Unethical Quote Of The Month: Joe Biden

“It’s estimated that 200 million people will die, probably by the time I finish this talk.”

—Joe Biden, Democratic candidate for President of the United States, speaking in Philadelphia over the weekend.

Yes, a man just stated on television that about 60%  of the United States’ population would die in seconds, and yet the vast majority of my Facebook friends are writing that civilization is doomed if he is not elected the leader of the United States.

As I think about it, this is only slightly less crazy than Joe’s statement. Maybe even a bit worse: after all, poor Biden is in the throes of progressive dementia. My friends are in the throes of progressive dementia. They want to have a sick man who is apparently unaware of what comes out of his own mouth leading the nation.

Biden has always said things that were careless, wrong or silly, because he’s just not very bright, and has never been. He had to repeat the third grade, you know. That’s just not a marker of future distinguished leadership. I remember my former classmates who had to repeat the early grades in elementary school, and they now are either in the custodian trade, unemployed, or teaching elementary school. Running for President was never in the cards for them, at least I used to think so. Yes, Joe’s career success is inspiring, in a way, kind of like Forrest Gump. But Forrest never ran for the White House. Not noticing that you have just falsely asserted that a national slaughter was underway is signature significance; a competent national leader simply doesn’t do that. Continue reading

One More Time: Yes, President Trump Is Qualified To Be President, And The Electorate Decides Who Is FIT To Be President

“OH NO! TAKE IT AWAY! IT’S EVIL!!! EVIL!!!

Ann Althouse does a nice fisking job with a New York Times column by Gail Collins called “Let’s Fret the Night Together/The Biden campaign and the world it’s playing out in are making us all nervous wrecks.”

I saw it in my print Times, and wasn’t going to waste time with it: it’s another smug media bubble scream about how horrible the President is (just like they decided before he was sworn in) and how essential it is to elect a sexual harassing dementia case to replace him and restore honor to the office. Isn’t it amazing how so many people keep saying this as if it isn’t completely hypocritical and actually makes sense? That’s what hate and bias does to you.

A genuine friend on Facebook recently went on a rant about how “unfit”President Trump is. I’m also amazed that people keep saying this as if the fact that the people who didn’t vote for him think he’s unfit should matter at all. So vote against him in November then! The victory of a candidate you thought was “unfit” means you lost the argument, and you don’t get a chance to deal with that supposed lack of fitness until the next election. Democrats never accepted that, despite the fact that it is the way our system has always worked. They, like my friend, convinced themselves that they have a unique right, indeed a mission, to remove an elected President before an election, or, failing that, to make it impossible to govern, because their assessment of what constitutes fitness is the unquestionable right one.

Assholes. This is the beating, rotten heart of the totalitarian impulse that has divided the nation and now threatens our strength as a nation and liberty as a people.I am sick of hearing, reading about and watching it, but it is important to realize what it is. My friend is too marinated in a biased and emotional peer group to see the phenomenon for what it is. Continue reading

Comment Of The Day: “’Psst! Fox Sports! Skip Bayless Is Right. Winston Churchill Says So…’”

I love it when first time commenters break in with a Comment of the Day, and this is the case with Brad Kent Prothero. Brad offers a different perspective on the Dak Prescott/Skip Bayless controversy discussed in the post, “Psst! Fox Sports! Skip Bayless Is Right. Winston Churchill Says So….”

Here is his Comment of the Day:

If Dak Prescott was talking about how he feels on the field, I would fully agree with Skip and you. However, he was talking about something much bigger than football. Dealing with the COVID situation is drastically different from anything experienced on the football field.

He has spent many years preparing, learning, thinking, and playing football. He has experience that he can call up to help him during a game. The preparation they do before a game is extensive and they are ready for most situations however unlikely.

Compare that to how much time most people were prepared for the ramifications of COVID, let alone an elite sports figure leading one of the most popular NFL teams. No one was prepared for how the shut-down would effect society or the well being of each of us. Continue reading

Sunday Ethics Reflections, 9/13/2020: “Hold On To Your Butts!”

1. Our aspiring leaders:

  • A 31-year-old female deputy and 24-year-old male deputy were shot while sitting in their patrol car at a Metro rail station in Compton, California. Protesters gathered outside the emergency room at the hospital where they were treated. The sheriff’s department found it necessary to tweet:  “To the protesters blocking the entrance & exit of the HOSPITAL EMERGENCY ROOM yelling “We hope they die” referring to 2 LA Sheriff’s ambushed today in #Compton: DO NOT BLOCK EMERGENCY ENTRIES & EXITS TO THE HOSPITAL,. People’s lives are at stake when ambulances can’t get through.” President Trump tweeted in response to the shooting:

Incredible: flat learning curve. After all the uproar about calling people “animals.” And if the shooters are minorities…The only one who can lose this election for President Trump is President Trump.

  • The Times of Israel reports, based on a recording of a virtual fundraiser, that Joe Biden said that the recent development of Arab states normalizing relations with Israel was “something positive” President Trump is doing “accidentally.”

Stay classy, Joe. To be fair, that has been the narrative of the Democratic Party/”resistance”/news media alliance for four years: if something goes wrong, it is the President’s fault; if something goes right, it’s either wrong anyway because Trump is responsible, or it’s just luck or an accident.

2. And now, from the world of sports! Continue reading

“Psst! Fox Sports! Skip Bayless Is Right. Winston Churchill Says So…”

Fox Sports is trying to show its compassionate and sensitive side by criticizing its own pundit, Skip Bayless, for saying that  Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott should not not have spoken publicly  about his battle with depression.

During a television interview, Prescott said that the  pandemic and the suicide of one of his brothers sent him into a bout of clinical depression to the extent that he couldn’t leave his house, and he sought help  from family and the Cowboys. Bayless said on his show,“Undisputed,”  “I don’t have sympathy for him going public with, ‘I got depressed’ and ‘I suffered depression early in COVID to the point that I couldn’t even go work out.’ Look, he’s the quarterback of America’s team.” His co-host Shannon Sharpe objected, and soon Bayless’s employer weighed in, saying in a statement,

“We do not agree with Skip Bayless’ opinion on Undisputed this morning. We have addressed the significance of this matter with Skip and how his insensitive comments were received by people internally at Fox Sports and our audience,”

Well… Continue reading

Comment(s) Of The Day: “The Insidious News Media Disinformation Campaign”

Soon after I designated Diego Garcia’s comment on this post a Comment of the Day, I  realized that it had to have the context of the Chris Marschner comment that Diego was responding to in order to be appreciated. So this is another rare tag team Comment of the Day on the post, “The Insidious News Media Disinformation Campaign.” I’ll have a brief comment at the end of the two COTDs.

First, Chris:

What exactly was the purpose of our involvement in Viet Nam? I know what we were told that it was to stem the rise of Communism in the world where countries in Asia would fall like dominoes if we did not intervene. If Communism will collapse upon itself because it is inherently flawed why do we need to hurry it along by killing people? You don’t win hearts and minds with coercion.

Wasn’t it learned that General Westmoreland falsified data to show we were actually winning when in fact we were mired down in a quagmire that only benefitted the military industrial complex that Eisenhower warned us about?

Maybe we were all duped. Maybe we are still being duped. Maybe we were all seen as suckers by Kennedy and Johnson. Maybe politicians and the public have been being duped for years by guys with scrambled eggs on their hats and stars on their epaulettes whose retirement plans include running Lockheed Martin or Boeing or just sitting on boards as they collect millions for a few days work because of what they know about defense contracts.

Maybe the smart parents were the ones that spirited their 19 year old’s off to Canada or paid their way to college and then on to Canada. I have no idea. However, those who served did so as patriots but even patriots can be suckered by politicians. I got suckered by Romney and McCain. I thought they were honest brokers of information until Trump forced them to expose themselves. I learned that integrity takes a back seat when someone challenges their power.

Why are we still in Afghanistan after nearly 20 years? Why is it that modern warfare lasts for generations while a poorly resourced rag tag bunch kicked the British ass in far less time? How could we defeat two enemies, forcing them to unconditionally surrender at the same time in roughly the equivalent of one presidential cycle? Could it be that the wars prior to Korea were existential imperative while today profits from equipment and expended munitions help keep the defense industries highly profitable? One has to ask, with all the budget hikes to improve the military’s readiness along with the positive changes in services for veterans, why do all these Generals have an ax to grind with the President who sees war as wasteful. Could it be that their business is war and part of their mission is to keep the public believing that these never ending wars are beneficial because it keeps them all in business. Tell me General’s Mattis and Kelly, which wars did you win to make you both experts on ending war?

If I recall correctly John Kerry told school kids to work hard and study because if they don’t they will wind up in Iraq. Maybe, just maybe Kerry and Trump have something in common. They can see when war is a gross waste of blood and treasure. They just have different ways of stating it.

Diego Garcia replied,

Continue reading

From The Ethics Alarms Archives: “The Forgotten Meaning of Labor Day”

The 1894 Pullman strike

It may be hard for Americans to get inspired to celebrate Labor Day for what it is supposed to honor, especially with teachers unions working to keep America locked down and students barely educated in pursuit of a partisan political agenda, and pro athlete unions bullying sports leagues into ruining their product by turning them into political propaganda vehicles, and the postal workers union partisan bias eroding trust in the upcoming election. Nonetheless, there is a good reason to celebrate Labor Day.

This Ethics Alarms post from 2012 explains what that reason is.

Labor Day commemorates one of the great ethical victories of American society, and not one in a hundred Americans know it. Labor Day marks the end of summer, and a time for retail store sales, and the last chance to get away to Disney World, but few of us think about the real meaning of the word “labor” in the name, and how it is meant to honor brave, dedicated men and women who fought, sometimes literally, the forces of greed, political influence, wealth and privilege in this country to ensure a measure of safety, consideration, fairness and justice for the hardest working among us.

Today labor unions are controversial, and with good reason. Many of them have been run as criminal enterprises, with deep connections to organized crime; many operate in a blatantly coercive and undemocratic fashion. Union demands and strong-arm tactics, while providing security and good wages to members, have crippled some American industries, and limited jobs as well. Today the unions  get publicity when one of them tries to protect a member who should be punished, as when the baseball players’ union fights suspensions for player insubordination or even drug use, or when school districts are afraid to fire incompetent teachers because of union power, or when the members of public unions protest cutbacks in benefits that their private sector counterparts would be grateful for. It is true that today’s unions often embody longshoreman philosopher Eric Hoffer’s observation that  “Every great cause begins as a movement, degenerates into a business and ends up as a racket.” *

That not what Labor Day honors, however. It is celebrating the original labor movement that began at the end of the 19th century, and that eventually rescued the United States from an industrial and manufacturing system that was cruel, exploitive, deadly and feudal. Why the elementary schools teach nothing about this inspiring and important movement, I do not know. I suspect that the story of the American labor movement was deemed politically dangerous to teach during the various Red Scares, and fell out of the curriculum, never to return. Whatever the reason, it is disgraceful, for the achievements of the labor movement are every bit as important and inspiring as those of the civil rights movement and the achievements of our armed forces in the protection of liberty abroad. Continue reading

Big Lie #4 Has Never Looked So Desperate…

“Repeat after me: Our riots are all Trump’s fault! It’s all Trump’s fault! He’s a raaaacist! A raaacist!”

As noted here more than once last week, Democrat/”resistance”/mainstream news media (The AUC) attacks on President Trump are becoming more shrill and desperate, and I expect them to keep getting more so as November approaches. They really appear to be going with the “The riots that have taken place overwhelmingly in Democrat-run cities having been organized by Black Lives Matter (a Democratic party endorsed group) and inflamed by the antifa (an anti-Trump domestic terrorist group) after being provoked by police-involved incidents in those Democratic Party-run cities are President Trump’s fault!” They really are. Well, good luck with that! It’s an all-in bet that the American public is made up of morons.

I’ll take that bet, and so will Abe Lincoln.

The panic and hysteria—it turns out that those polls showing Joe Biden winning by a lap despite his many problems weren’t so solid after all! ARGHHHHHH!—has caused, naturally, a stamped to the Big Lie store, the inventory of which is listed here.

Portland’s Mayor Ted Wheeler grabbed himself an armful of  Big Lie #4: “Trump Is A Racist/White Supremacist,”  the first and one of the most popular,  unconscionable and predictable of the Big Lies (and it is a lie, as explained in detail at the link above). Then he revealed just how ridiculous he is yesterday, saying in part as he attempted to blame his own city’s riots on the President,

“President Trump, for four years, we’ve had to live with you and your racist attacks on black people, we learned early about your sexist attitudes towards women,We’ve had to endure clips of you mocking a disabled man. We’ve had to listen to your anti-democratic attacks on journalists. We’ve read your tweets slamming private citizens to the point of receiving death threats. And we’ve listened to your attacks on immigrants. We’ve listened to you label Mexicans — rapists. We’ve heard you say that John McCain wasn’t a hero because he was a prisoner of war. And now you’re attacking Democratic mayors and the very institutions of democracy that have served this nation well since its founding. Do you seriously wonder, Mr. President, why this is the first time in decades that America has seen this level of violence? It’s you who have created the hate and the division. President Trump, you bring no peace. You bring no respect to our democracy. You, Mr. President, need to do your job as the leader of this nation. I, Mr. President, will do my job as the mayor of this city. We will both be held accountable as we should. I’m calling out every other elected official in Oregon to join me. Not only in defeating racism but helping me to stop the violence as we are and will continue to be held accountable by all of our residents.”

I hate being blunt and vulgar, but what an asshole! Continue reading

Continued Still…From The Ethics Alarms Mailbag: “What’s Your Reaction To Various Ethics Controversies, Including The Use Of The White House, During The Republican National Convention?” Part 3: The White House

The question that spawned this long post [ Part 1 is here, Part 2 is here] was, “What’s your opinion of Trump using the White House as a political prop?”

D. The White House

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said that Trump will further “destroy” American precedents if given a second term in office. “This is what we can expect in a second Trump administration,” Schumer said. “All the rules, norms, values that have made this country great, Donald Trump will destroy them. He doesn’t care. He only cares about himself. The rules are you shouldn’t sit in the White House and give a speech at a convention. Donald Trump says, ‘I want to do it.’ So they do it.”

There’s no such rule. The President isn’t covered by the Hatch Act, and given all the political uses of The White House by previous Presidents, I’d love to hear the argument that a speech being delivered to a virtual convention during a pandemic using the White House as a backdrop is unconscionable, or even unethical.

Professor Julian Zelizer, whose field is history and public affairs at Princeton University, said that  using the White House as a “prop” at a party convention is “unprecedented” in recent times. “There still is a boundary between politics and governing, and the Oval Office and White House are a public site meant for the country that isn’t meant to be a political backdrop,” Zelizer told ABC News. “To just use it as the major site for a convention speech seems like a lot with President Trump — you just take all the guardrails down.”

Cite, please. That something is “unprecedented” doesn’t make it unethical. The White House has been used as a political prop many times, just not at a convention. Nothing has been quite as grubby as Bill Clinton selling nights in the Lincoln bedroom for big money donations, but way back in the Kennedy Administration, the nation gushed over lovely Jackie Kennedy  hosting a televised tour of her “home,” bolstering the developing legend of how graceful and refined the young First Couple were. (Jack was probably banging a starlet while Jackie was being filmed.) Go ahead, tell me that “special” wasn’t “unprecedented” or political. Continue reading

I Don’t Care If The Axis Of Unethical Conduct Is Panicking, Their Rhetoric Is Unforgivable (CONTINUED)

[The beginning of this article is here.]

You know her comments crashed over any line pf decency, propriety and civility because the mainstream media largely ignored them. “We take an oath to protect and defend the Constitution from all enemies, foreign and domestic,” Pelosi said on MSNBC. “And, sadly, the domestic enemies to our voting system and honoring our Constitution are right at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue with their allies in the Congress of the United States,” ,Of course, being a den of hacks, no follow-up could ever occur on MSNBC. Only Fox News, the New York Post, and some conservative outlets thought the Speaker of the House declaring an entire political party and its President “domestic enemies” was something the public has a right to know.  CNN, the New York Times, the Washington Post, NBC News, Politico and other AUC members buried it, though such rhetoric is a call to insurrection and violence, coming from the same party that wouldn’t rebuff Maxine Waters and others who called for the harassment of Trump administration officials in public places.

No, this is not the equivalent of  President Trump calling the mainstream media “enemies of the people,” which, it should be noted, caused that same mainstream media to decry the words as a prelude to an authoritarian take-over.  The media is not the government, and all citizens can do to journalists who betray the trust the Founders put in the Fourth Estate to keep the public objectively informed is to stop believing them, which, thankfully, a large portion of the public has.  In contrast, for a powerful elected official to call the party in the White House “domestic enemies” is indescribably wrong, and I say that because my inner thesaurus fails me.

“I was shot because of this kind of unhinged rhetoric,” House Republican Whip Steve Scalise said. Representative Dan Crenshaw (R., Texas) called  the statement were “gross and divisive;” while Senator Kelly Loeffler called them “appalling.”  Not bad, but those adjective still don’t measure the amazing breach of democratic norms Pelosi’s words represent. (Remember, Democrats have been saying it  is Trump who endangers democracy by his breach of “norms,” like firing an unethical and incompetent FBI Director.) Pelosii’s hateful rhetoric is only slightly less divisive than the beating of Charles Sumner on the Senate Floor.

Her words were  also flamingly hypocritical. Pelosi’s Democrats have orchestrated one attempted coup after another, working to deliberately undermine the public’s faith in their government, nation and Constitution, and using leaks, conspiracy theories, falsified documents, support for lawlessness and manufactured narratives to to it. No party has done such damage to America  since the Civil War. Even the news media’s efforts shouldn’t be able to keep cognizant Americans from figuring out “what’s going on here.” Continue reading