new law also replaces “his” or “her” with “their” in relevant statutes affecting the real estate industry. Other new Big Brother laws in New York ban the official use of  “mentally retarded” and “inmate” in favor of “developmentally disabled” and “incarcerated person.”

Did you know that Donald Trump and Republicans pose an existential  threat to democracy? Continue reading

Poe’s Law In “The Great Stupid”: Which Is Satire And Which Is Woke Derangement?

Two stories, both head-explodingly idiotic, both linked to Bizarro World Ethics and pathological virtue-signaling needs in oppressive leftist-indoctrination saturated cultures. One is a gag, the other is a tragedy, yet there is hardly a filament of difference between them in the 21st Century ethics and rationality rot they illustrate.

I read the two in succession by pure coincidence, and Poe’s Law immediately leaped into my mind. Poe’s Law was formulated in 20o5 (by Nathan Poe, not Edgar Allan Poe) and has become an essential concept since. It holds that satirical accounts involving extreme examples of ideological insanity can be impossible to distinguish from actual events, because current ideological extremism defies parody. Let’s cut to the chase, for this isn’t a quiz: the satirical piece was “I apologize for my white baby.”

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Most Incompetent White House Press Secretary Ever!

There is no longer any doubt; indeed, this conclusion seemed unavoidable almost from the beginning of Karine Jean-Pierre’s tenure as President Biden’s paid liar. It was clear immediately that she, like so many other Biden Administration hires, was chosen to check off tribal boxes—female (check); black (check); lesbian (check)—and actual skill and qualifications were afterthoughts, if considered as factors at all. However, the bar for this position is lying-on-the-ground low; there was always a substantial chance that Jean-Pierre might prove barely capable at her job by pure luck, or charm, or something.

Nope. She’s the champ, and I can’t see any future White House spokesperson being worse unless one just froze in front of the cameras and twitched. What clinched it? This statement Jean-Pierre made yesterday:

“There has been an urgency from this President from day one, when the Supreme Court made this extreme decision to take away a constitutional right, it was an unconstitutional action by them.”

Wow. Even allowing for political hyperbole, stating that a Supreme Court ruling is unconstitutional is moronic, making every listener inclined to trust the President and his spokesperson instantly dumber. Continue reading

Tales Of The Great Stupid: Monkey Pox Ethics

I know, I know, that’s a macaque, not a monkey. But I love the photo.

Why can’t the news media and health officials just stick to the facts and stop trying to manipulated public opinion and conduct with word games and deception?

Well, it’s rhetorical question: the answer is inherent in the question. They are unethical, untrustworthy, and abuse their position and power.

Take monkeypox, for example.

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Comment Of The Day: “Ethics Musings On The Transgender Problem”

Before I present Tom P.’s Comment of the Day, one of several excellent reader reactions to the post, indulge me as I respond in detail to a slur on me by the now-banned commenter who claimed that associating transgender individuals with a “problem” evoked a fascist mindset and the genocidal intent of Hitler’s “final solution.” It was this repeatedly nasty commenter’s doubling down on his accusation that finally moved me to ban him after multiple warnings from me and his repeated defiance of appropriate discourse here.

The guy was a relentless progressive troll, though a relatively smart one, and fair debate was not on his agenda. What has become a routine tactic among such partisans here and elsewhere is to attempt to constrain language in order to make coherent arguments against Leftist cant more difficult, and also to play cognitive dissonance games by attaching sinister and discredited figures, positions and rhetoric to legitimate discourse that the ideologues don’t want to deal with fairly, or can’t.

Of course I wasn’t thinking of “the Jewish Problem,” as it was characterized by Hitler and his minions when I titled the post “Ethics Musings On The Transgender Problem,” but even if that abuse of the term “problem” had popped into my mind, it wouldn’t have dissuaded me. One dishonest and dastardly use of language for propaganda purposes cannot and should not restrict the legitimate use of the same words by others.

Germany had no “Jewish problem.” Germany’s Jewish community was among the most productive, loyal and successful ethnic groups in the nation. Hitler slandered these innocent citizens with the false claim that their religion, race and culture made them a threat to civilization, and did so with the specific goal of creating popular supports tor exterminating them. This history, I was told, meant that anyone assessing any group of any kind as a “problem” is unethical.

This is all part of the now familiar race-baiting, dog-whistling, political correctness “gotcha!” strategy used by various interest groups on the left to stifle legitimate discussion and to brand adversaries as unfit for the public square. I won’t play. If I was going to criticize the title of that post, it would be on the basis that the headline suggested that the problem discussed in the essay, the difficulty of determining whether trangenderism should be regarded as abnormal, was the only “transgender problem.” There are, of course, many. Problem: How do we ethically integrate true transgender individuals into gender-segregated sports? Problem: How does society simultaneously eliminate the stigma attached to individuals coping with serious gender identity issues without encouraging gender confusion among the young? There are others.

As for the blanket assertion that it is unethical to designate any group as a problem as far as public policy and ethical treatment goes, I reject it completely. Too many groups pose serious and difficult problems for society to mention them all, but some that come to my mind immediately, remembering that even problematic groups have members who present possible solutions to the problems or who may make valuable contributions to it, are:

  • Illegal immigrants.
  • Corporations
  • Koran-obeying Muslims
  • Unmarried parents
  • Black Lives Matters members and supporters
  • Trump supporters
  • Ideologues
  • Racists
  • Billionaires
  • The homeless
  • Alcoholics
  • Drug addicts, users and peddlers
  • Ignorant citizens
  • Stupid people.
  • Sexual predators
  • Incels
  • White supremacists
  • Journalists
  • Teachers, professors and school administrators…

I could go on and on. The fact that I regard these and other groups as creating problems (perhaps it would have been better have used “challenge” rather than “problem”….but it was only a headline) for American society today does not mean that I advocate wiping them off the face of the earth.

Here is Tom P.’s Comment of the Day on the post “Ethics Musings On The Transgender Problem”…

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The whole furor surrounding transgenderism is multifaceted. This is true of virtually all polarizing issues. Pick any polarizing issue and within the pro and con camps, you will find the following subcamps: radical activists, passionate true believers, opportunists, virtue signaling supporters, go-a-longs to get-a-longs, and casual non-vocal supporters. Continue reading

Afternoon Ethics Woolgathering, 7/20/2022: Conspiracies And Condign Justice

July 20 should be permanently recognized as Conspiracy Theory Day. It’s the anniversary of Neil Armstrong walking on the moon in 1969, and the event spawned one of the most hilarious of all conspiracy theories, that the whole thing was faked by NASA. Many believe it still. This one is an anti-government conspiracy theory, so perhaps the “Truthers” fantasy that George W. Bush bombed the Pentagon and Twin Towers on 9/11 has passed it. Or maybe the theory that a Kennedy assassination conspiracy involving President Johnson and the CIA is at the top of the list. My 8th grade history professor told our class that it was a fact that FDR conspired to let the Japanese bomb Pearl Harbor so the U.S. would enter the war.

A friend from childhood, smart to the point of brilliance, who once commented here often, sincerely believes that Barack Obama’s natural born citizenship is a hoax.

These conspiracy theories that cause people to believe their own government is a malign force are very harmful. More harmful yet is the current environment, where both political parties are vigorously pursuing conspiracy theories against the other.

It does not help the situation that some conspiracy theories, like the one that long held that the government was withholding evidence of unidentified flying objects, turn out to be true.

1. Condign justice dept. “Condign justice” was a term I never heard or read before George Will started using it. Then I stopped reading George Will, whose NeverTrumpism revealed him to be a classist hypocrite, requiring me to use it. Today’s example is the mayors of New York City and Washington D.C. complaining bitterly about being inundated with illegal immigrants. New York is suffering in great part because of its proud position as a “sanctuary city,” thus encouraging illegals to violate our laws. NYC Mayor Eric Adams demanded yesterday that the federal government help pay for what he said was a wave of illegal immigrants pouring into the city, as he whined about the city’s “safety net” being strained by busloads of people coming from border states and elsewhere. (CBS News helpfully apes Adams in calling the border-breachers “asylum-seekers,” hoping to cover-up what they really are.)  Awww. Well gee, Mayor, if you didn’t openly invite them and say they would be welcomed and protected from our mean old laws, maybe there wouldn’t be so darn many.

Some old saw about making beds seems to be appropriate here. Idiot. Continue reading

Unethical Quote Of The Week: UC Berkeley Law Prof. Khiara Bridges

“I’m answering a more interesting question to me”

—-Insufferably arrogant and disrespectful witness Prof. Khiara Bridges, after being told  by Senator John Cornyn (R-Tx) during today’s Senate hearing,regarding the fall of Roe v. Wade via the Dobbs decision, that she hadn’t answered the question he asked.

The question Cornyn asked was, “Do you think that a baby that is not yet born has value?” She answered, “I believe that a person with a capacity for pregnancy has value.”

And there it is. A flat-out, defiant refusal to acknowledge the existence of the other life in the abortion equation. Her response to Cornyn’s protest that she hadn’t asked the question insulted both the Senator and the professor’s supposed area of expertise, the law. No witness in a trial could say that she was answering a question of her own conceit that interested her more than the one she was asked. No witness at a Congressional hearing can ethically do it either. Nor could a law student in class or on an exam. Continue reading

Dictionary Of The Great Stupid: Our Leftist Institutions Of Learning Think Controlling Speech Is The Secret To A Better Society

Campus Reform, a conservative site with the depressing job of tracing the ethics rot in our educational institutions, has covered some truly nauseating examples of colleges and universities (or influential figures in them) encouraging  censorship and language manipulation as legitimate methods of indoctrination, or, as they call it, “education.”

Here are some highlights:

Not “inclusive” enough….

You know why. Now there will be a “Spirit of Pitt” award to avoid acknowledging the existence of genders.

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End Of Week Ethics Wrap-Up, July 1, 2022: Freakouts, Freakouts Everywhere….[Corrected]

Prelude: Why is the President of the United States attacking the Supreme Court in Madrid? His comments about a judicial body deliberating on the Constitution is not only wildly inappropriate for a President speaking abroad, his words were either calculated to make ignorant Americans even more ignorant about what the Court is, or show that he doesn’t understand himself (or no longer does). Biden called the Dobbs decision “outrageous behavior.” A SCOTUS ruling isn’t “behavior”; even Dred Scott wasn’t “behavior.” These are scholarly judicial analyses. Then he accused the Court of being “the one thing that has been destabilizing” to the nation. The Supreme Court? Upholding the Constitution is maintaining the foundation of the democracy: how is that destabilizing? Holding political show trials to try to find something that the previous President can be jailed for is destabilizing. Threatening parents who challenge indoctrinating school boards is destabilizing. Not enforcing U.S. laws at the border is destabilizing. Attacking the Supreme Court is destabilizing.

Then Biden said that Dobbs was “essentially challenging the right to privacy.” No it wasn’t, but let’s reflect back on an earlier incoherent and dim-witted statement Biden made about abortion after the Alito opinion leaked:

“I mean, so the idea that we’re going to make a judgment that is going to say no one can make a judgment to choose to abort a child based upon a decision by the Supreme Courts, I think goes way overboard.

Of course, the decision didn’t say, in May or now, that “no one can make a judgement to have an abortion.” I think Biden was and is shooting off his mouth without reading the opinion. But never mind that: he said “abort a child.” Not only does he approve of abortion, but regards it as killing a child, and must think that “privacy” includes virtual infanticide. Oh, I know, he doesn’t know what he thinks: he used to claim that there was no right to abortion. But if he’s that muddled on the issue, and he is, what business does he have impugning the decision of SCOTUS justices wrestling with difficult topic—in Spain—at all?

1. Oh, why not? Here are some more Dobbs freakouts:

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