Ethics Observations On Jeb Bush’s Olympics Tweet…

Jeb Tweet

1. Flagrant virtue-signaling is nauseating enough, but incompetent virtue-signaling is just sad.

2. This is why public figures, celebrities, politicians, journalists, academics and lawyers are irresponsible to send tweets. Twitter makes you stupid, and if you are already stupid, it lets everybody know.

3. Nobody should care about medal totals, other than the fact that the nation spends far too much money on preparing for the Olympics, and its a rough way to gauge how well the funds are being spent. The U.S. should care about the way its athletes comport themselves, and the character they demonstrate to the world.

4. Surely Jeb isn’t suggesting that national policy regarding immigration or indeed anything should be influenced by the results in the Olympics. Because that would really be stupid.

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Unethical Tweet Of The Month: Speaker Nancy Pelosi

Unethical tweet Pelosi

Ah. Let us count the ways the Speaker’s tweet is unethical:

1. It is false, meaning true disinformation, not only about the power of the incompetent and untrustworthy Centers for Disease Control, but also regarding the law.

2. How is the tweet still up? Why isn’t Pelosi’s account suspended? She has not only delivered false information about the moratorium, but about limitations on government power. Twitter has been banning tweets from no-name dufusses that make erroneous assertions (or just opinions that Twitter would rather see not made), but complete misrepresentation of the system spread by a high-ranking leader is as serious as it gets. (The answer, I suspect, is that “disinformation” coming from a powerful Democrat is hunky-dory with our Big Tech Masters.)

3. Is Pelosi lying, or does she just not follow the legal news? Either way is unethical for someone in her position. The 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled on two weeks ago that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention lacked authority for the national moratorium it imposed last year on most residential evictions as part of the effort to help curb the spread of the coronavirus. They did this knowing the Supreme Court would back them up, because in a narrow 5-4 ruling upholding the moratorium temporarily on June 29, Justice Kavanaugh, the swing vote in the decision, wrote,

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Wait…ONLY Black People?

black people tweet

That’s a tweet that has been going around social media, as fatuous tweets often do.

My questions in response:

  • Why only black people? I try to smile at all people I encounter. Yesterday I waved at a black neighbor I have never met while walking Spuds—but not because he was black. He waved back.
  • Solidarity with what? The reason you smile at strangers is to express solidarity with the community, the nation, the human race. If my smile is supposed to mean “I believe you are an oppressed victim of this rotten racist nation and white people like me, and I’m with you, bro!” then to hell with it.
  • If you smile only at the blacks in a crowd, what are you saying to everyone else? Isn’t that pandering? Isn’t that insulting and condescending to the black being grinned at?
  • What if the response to your smile is a snub? How should you take that? [Relevant: this post.]

Unethical Tweet Of The Month And Ethics Dunce: ACLU National Legal Director And Georgetown Law Prof. David Cole

foot-in-mouth-header

David Cole, ACLU National Legal Director and Professor at Georgetown University Law Center, tweeted in response to the SCOTUS ruling striking down California’s law making it mandatory for non-profits to disclose the names of their biggest donors,

Cole tweet

Gee, that’s funny! The ACLU filed an amicus brief supporting the majority’s decision in AMERICANS FOR PROSPERITY FOUNDATION v. BONTA, ATTORNEY GENERAL OF CALIFORNIA.

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Unethical Tweet Of The Month: The Portland Police Bureau

Portland tweet

There are many Ethics Alarms categories the tweet above would fit neatly into, like Ethics Dunce, Unethical Quote of the Week, evidence of The rampages of the Great Stupid, res ipsa loquitur, signature significance and others. I wonder if it is something else as well, like coherent civilization’s death rattle.

The Portland police felt constrained to issue that announcement after a police officer in Portland opened fire at a deranged man who charged him with a screwdriver. The man was shot dead in what all reports indicate was self-defense. This was apparently a “suicide by cop.” Quickly, at least 50 protesters converged at the Motel 6 where the episode occurred, and what looked like it could quickly turn into a violent riot was looming. The mob “began yelling, throwing items at officers, and attempting to interfere with the investigation,” Portland Police Bureau said. Videos showed many black-clad protesters chanting the anti-police phrase “Fuck 12.” A officer’s baton was grabbed as she was pulled toward the crowd; another protester sprayed an officer with pepper spray. One police car had its tires punctured and a window broken. Meanwhile, the Antifa distributed flyers calling the incident another example of racist police brutality against the black community.

So, acting quickly, the Portland police issued the tweet, assuring everyone that it was a white man who was killed. No worries! The nation was made just a little bit better and less racist. one more whitey down!

Naturally, the mob dispersed, and there was no more threatened violence.

The officer involved in the shooting was black. “Our officer encountered a very difficult and dynamic situation that no officer wants to face,” Police Chief Chuck Lovell said at the scene.“I want to assure the community that we’re committed to a full, thorough and complete investigation.”

Hey, never mind, Chuck! The guy was white! Nobody cares.

When an officer shot a black teen preparing to stab another young woman with a knife, there was a riot. When police shot an accused black rapist who was armed with a knife and preparing to drive off with his alleged victim’s children, there were riots. When a black man resisting arrest was shot after trying to fire a taser at an officer, there were riots. When a black man who had tried to take an officer’s weapon away while resisting arrest was fatally shot as he rushed the much smaller officer, there were riots. When a black woman was accidentally shot in the cross-fire between police and her boyfriend began the exchange of bullets, there were riots.

But once the crack Portland Police made it clear that it was only some sick white dude who was killed, all was well.

Rueful observations:

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Morning Ethics Warm-Up, 5/18/2021: Terrible Ideas, Past, Present, And Future


1. Gee, I’m surprised CNN didn’t give him Don Lemon’s old show…Over the weekend, Adeel Raja, a CNN contributor in Pakistan, tweeted, “The world today needs a Hitler.” Raja has repeatedly praised Hitler for trying to exterminate the Jews. During the Wold Cup in soccer, he said that he was rooting for Germany in the final against Argentina because “Hitler was a German and he did good with those jews!” (Actually, there may be more old Nazis in Argentina than Germany, but that’s quibbling.)

Last week’s tweet was deleted (Twitter did not suspend his account; after all, he’s not a Republican or President of the United States). Raja had 54 articles published under his byline at CNNbetween September 1, 2014, and September 15, 2020, all focusing on Pakistani news. CNN apparently didn’t mind relying on an open anti-Semite for news analysis until the latest tweet caused the issue to be raised.

After initially saying that it didn’t recognize Raja’s name, CNN released a statement that “he will not be working with CNN again in any capacity.”

2. The latest strategy in the Left’s plot to keep American masked forever. By “Left” I also mean “the news media,” since they are virtually identical. Digression: Judge Silberman’s brave and accurate confirmation of this provoked fear and horror among the AUC. I wrote about it here, but in case you missed it, here is his entire dissent in a recent libel case. He wrote in part,

“It should be borne in mind that the first step taken by any potential authoritarian or dictatorial regime is to gain control of communications, particularly the delivery of news. It is fair to conclude, therefore, that one-party control of the press and media is a threat to a viable democracy. “[The New York Times and the Washington Post ] are virtually Democratic Party broadsheets. And the news section of The Wall Street Journal leans in the same direction…Nearly all television—network and cable—is a Democratic Party trumpet.”

USA Today, a lesser trumpet to be sure, more like a kazoo, gave us this:

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Unethical Tweet Of The Month: David Hogg

Hogg tweet2

This is so evidently a case of res ipsa loquitur that I probably shouldn’t comment on it. It is also signature significance: no one but a bigoted and arrogant child would think this way, much less announce such a mindset in public.

Hogg, an unwounded victim of the Parkland shooting tragedy, was willingly exploited as a mouthpiece for anti-gun/NRA/Second Amendment fanatics for more than a year. CNN built a “town hall” and a rigged debate around him with Don Lemon as his cheerleader. Despite a sub-adult biological age and a sub-teen emotional age while suffering the after-effects of a terrible experience, Hogg was held up as a respectable authority on matters he knew little to nothing about. Harvard even accepted him into its freshman class based on his political posturing alone.

In the tweet, he reveals the shallowness of his reasoning and the irrationality of his ideological certitude. We shouldn’t need the tweet, based on what we’ve heard from Hogg already, but some people sufficiently addled by “Think of the children!” need a bit more proof.

Incidentally, I have felt the need not to wear a mask outside since the very beginning of Pandemic Panic so that intelligent people wouldn’t think I am a gullible, submissive fool.

The New Fascists Among Us, Part I: Unethical Tweet Of The Month

The tweet above, located by Glenn Reynolds at Instapundit, comes from Sarah Jane Glynn, self-described on her Twitter feed as “Expertise in Econ/Gender/Lady-business. Professional Feminist & Semi-Professional Eyeliner Expert. All mind blowing views my own. She/Her.” Sarah left out “Good German,” perhaps for space, but a classic example of the rising Fascists of the Left she is, a toxic mutation of American that, in retrospect, we now realize emerged as tadpoles during the Obama Administration when the squiggly things were directed to use family holidays to propagandize relatives about the evils of climate change and the virtues of Obamacare. Now those tadpoles are full-fledged toads, and ugly ones indeed, like Sarah.

It is encouraging—maybe I’m grasping at straws here—that her tweet has many more re-tweets than “likes.” Perhaps that means that Americans haven’t lost the ability to recognize a fascist when they see one, even after four years of the fascists of the Left calling Donald Trump a threat to democracy when he was nearly the exact opposite except for his intemperate bluster.

Boy, I hope so. I have been composing in my head a series of questions for the nearby neighbor who has erected the giant eyesore of a sign near my home, a six-foot by four-foot black-painted wooden board with a giant red heart bearing the words, also in black, “Black Lives Matter,” accompanied by a medieval suit of armor standing next to the sign, for some reason. This display has been up for nearly a year now. Maybe the armor represents “systemic racism,” the accusation rather than the condition, since those who favor it think it makes them invulnerable to criticism, facts, or logic. The new fascists believe this phrase imbues them with moral certitude and unquestionable wisdom when they adopt it as their mantra, though the concept itself is empty, facile, tautological and insulting. Accepting that the United States exists and continues its evil ways because of “systemic racism,” essentially the fantastic “1619 Project’s” view of America, has become the “Heil!’ sign of the rising totalitarians among us.

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Unethical Tweet Of The Week: Matt Zoller Seitz, With An Assist From Ann Althouse, Sliming Principled Whistleblowers

Stoller tweet

Let me preface this commentary with some disjointed points:

  • When tweets are involved, I should probably call this category “Unethical Tweet Of The Hour.” Minute, even.
  • Matt Zoller Seitz is a hard-left critic and screenwriter who sometimes opines for the proudly Left-Lunatic “Daily Kos.”
  • Ann Althouse’s reaction to this—she gets the EA Pointer for finding the tweet—puts me in mind of Captain Von Trapp’s rebuke to his friend, the venal and principle-free theatrical producer Max, in “The Sound of Music” film when Max tries to rationalize the Anschluss by noting that it was “peaceful”: “You know, Max. . . . . .sometimes I don’t believe I know you.”
  • She also professed ignorance at the tweet’s reference to “the Bruenigs.” See the note immediately above: it took me ten seconds to check the reference, longer than it must have taken Ann to write that she didn’t understand it. Matt Bruenig is a Socialist pundit, and Elizabeth Bruenig is a former columnist at the Washington Post of similar ideological sympathies, now with the New York Times. The Bruenigs have a podcast called “The Bruenigs.”
  • The “tweets” Althouse refers to relates to a re-tweeter of the Seitz tweet who added this shot from a film I couldn’t identify:

Preppy assholes

Sietz is scummily implying that criticizing the now obvious turn by the American Left to totalitarian-style speech suppression and the mainstream news media’s complicity in the process is the equivalent of Fifties-style, white prep school  conservatism mocked in films like “Auntie Mame,” Animal House,” and “Trading Places.” In fact, Greenwald, Sullivan, Yglesias and, though unsmeared here, Matt Taibbi are all left-leaning journalists or pundits of long standing who have had the integrity to break with their biased and unethical employers to blow necessary whistles on their former colleagues, as mainstream journalism has abandoned any pretense of doing its job while following its own ethics rules.

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