Trans Activist Ethics Train Wreck Update: The Dave Chappelle “Hate Speech” Hypocrisy

From the New York Times front page today:

“Netflix…the tech company that revolutionized Hollywood, is now in an uproar as employees challenge the executives responsible for its success and accuse the streaming service of facilitating the spread of hate speech and perhaps inciting violence.”

Observations:

1. It’s time—way past time, in fact—to emphatically define what “hate speech” is. First of all, hate speech, whatever it is, is 100% protected speech. It is Constitutional, First Amendment, lawful, beyond all argument speech. Second, I use “whatever it is” because the phase is deliberately vague and subjective so those seeking to censor discourse, advocacy, non-conforming points of view, satire and insults can place the expression of ideas by someone else into a category that suggests malign agency and intent.Then, those crying “hate speech” can advocate silencing whatever it was they are labeling.

We’re on to them, or should be by now. Calling something “hate speech” is like the Southern Poverty Law Center’s dishonest “hate group” label. It’s a cheat.

2. Hate is not a good thing in human relations (there are exceptions), but it is legal and, like all emotions, not unethical. Acting on the hate may be unethical, but not hate itself.

3. I have watched “The Closer,”Dave Chappelle’s Netflix special now under fire, twice. There is nothing hateful in it, unless one thinks that all mockery, satire and jokes with an edge are hate.

I don’t think “The Closer” is very good, especially by Chappelle’s standards. It’s not especially funny, for instance. It’s also not very smart, and Chappelle, if nothing else, is smart and usually shows it. It’s not smart because the controversy over how society should regard transgender individuals is interesting, perhaps difficult, raises interesting ethical and practical issues, but in the grand scheme of things, it’s just not as important as the attention paid to it makes it seem. This is a tiny minority: yes, these issues are important to them. But Chappelle’s show is like a deliberate employment of the Streisand Effect: he’s obviously annoyed about having to deal with trans issues, so he spends a whole, high-profile special complaining, explaining, and riffing regarding it. Since he’s a comedian, this could be justified if he mined it for comedy gold, but he doesn’t.

If he isn’t going to be funny, then he has to be profound, or he’s wasting our time. Not only is the thing not profound, it’s barely coherent. Not that there’s anything wrong with that: stand-up is a high wire act, and the best comics sometimes fall hard. But the contrived controversy over “The Closer” is giving the performance more significance than it deserves, and allowing Chappelle to accept accolades for a performance that was really subpar.

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Mid-Day Ethics Survey, 10/6/21: Enterprise Lies, And Shooting Capt. Kirk Back Into Space

I missed the warm-up yesterday, as life, deadlines and the Red Sox-Yankee one game play-off interfered. Now I’m horribly backed up.

Yesterday was an important ethics date in our history, and an especially bad one for Native Americans. On October 5 in 1813, during the War of 1812, a combined army of British and Native American forces were defeated by General William Harrison’s American army at the Battle of the Thames in Ontario, Canada. The leader of the Indian warriors was Tecumseh, the powerful Shawnee chief who organized inter-tribal resistance to white settlers on Native lands. He was killed in the fighting, spelling doom for Native American resistance east of the Mississippi. The defeated tribes soon moved west, which bought them time but no peace. Sixty-five years later, on the anniversary of Tecumseh’s defeat, Chief Joseph of the Nez Perce tribes surrendered to U.S. General Nelson A. Miles in the Bear Paw mountains of Montana. Joseph was another remarkable Native American leader: after the U.S. government broke a land treaty with the Nez Perce that forced them out of their homeland. The area in Idaho they were ordered to move to was unacceptable, so over three months, Chief Joseph led about 300 Nez Perce to the Canadian border, a 1,000 mile trek, as they fled and fought 2,000 pursuing U.S. soldiers. Only 40 miles short of the Canadian border, Chief Joseph’s group was trapped by the U.S. Army, and escorted to a barren reservation. His famous quote expresses the futility and sadness of the entire, cruel but inevitable destruction of the Native American tribes and the appropriation of their territory by white settlers.

Is something that experience teaches us cannot be avoided still unethical? I believe so, but that conclusion leads to the slippery slope of “life is unfair” and what can or should be done about it.

1. ‘Where have you gone, Jackie Robinson?’ Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren is resigning from office after accepting a plea deal regarding charges of financial misappropriation. She joins a long list of black, female mayors in major cities—San Francisco, Chicago, Washington D.C. and Baltimore, which has had a succession—that have embarrassed their cities, parties and supporters by proving utterly untrustworthy and incompetent, if not outright corrupt. This doesn’t help. If the idea is to increase the number of female, black officials, it is important that all of these ‘firsts” actually be good leaders. Having one spectacularly awful black, female mayor after another is how biases take hold. Of course the fact that so many black, female mayors of recent vintage have been unqualified, obnoxious fools shouldn’t reflect negatively on future mayoral candidates who are deserving of support and trust, but inevitably it will. This is why parties and voters can’t adopt the Kamala Harris Standard that the Democrats imposed on us: “gender and color is qualification enough.” No, they aren’t. They aren’t qualifications at all.

2. Sometimes I think Biden isn’t even trying. Banks and their trade groups, including the American Bankers Association and the Independent Community Bankers of America, are almost certainly going to oppose Biden’s choice to lead the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency. Why? Oh, not much, just that her past writing suggest that she’s a communist. The Wall Street Journal wrote that Omarova wants to adopt a Soviet-style banking system, which isn’t too surprising since “she graduated from Moscow State University in 1989 on the Lenin Personal Academic Scholarship. Thirty years later, she still believes the Soviet economic system was superior, and that U.S. banking should be remade in the Gosbank’s image.”

She’s tweeted about the deficiencies of the free market in terms of guaranteeing gender equity—why should any economic system generate gender equity? She also doesn’t like the idea of supply and demand determining the salaries and product prices; she wants these set by the government. Yeah, if there is one thing banking organizations want, it’s a Commie setting their regulations. Does the Biden administration vet these people at all? Or is the fact that she’s a minority female—another potential first!–automatically mean she’s a great choice in the eyes of the White House gang.

“The core of all of this and the source of our most significant concerns is we look at everything that she has said or written publicly, there are bold ideas that essentially look at eliminating the banking system as we know it today,” said Rebeca Romero Rainey, the president of the Independent Community Bankers of America.

If this is mistaken, wouldn’t you think the supporters of Comrade Omarova would have a rebuttal ready? So far, no comment.

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“The Best People” Strike Again! The Latest Trump Campaign Scandal

Trump lawyers

There is a legitimate “bombshell” story rapidly flashing across the news today. Its speed and prominence—specially on MSNBC and CNN, naturally— is explained by the fact that it can be used to attack and weaken Donald Trump, of whom the Axis remains justly terrified of having back in the White House (as should we all, though for other reasons). That the mainstream news media can barely restrain their glee and that Democrat partisan hacks will over-hype the revelation doesn’t make the story any less revolting. Nor does the fact that it should surprise no one.

The New York Times’ front page story reports…

“Two weeks after the 2020 election, a team of lawyers closely allied with Donald J. Trump held a widely watched news conference at the Republican Party’s headquarters in Washington. At the event, they laid out a bizarre conspiracy theory claiming that a voting machine company had worked with an election software firm, the financier George Soros and Venezuela to steal the presidential contest from Mr. Trump….By the time the news conference occurred on Nov. 19, Mr. Trump’s campaign had already prepared an internal memo on many of the outlandish claims about the company, Dominion Voting Systems, and the separate software company, Smartmatic. The memo had determined that those allegations were untrue. The court papers, which were initially filed late last week as a motion in a defamation lawsuit brought against the campaign and others by a former Dominion employee, Eric Coomer, contain evidence that officials in the Trump campaign were aware early on that many of the claims against the companies were baseless. “The documents also suggest that the campaign sat on its findings about Dominion even as Sidney Powell and other lawyers attacked the company in the conservative media and ultimately filed four federal lawsuits accusing it of a vast conspiracy to rig the election against Mr. Trump.”

I try to limit the number of posts here commenting on obvious unethical conduct unless the conduct is extreme, unusual, or culturally significant. Of course the conduct of the Trump campaign was unethical, but it was also distressingly close to what Trump’s enemies have been saying about the January 6, 2020 riot, and, to make another more apt comparison, what the Democrats, led by Hillary Clinton and Deep State saboteurs within the government, attempted to accomplish with their contrived “Russian collusion” plot. The objective in both cases was to use false information to shake the American public’s faith in their own institutions and systems of government to justify seizing power illicitly.

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A “Nah, There’s No Mainstream Media Bias!” Spectacular: Glenn Greenwald’s Ethics Quote Of The Month…[Updated]

Screen shot MSNBC

“This is a perfect microcosm of the Russiagate fraud that the country endured for four years. Hoaxes were repeatedly cooked up by private intelligence operatives working for the DNC or anti-Trump factions within the CIA and FBI, and then fed to friendly reporters, who laundered the falsehoods by publishing whatever they were given, without the slightest concern for whether they were true….”

—Independent reporter Glenn Greenwald in a searing and definitive essay titled “The Indictment of Hillary Clinton’s Lawyer is an Indictment of the Russiagate Wing of U.S. Media.

Greenwald goes on to say in this passage, which occurs towards the end of his thorough, detailed, infuriating essay,

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Ethics Observations On Gen. Milley’s Alleged Secret Calls To China

Milley

According to “Peril,” Bob Woodward’s latest pseudo-journalism relying on chatty leakers and other anonymous sources to expose the inside sausage-making of our government, Joint Chiefs Chairman General Mark A. Milley called his Chinese counterpart before the 2020 election and again after the January 6 riots because he feared that President Trump might start a war with China. From Woodward’s employer, the Washington Post:

In a pair of secret phone calls, Gen. Mark A. Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, assured his Chinese counterpart, Gen. Li Zuocheng of the People’s Liberation Army, that the United States would not strike, according to a new book by Washington Post associate editor Bob Woodward and national political reporter Robert Costa.

One call took place on Oct. 30, 2020, four days before the election that unseated President Donald Trump, and the other on Jan. 8, 2021, two days after the Capitol siege carried out by his supporters in a quest to cancel the vote. The first call was prompted by Milley’s review of intelligence suggesting the Chinese believed the United States was preparing to attack. That belief, the authors write, was based on tensions over military exercises in the South China Sea, and deepened by Trump’s belligerent rhetoric toward China. “General Li, I want to assure you that the American government is stable and everything is going to be okay,” Milley told him. “We are not going to attack or conduct any kinetic operations against you.”

In the book’s account, Milley went so far as to pledge he would alert his counterpart in the event of a U.S. attack, stressing the rapport they’d established through a backchannel. “General Li, you and I have known each other for now five years. If we’re going to attack, I’m going to call you ahead of time. It’s not going to be a surprise.”

Observations:

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And The Race For Most Dishonest NYT Leftist Propagandist Tightens!

horse-racing-capture2

“It’s Charles M. Blow in front as they round the turn, but HERE COMES KRUGMAN MAKING HIS MOVE ON THE RAIL!!!”

It’s so exciting!

I was going to include this as a note in the warm-up, and then I read all of the comments referring to the Democratic Party’s no longer even disguised embrace of totalitarianism, and decided, Jack Point-style, “Oh, I can’t let this pass!” For Krugman proved with his characteristic gaslighting op-ed this morning, hilariously headlined, “Foreign Terrorists Have Never Been Our Biggest Threat,” that if nothing else, he has chutzpah to spare. Who else would choose this moment, in a 9/11-themed column, to assert that Republicans are an existential threat to democracy? It would be satire, if only so many Times readers didn’t believe it. That fact makes it tragedy.

Let me remind you of Rationalization #64, which has increasingly become the operating philosophy of the Axis of Unethical Conduct as Trump-Derangement became an epidemic .Even I had forgotten that the description of the technique cited Krugman as a prime practitioner:

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The Big Lies Continue

I was going to retire the post collecting the Big Lies used to undermine the Trump Presidency, and now I’m considering updating them. In addition to still flogging old ones (Trump is a racist; Trump is a threat to democracy) at least three newer Big Lies are being weaponized by “the resistance”/Democratic Party/ mainstream media (The Axis of Unethical Conduct), because they think Trump Derangement can save them from accountability for putting Joe Biden in the White House. It had to be done, you see, because Trump is EVIL! EVIL!!!

The three Big Lies are the last one added, #9 “Trump’s Mishandling Of The Pandemic Killed People” and two not on the current list: “Trump incited an insurrection” and “Trump is responsible for the disaster in Afghanistan.” In order to bolster these lies, all useful to try to impugn Republicans and conservatives who still support Trump and to try to poison public opinion sufficiently that even Kamala Harris might defeat Trump if he runs in 2024, the Democrats and their allies routinely drag his name into every negative context imaginable. It is like subliminal brain-washing or hypnotism: Trump is dangerous! Trump is racist! Trump is the cause of all that is going wrong now! Everything is his fault, and the fault of all those fascist conservatives and racist deplorable who supported him!”

This mantra turns up everywhere. Tamsin Shaw, a professor of European and Mediterranean studies and philosophy at N.Y.U recenly reviewed “Dirty Work,” a non-fiction book about the unpleasant and ethically-troubling jobs in America. He includes this at the end of his review:

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Comment Of The Day: “Ethical Quote Of The Week: Donald Trump”

Just as Barack Obama’s despicable quote came to my attention shortly after a post directly relevant to it, James Hodgson’s comment on that post was perfectly timed as further exploration of my follow-up post, which I put up seconds before reading what James had written. It’s fate! Kismet! I couldn’t resist making his fortuitous observations relevant to two posts, one of which he hadn’t read yet, a Comment of the Day.

***

“his admirers…regard his exaggerations, careless misstatements, and counter-factual pronouncements as trivial compared to his willingness to say out loud what other politicians and elected officials will not.”

Certainly the Leftist media will never give Trump credit even for just saying what everybody already knows about polls and how they are used.

Like many conservatives who ultimately supported Trump in 2016 (and again in 2020), I did so not because he was my first (or even second) initial choice but because he was the only candidate who seemed to grasp the degree of popular discontent with the Left, its consistent march toward socialism, and their impatience with the GOP’s tepid response to these efforts.

He was the only candidate who, although not a hard-core conservative himself, understood conservatives’ continuing (and expanding) dissatisfaction with the establishment GOP for hijacking the “Tea Party” movement and quietly smothering it to death, and the rise of the neocons, who like the country-club RINOs aren’t trying to conserve anything. Conservatives were (and are) well and truly pissed about widespread federal misfeasance and overreach, and Trump assured conservatives that they were right to be pissed. Then he told them what he intended to do about it. He was as successful as could be expected after being opposed and vilified 24/7 for his entire term by the united forces of the Left.

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An Analysis Of How The Government, The Resistance And The News Media Forfeited The Trust of The American People

Image: Pro-Trump Protesters Gather At State Capitols Across The Nation On Day Of Electoral College Ratification

I wish it were my analysis, although every component of it (I think) has been covered here in the past, most of them several times.

One of those elements is the complete betrayal of the American public and our democracy by the news media. President Trump was excoriated and condemned for his pronouncement of the mainstream media as the”enemy of the people,” typical meat-axe rhetoric for him in an area that calls for more nuance and restraint by a President, but he was generally right, and Ethics Alarms declared him so. Similarly, he decried the weaponization of “fake news,” an accusation which was undeniable, yet people of good will and intelligence (well, they were once anyway) denied it, no matter how many instances occurred before or afterwards.

Last week a Rasmussen poll—it’s a conservative outfit: the other pollsters wouldn’t dare ask the questions—reported that 58% of likely voters agree with the “enemy of the people” assessment. It’s amazing and disturbing that the figure isn’t much higher. Who are the 23% who told Rasmussen they “strongly disagreed” with that description? What are they? Idiots? Saboteurs? Relatives of journalists? Or just progressives covering for their allies in a hostile takeover of the culture and nation?

But as I said, this was just one element. The tweeted epic by “Martymade,” apparently a podcaster whose real name is Daryl Cooper, covers far more than that. He wrote this in a series of 36 tweets on July 8, making it essentially unreadable by people like me (especially people like me who have quit Twitter), but managed to “go viral” nonetheless. Tucker Carlson read it all on Fox, but of course it’s not Fox News viewers who need to consider the analysis, but everyone else.

Here is the whole thing, made possible by an innovative new app called Threadreader. It is long, but it needs to be long. It is also clear, and true; I cleaned it up a little for readers here:

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A “Bias Makes Professionals Stupid And Unprofessional” Update

Trump photo defaced

Perhaps the saddest aspect of the 2016 Post Election Ethics Train Wreck and the resulting mass effort to bring down Donald Trump was the corruption of virtually all of our society’s professions, and the vast majority of their members. Educators, psychiatrists, teachers, judges— journalists, of course, though they were already pretty far gone; broadcasters, of course. Entertainment professionals and performers, heaven knows (That’s the Dixie Chicks and their clever and subtle political commentary above.) In addition to theater professionals, two more of my professions have disgraced themselves: lawyers and ethicists. The listserv of a legal ethics organization I belong to was virtually cackling with joy over Rudy Giuliani’s partisan and dangerous interim suspension in New York, while the same group has been notably unenthusiastic about criticizing out-of court hyperbole by anti-Trump lawyers like the recently sentenced Michael Avenatti. (I may have missed some more balanced attention because I dropped out of the group for about 18 months in disgust over its bias.) Here is a tweet by a conservative attorney that was just offered to the group for comment on whether it raised issues of professional misconduct:

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