Unethical Quote Of The Month: 65 Professors And 558 Other Faculty Members And Students Of Washington & Lee University

“We ask that the University prevent Matt Walsh from speaking on our campus and that the University live out its Statement of Commitment to Diversity by taking action to protect its minority students from future harmful events.”

—623 Washington & Lee signatories, including 65 professors and law professors, of an online petition to block a conservative speaker from appearing on campus

Displaying either ignorance or contempt for the core American ethical principle of freedom of speech, 623 members of the Washington & Lee University community, mostly students and faculty members but with a few others mixed in, maybe cafeteria workers or something, have signed an online petition insisting that conservative political commentator and author Matt Walsh be prevented from speaking at the Virginia campus on March 30, on the currently controversial topic of “What is a woman.” Walsh has been a deliberately inflammatory critic of the current extremist, indeed brain-melting phenomenon of transsexual madness, which has reached such heights (or depths) that the last confirmed Justice on the U.S. Supreme Court professed an inability to define “woman.” Walsh stars in online documentary film “What Is a Woman?” created by the conservative website, The Daily Wire.

What is so disturbing about the petition, which is reproduced in its entirety below, is the anti-democratic logic and ideology it displays, though all of this is now familiar to anyone following the descent of the American Left into aspiring totalitarianism. The position one whole side of the American political spectrum has now almost completely accepted as legitimate is that dissent from its obviously virtuous and correct cant (they are on the “right side of history,” after all) is the equivalent of violence and causes permanent “harm” to member of its constituency or society in general. The petition justifies its existence by providing frightening proof of many horrible truths, among them that the U.S.’s institutions of higher learning now indoctrinate their students into anti-democratic philosophies. Here is just a sample of the petitioners’ reasoning:

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Comment Of The Day: “Stanford’s Disgraceful DEI Dean Throws Down The Guntlet…NOW Will Stanford Fire Her?”

EA has featured a lot of posts about the Stanford Law shout-down of a conservative federal judge and the school’s “DEI” dean’s complicity in making certain that he did not get a fair opportunity to deliver his remarks. It is, I believe, quite possibly a tipping point regarding many important cultural issues, including Leftist censorship, the decline of higher education ethics and academic freedom, the corruption of the legal profession, and most of all, the toxic influence of the “diversity/equity/inclusion” cult to undermine core societal values in the U.S. The mainstream news media is doing its best to keep the story and its implications far from the consciousness of the average member of the public.

Glenn Logan has offered a helpful Comment of the Day which analyzes Stanford Law School Associate Dean for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Tirien Steinbach’s defiant and telling op-ed in the Wall Street Journal. Glenn is one of many experienced bloggers in the Ethics Alarms commentariat, and at times like these it shows.

Here is Glenn’s Comment of the Day on the post, “Stanford’s Disgraceful DEI Dean Throws Down The Guntlet…NOW Will Stanford Fire Her?”


Steinbach wrote: “Regardless of where you stand politically, none of this heated exchange was helpful for civil discourse or productive dialogue.

True, but only because one side decided the right way to deal with debating controversial issues was to make sure that the other side of the debate could not be heard without wading through repeated ad hominem attacks and invective.

At no point does Steinbach recognize that the students were driving the lack of civility. It is also true that the judge’s remarks at certain points crossed the line, but he was under constant attack to the point that he was unable to deliver a coherent presentation. Steinbach either does not recognize these facts, or is okay with them. Based on her prepared remarks, the latter seems to be the betting favorite.

So how can this possibly square with her implied desire for civil discourse? Easy — discourse can only be civil when it’s hers, or she agrees with it, or it is had on her terms.

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The First Thing We Do, Let’s Fire All The Principals…

Oh, there are many things that need to happen in the wake of Seattle’s Lincoln High School’s leadership demonstrating that it doesn’t comprehend that government-supported racial segregation is illegal and that openly favoring black students is exactly as contrary to core democratic, Constitutional and American values as openly favoring white students. First, however, we need to fire the smiling, racist, woke-poisoned, incompetent fools above.

Here is what they allowed to be published to students and parents:

Our student leaders in our Black Student Union (BSU), Latino Student Union (LSU), and Asian Student Union (ASU) have been hard at working planning our upcoming Multicultural Week March 13th-17th…On Friday of Multicultural Week, students and staff of color and/or those who identify with any group represented by BSU/LSU/ASU are invited for a lunch potluck.

In other words, white and Jews stay away. These alleged education professionals saw nothing wrong with that, directly in contradiction of Brown v. Board of Education though it was. No ethics alarms sounded, because those alarms are as dead  as Thurgood Marshall in these products of the thoroughly rotted culture currently metastasizing in the state of Washington. Continue reading

Ethics Quiz: Axis Sally

Mediocre movies can still raise important ethics questions, and so it is with a 2021 bomb called “American Traitor: The Trial of Axis Sally.” The film dramatizes the bizarre tale of Mildred Gillars, a Maine-born American woman of modest looks and talents who rode her aspirations for a Hollywood career into an infamous gig as an infamous Nazi German radio propagandist during World War II. My father told me about her broadcasts from Berlin, and how she used sexy tones to tell American servicemen that they were doomed, that the Jews, not Germany, were their real enemy, and that their wives and girlfriends were cheating on them while they were in Europe fighting Hitler’s “invincible army.”

Her last broadcast was just a few days before Germany surrendered; Gillars was arrested and charged with being a traitor. In 1948, “Axis Sally” faced a very real threat of being hanged as she went on trial for eight counts of treason. Thanks in great part to a vigorous (if reluctant) defense by famed criminal defense attorney James Laughlin, played by Al Pacino in the film, the jury found her guilty of only one, and what could have been a 30 year jail term turned into ten.

Dad said that American GIs thought “she”Axis Sally” was hilarious, that no soldiers took her seriously, and that her singing was terrible. Her broadcasts were popular in the U.S., as she often relayed news of American prisoners of war to show how well they were being treated by their German captors.

Although I suspect that Pacino’s ringing closing argument in her defense was punched up considerably from the original by Laughlin and maybe even contained some arguments Laughlin did not make, the points he raises in the movie are fascinating:

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Stop Making Me Defend Ticketmaster (And Louis Farrakhan)!


Next to the totalitarian, censorship-obsessed, indoctrination-pushing ideology of current American progressives, the inability of American conservatives to observe basic intellectual integrity and avoid disqualifying themselves as trustworthy defenders of democratic principles may be the greatest threat to the U.S.’s existence as a free republic.

The Washington Free Beacon, often a helpful source of conservative analysis, apparently thinks that everyone, especially members of Congress should be condemning Ticketmaster because it sold tickets to a Louis Farrakhan event:

The ticketing giant hated by Taylor Swift fans and everyone else who has ever tried to buy concert tickets is now under fire from Jewish activists for selling tickets to a Louis Farrakhan event in which the minister defended Adolf Hitler and predicted another Holocaust against Jews. But many of Ticketmaster’s biggest critics on Capitol Hill don’t seem to care.

Ticketmaster, which charges service fees on each ticket it sells, raked in money selling tickets to Farrakhan’s annual Saviours’ Day conference in Chicago last weekend. During his speech at the event, Farrakhan assailed the “stranglehold that Jews have on this government” and claimed “Jewish power is what has all of our people of knowledge and wisdom and talent afraid.”

The event was met with crickets on Capitol Hill, with almost no one in Congress speaking out against Ticketmaster for making money off of the Farrakhan event. The reaction is a stark contrast to lawmakers’ response when Ticketmaster bungled sales last year for Taylor Swift’s much-anticipated concert tour. That fiasco was in the news cycle for weeks and led to a Department of Justice investigation as well as a Senate hearing. Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle say Ticketmaster and its parent company, LiveNation, have a monopoly over the ticket industry, leading to price-gouging and a failure to crack down on automated scalping.

“Daily reminder that Ticketmaster is a monopoly, it’s merger with LiveNation should never have been approved, and they need to be reigned in [sic],” wrote Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D., N.Y.) in a Twitter post in November. Sens. Richard Blumenthal (D., Conn.) and Amy Klobuchar (D., Minn.) called on the Department of Justice to investigate. None of their offices responded to a request for comment on Ticketmaster’s Farrakhan sales.

Only Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R., Tenn.)—who also spoke out about the Taylor Swift debacle—weighed in on the Farrakhan controversy when contacted by the Washington Free Beacon.

“It is extremely concerning that Ticketmaster is choosing to use its platform to elevate and promote a well-known anti-Semite. The targeting of the Jewish people has gone on far too long and must stop,” she said.

Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R., Wash.), a Ticketmaster critic who serves as the chairwoman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, also sent a  comment after this story was published.

“Anti-Semitism has no place in America,” said McMorris Rodgers. “Ticketmaster should be completely transparent on why it chose to profit off of Farrakhan’s abhorrent history of hatred and violent threats of genocide against the Jewish people.”

The author is Alana Goodman. Naturally, Republicans (and conservative websites and pundits) took the bait. Democrats don’t like democracy, Republicans are dumb as eels. Morons. Ethics dunces. Hypocrites.

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Murdaugh Trial Ethics: No, Judges May Not Punish Defendants For Taking The Stand In Their Own Defense…Can They?

More dubious “expert” testimony this morning: this is why I watch less and less TV news.

Judge Clifton Newman sentenced disbarred South Carolina lawyer Alex Murdaugh to two consecutive life sentences in his sensational trial for the murders of his wife and son, after a jury found Murdaugh guilty yesterday in the 2021 slayings of Maggie and Paul Murdaugh. Murdoch already faced life in prison for an astounding number of financial crimes. In fact, the alleged motive for his killing his family was to take attention away from those offenses. (This strikes me as similar to the guy who fired a nail-gun into his skull to distract from the pain of his inadvertently sawing off his own hand in his workshop, but never mind…)

On Fox News, a legal analyst told viewers that Murdaugh was likely to get the maximum non-capital punishment penalty from Judge Newman because he took the stand in his own defense to assert his innocence. “Since the jury found him guilty, that means he lied under oath,” the “expert” explained. “Judges don’t like that. His testimony guaranteed a harsh sentence.”

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Idaho Student Massacre Ethics…And A “Hate Speech” Issue

Issue I: The Banned Subreddit. Above you see a posted photo of some sick fan-girls’s shrine to University of Idaho student massacre suspect Bryan Kohberger. On the massive social media site Reddit, a “subreddit” titled “Brynation” emerged after Kohberger’s arrest late last year for the murders of University of Idaho students Kaylee Goncalves, Madison Mogen, Xana Kernodle and Ethan Chapin. The Reddit group, which included women professing to be infatuated with the accused killer as well as amateur sleuths who maintained that he was innocent, had grown to more than 500 members before it was banned from the platform for allegedly violating Reddit’s Moderator Code of Conduct. As is typical with such social media bans, Reddit didn’t specify the exact offense.

Reddit can ban whatever and whoever it chooses; the question is when it is ethical to do so. There are too many arguably sick subreddits to list, including many involving fetishes, which the common phenomenon of women being smitten by murderers certainly is. At this point, Bryan Kohberger is presumed innocent in the eyes of the law. I just heard an “expert” opine that social media outlets have an “obligation” to control and minimize “hate speech” on their platforms, which he defined as speech that could provoke violence or “harm” individuals, and cited Reddit’s action as an example of responsible social media management. The Fox News interviewer just nodded like one of those plastic dogs people used to put in the rear windows of their cars.

How is chatting online about an accused murderer “hate speech”? The expert’s fatuous (but popular!) position demonstrates exactly what’s unethical about the anti-“hate speech” movement on the Left: the term literally can mean any speech the censors don’t like, disagree with, or find “icky.” The participants in the banned subreddit were not doing anything likely to result in violence: has anyone ever become a serial killer to be more attractive to women? Thinking isn’t dangerous; talking on line about one’s thoughts isn’t dangerous either, or unethical.

In a purported democracy, the culture should lean hard in the direction of free expression, with all expression given a strong presumption of legitimacy. People like Fox’s “expert” do the opposite, and are working to shift our culture toward concepts of GoodThink and BadThink, with the distinctions being dictated by powerful corporations, Big Tech, social media, the news media, educational institutions and, of course, the government.

Weird people have rights too.

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“Good Censorship”: Regarding Ethics Villain Puffin Books And Its Defender, Seth Abramson

Yes, that’s a dead and rotting puffin above. It should be the new logo for Puffin Books, a division of Penguin. According to Wikipedia, “it has been among the largest publishers of children’s books in the UK and much of the English-speaking world” since the 1960s. According to the Penguin website, Puffin Books is “prestigious.”

According to Ethics Alarms, the children’s book publisher has no regard for authors’ rights, integrity, fairness, literature or language, all rather crucial to its trade, wouldn’t you say? What’s happened at Puffin? Well, what’s happened to Disney, elementary schools and toy makers? ( Clue: Mattel has a gender-fluid line of Barbies).

Puffin has decided that the demands of wokism, political correctness and child indoctrination justify rewriting the works of iconic British author Roald Dahl. Since Dahl’s death, Puffin has made hundreds of changes to his childen’s classics, removing words and passages that The Wonderfully Woke might consider offensive or harmful, even to the extent of adding passages that Dahl never wrote.

What?? I’m assuming that Puffin owns the rights to the books somehow and can do this legally. You want to know why authors like Samuel Beckett made sure his estate had iron-clad control over his works? THIS is why. Please note: it doesn’t matter one whit that Puffin can allow some anonymous censor to rewrite “Charlie and the Choaolate Factory,” it is throbbingly unethical for it to do so.

In the original edition of “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” Grandma Josephine speaks of a “crazy Indian prince.” The 2022 edition describes the character as a “ridiculously rich Indian prince.” Augustus Gloop, one of the horrible children in the novel, is no longer described as “enormously fat” as Dahl wrote; he is now   described as “enormous”(whatever that means). Puffin apparently has a fetish about “fat.” Aunt Sponge, in the 2022 edition of “James and the Giant Peach,” is now “quite large” instead of “enormously fat,” leaving the possibility that she could be the size of  The Rock or even a T-Rex. Other passages where Aunt Sponge is described as “fat” have been excised.

Meanwhile, “two ghastly hags” has been changed to “two ghastly aunts.” “Queer” is apparently no longer acceptable to describe a house—just in case its a gay house, I suppose—and was replaced with  “strange.” In “The Witches,”  edits by Puffin made character descriptors gender-neutral, so “chambermaid” became “cleaner.” Though Dahl wrote that a character said, “You must be mad, woman!,” the line is now, “You must be out of your mind!” The line describing a, “Great flock of ladies” was changed to a “Great group of ladies.”

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It Really Is True: A Disturbing Number Of Elected Democrats Don’t Understand Or Support The First Amendment

Do the voters who elect these opponents of democracy understand the implications of what they are doing in states like California, Massachusetts, Washington and, in this case, New York? I hope not. I sincerely hope the voters are just lazy and stupid, not genuinely in favor of curtailing individual rights.

Once again, a judge has had to step in and remind a government that “Congress shall make no law– abridging the freedom of speech” as applied to the states through the 14th Amendment. New York’s dangerously woke governor Kathy Hochul happily signed into law last December “The Hateful Conduct Law,” entitled “Social media networks; hateful conduct prohibited.” She had personally called for the law, declaring that “[o]nline platforms should be held accountable for allowing hateful and dangerous content to spread on their platforms” because the alleged “lack of oversight, transparency, and accountability of these platforms allows hateful and extremist views to proliferate online.”

It is thought control Democrats and progressives like Hochul want, and prosecuting those who “spread” ideas that their mob calls hateful and dangerous is essential to that goal. The law, N.Y. Gen. Bus. Law § 394-ccc(1)(a) defines  “hateful conduct” as

“[T]he use of a social media network to vilify, humiliate, or incite violence against a group or a class of persons on the basis of race, color, religion, ethnicity, national origin, disability, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression.”

Naturally, since the “beauty part” of such a law for aspiring totalitarians is that all-wise, ever-virtuous overseers like Hochul can decide any conduct or expression is “hateful” if they want to silence and punish the speaker. “Vilification, humiliation, or incitement” is undefined, but if whatever it is is directed toward an individual or group based on their “race”, “color”, “religion”, “ethnicity”, “national origin”, “disability”, “sex”, “sexual” orientation”, “gender identity” or “gender expression,” then it’s illegal. Continue reading

Trans Ethics Train Wreck Update: Why Is All This This Happening? [With A Bonus Comment Of The Day On “Hogwarts Legacy”]

Among the many things I don’t understand about the increasingly bizarre trans-advocacy bullying and propaganda is the ideological divide. Why are Democrats and progressives supporting this manifestly bonkers—and unethical—effort to defy reality?

Some of the latest “revoltin’ developments”:

1. The unhinged fury at J.K. Rowling for not falling in with the pro-trans guerillas.

Today is the release date for Hogwarts Legacy, the most highly anticipated video game of 2023. But many trans-fans are conflicted about the game because of supposedly transphobic comments made  about transgender people by J.K. Rowling, the creator of Harry Potter, Hogwarts, and the whole empire.  Conveniently, EA Comment-Master Humble Talent registered a report on today’s Open Forum. In his Comment of the Day, slightly shortened here (read it all at the link) HT writes,

[P]rogressives hate JK Rowling, the author of the Harry Potter series, feminist icon, and TERF extraordinaire. It’s not like Rowling is particularly offensive….The problem isn’t that she’s offensive, the problem is that she’s a traitor. Worse, she’s a traitor that they helped prop up, she has “Fuck You” levels of money, and nothing they do can actually cancel her, because again… She’s independently wealthy, isn’t particularly offensive, and doesn’t care what they think.

Her offense, such that it is, is a less than enthusiastic endorsement of the trans agenda. She has no problems using pronouns, she tries, generally, to be polite, but sometimes uses a variation of the TERF maxim of “there are very few places where gender actually matters anymore, but where it does, it matters a lot” and doesn’t put much stock in the idea of trans women in women’s sport, and feels that trans women shouldn’t be in women’s prisons or abuse shelters, off the top of my head.

Trans people, not very well adjusted to reality to begin with, are so used to getting their way when they whine on Twitter that they’re not dealing very well with the idea that Warner Brothers would continue to risk their ire by further developing the Harry Potter Franchise, which in some very unclear way involving assumed royalties benefits Rowling, the newest iteration of which is “Hogwarts Legacy.”

…It’s fairly obvious that the developers were acutely aware that they were going to be under a DEI microscope, so there is a LOT of representation in the game. This isn’t a huge departure from the source material, there was a lot of representation there too… Rowling is, after all, progressive….

Very early on in the game, you meet the Potterverse’s first trans character: Sirona Ryan. Trans people apparently don’t think that pandering was enough, because Sirona starts with Sir, and that’s an obvious slight.

Because of course it is. The developers going out of their way to try to cleanse the franchise of the filth of its creator by shoehorning in as much DEI as possible is just cover so that they could name their first trans character Manlina McBeefcake to squick the trans people they’re not actually pandering to. Because that makes sense.

Which is the theme here… Nothing is enough. They’re bound and determined to hate it. Which is why the success of the game seems to feel like pure rock salt in the open wound of their entire existence. It’s a good game with a very popular franchise released at a time when there aren’t any other new releases worth note on the market.

So…. What do you do when something you hate is succeeding and you’re really unused to the market not giving a damn about your displeasure? You melt down. The fireworks over this have been some of the most entertaining terminally online bullshit I’ve seen in my life. Brigades of trans people and their allies are joining Twitch streams of people playing HL and cramming their chats with bile, article after article after article written by progressives whining belligerently over the market’s apathy to their discomfort, but most interestingly, because it’s new: Someone coded a website that would log whenever someone streamed HL and compiled it in a searchable database, so trans people could know who to boycott…. Which was basically everyone, so it’s not exactly effective.

Any and all of this would have been derided by the same people doing it as targeted harassment and bullying if they were the target of what they’re doing to others, and they’re doing it without a spark of self awareness. Which lends more credit, I think, to my prevailing theory of: These people don’t actually care about targeted harassment, bullying, or any other professed principle. They’re consistently unhappy people and their single last joy in life is bitching with the intent of depriving other people of the joy they are incapable of feeling.

2. More Lia Thomas ethics rot… Continue reading