Monday Morning Ethics Warm-Up, 8/10/2020: Stelter Gaslighting, “Neither Rain Nor Snow,” A Good Lawsuit, And Orwellian Marketing [CORRECTED!]

Goooood Morning!

The song is from one of my favorite Broadway cast albums. The show (which I directed in college) is something of a mess, but the songs are terrific. Anthony Newley was a talented songwriter (with writing partner Leslie Bricusse) and a triple threat performer who was just a little bit too intense for some people. Among his best known songs with Bricusse are “The Candyman,” “Feelin’ Good” (from “Greasepaint,”) “Gonna Build A  Mountain” and “What Kind of Fool Am I?” (from “Stop the World, I Want To Get Off.” “On a Wonderful Day” is sung on the album by Cyril Richard, whom older readers will remember as the definitive Captain Hook, menacing Mary Martin in the live TV versions of “Peter Pan.”

1. This is wonderfully hilarious. Brian Stelter strikes again. From his CNN show yesterday:

STELTER: “When you see entire media companies essentially exist to tear down Joe Biden, is there an equivalent of that on the left, tearing down Trump?”

GUEST: “There really isn’t.”

Do any CNN viewers really believe this? How much gaslighting can a CNN talking head get away with?

2. Res Ipsa Loquitur. Running a small business trying to struggle through the lockdown when our main income is from live presentations, my wife and I are finding cash flow tougher than ever. Today we were alerted by the USPS that a large check we have been waiting for was delivered two days ago. (It wasn’t.) A few weeks back, we received what looked like an important letter addressed to someone in Spokane, Washington. Yet I will be encouraging voter suppression if I suggest that mail-in ballots are a disastrous idea.

It’s interesting: the same people who insist that the United States is out of step if it doesn’t emulate “other developed nations” in such matters as government health care and banning capital punishment are oddly silent about the overwhelming hostility to voting by mail in Europe. Paul Bedard points out,

Most developed countries, especially in Europe, ban mail-in voting to fight vast fraud and vote buying that had threatened the integrity of their elections, according to an exhaustive review of voting rules and histories in over 30 major nations. In the European Union, 63% have put a ban on mailing in ballots except for citizens living overseas. Another 22% have imposed a ban even for those overseas. And most of those that allow mail-in ballots require some form of photo ID to get one, according to the report from the Crime Prevention Research Center shared with Secrets. “These countries have learned the hard way about what happens when mail-in ballots aren’t secured. They have also discovered how hard it is to detect vote buying when both those buying and selling the votes have an incentive to hide the exchange,” said author John R. Lott, the center’s president.

Meanwhile, we don’t have to rely on Europe’s example to figure out this is a terrible and dangerous idea. From NBC:

More than 1 in 5 mail-in ballots were rejected in New York City during the state primary June 23, the city’s certified election results revealed this week. City election officials rejected 84,000 ballots — 21 percent of all those received by election officials. More than 403,000 ballots were returned to election officials, according to city data, but only about 319,000 absentee ballots were counted, the certified results showed… The U.S. Postal Service, unused to the deluge of prepaid mailers, reportedly left postmarks off ballots, leaving thousands of them to be rejected because it was unclear they were sent on time.

If I were conspiracy-minded, I’d suspect that Democrats want chaos in the November election–all the better to reject the results and take to the streets. Continue reading

Sunday Morning Ethics Warm-Up, 8/9/2020: Whining, Lying, Slipping, Faking, Scaring….

Good morning.

I detest that sappy Ray Stevens song, and have since the first time I heard it. But I have to try something…

1. There’s no whining in baseball! Note to MLB players: heroes and role models don’t whine.  Players have been making excuses for their flaccid play—of course, only the players who aren’t playing well are complaining—that the lack of a crowd makes it difficult to  bear down during games. The Red Sox broadcasters, including two former players, keep talking about this over and over again. Two games ago, Red Sox newcomer Alex Verdugo, in his second season, made a great catch to take away a home run, and the only cheering to be heard (I’m not including the fake crowd noises) was coming from Verdugo himself.  “In a normal game, he’d be getting  a standing ovation! A curtain call out of the dugout!” said Dennis Eckersley.

Oh, cry me a river. These guys are supposed to be professionals, and they get millions of dollars to play a game for living, one they supposedly love. I don’t believe they need crowds screaming to “get up” for big moments, and if they do, something’s wrong with them. Every kid who played sandlot baseball manged to perform at his or her best because that’s what competitors in any game do.

Then there’s Red Sox slugger J.D. Martinez, who is off to a miserable start. His excuse? Part of the MLB protocols during the pandemic prohibits players from in-game use of video equipment. Martinez is used to looking at videos of his at bats during games to pick up on any flaws in his swing, so he has complained that not being able to have access to the usual devices  is contributing to his slump.

Not surprisingly, the former players in the booth have not been particularly sympathetic to his plight, having played in those dark ages when baseball players just played baseball during the games.

2. Telling us all we need to know about “Defund police,” the current Democratic Party, Minnesota,  the former co-chair of the Democratic National Committee, and the mainstream media…MN Attorney General Keith Ellison recommended last month that women not call police to report when they’ve been raped. Ellison, who coincidentally has been accused of rape himself, said,

“If you’re a woman who’s been a victim of a sexual assault, and the assailant ran away, wouldn’t you rather talk to somebody who is trained in helping you deal with what you’re dealing with, as opposed to somebody whose main training is that they know how to use a firearm? Right?”

That’s the kind of  statement I would expect from a teenage social justice warrior like David Hogg. Ellison is the top law enforcement official in the state, and his definition of a police officers is that that their main skill is using a gun? Continue reading

Saturday Ethics Depression, 8/8/2020: Irresponsible Parents, Irresponsible Voters, Irresponsible Troll-Makers

This is my state of mind today.

I began today driving for two hours to find a meeting for which I had been given the wrong address, and, like the fool that I have always been, didn’t bring along the phone number of anyone who could help me. It is during ordeals like this that I begin to reflect on what a failure and underachiever I am, and how I really don’t have enough time left for turnaround. All that privilege,  and good fortune, wasted. And I have no one to blame but myself.

Then I had to write about the stuff you’ll find below, and I got really depressed.

1. “Nah, there’s no mainstream media bias, and why aren’t you agreeing with what I say?” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi got angry when PBS NewsHour” anchor Judy Woodruff dared to ask a question that cahllenged the Democratic Party position in dispute with Republicans on over the content of a “Phase 4” Wuhan Virus aid bill.

When Woodruff asked Pelosi about the “flexibility” GOP lawmakers are showing in terms of allocating more money for state and local governments, as well as Republican arguments that “much of the money” allocated in the CARES Act “has not even been spent yet,” Pelosi snapped,  “Well, if you want to be an advocate for them, Judy, if you want to be an advocate for them, listen to what the facts are.”

In other word, “Hey! You’re supposed to be on our side!”

Actually, ethical journalists are not supposed to be on anyone’s side, but that quaint ethics  concept has been abandoned by virtually all journalists, including  Woodruff.

“I’m playing devil’s advocate here,!” Woodruff protested. You know, the devil, Republicans—same thing!

2. Better yet, don’t ride the subway! Here is a Wuhan virus safety sign from the New York City subways.

In addition to telling people they should wear masks, it goes to the next level and wants people to avoid interacting at all. This is incompetent messaging and  shows a basic misunderstanding of humans in general and American in particular. It also makes me suspicious: Big Brother is still working to make as all compliant automaton. If we can’t talk, we can’t resist.

It reminds me of the early “don’t touch you face!” warnings. People touch their face thousands of times a day. That message made me skeptical of all the advice from “experts” and governments, and indeed, you hardly hear it any more.

Social interaction is essential to life. Continue reading

Unethical Quote Of The Week: Joe Biden.

“The way Trump…the way China will respond is when we gather the rest of the world that in fact [unintelligible] in in fr… in in in in open trade and making sure that we’re in a position that the world, uh, that that we deal with WHO the right way that in fact that’s when things begin to change, that when China’s behavior is going to change.”

—-Joe Biden yesterday, in an interview with NPR.

Why is this unethical? It’s unethical for anyone to run for any public office, especially President, when he or she is subject to outburst of Authentic Frontier Gibberish like that. To do so is irresponsible, unpatriotic, a breach of public duty, and dangerous.

Unethical Quote Of The Week: Joe Biden, Since We’ve Been Talking About His Deflating Brain…

“No, I haven’t taken a test. Why the hell would I take a test? C’mon man. That’s like saying you, before you got in this program, if you take a test where you’re taking cocaine or not, what do you think huh? Are you a junkie?”

Joe Biden, answering CBS News’ Errol Barnett’s question about whether Biden has taken an tests to measure his cognitive ability.

Yikes.

1 Joe said just last month, “I’ve been tested and I’m constantly tested.” Is he lying, or has he forgotten?

2. If Donald Trump asked a black journalist if he was a junkie, what would that be cited as evidence of?

3. Interesting analogy. If Barnett was a junkie, then he wouldn’t want to take a drug test. And Biden doesn’t want to take a cognitive test because….?

“Ethics Dunce” Is Too Nice A Label For CNN’s Brian Stelter

And it insults both unethical journalists and dunces.

Stelter is special. Consider that this mega-hack and shameless partisan shill was the media reporter for the New York Times before taking on the job for CNN, and you know all you need to know about the trustworthiness of both Stelter and the Times.

We already know about the the trustworthiness of CNN.

A little background on Stelter’s latest equivalent of hiring a skywriter to put “I am a the King of the Hacks!” in blue and white over every major city:

One of the many, many things Democrats are terrified of as the 2020 election campaign approaches in earnest is that they have as a presumptive nominee for President a man who was once a gaffe-prone mediocrity but absolutely adequate to serve as a Vice-President for a healthy young POTUS, but who, in his late seventies, has shown unmistakable signs of cognitive decline. This, it should be said, was screamingly obvious the second Biden announced his candidacy: I was alarmed the first time I saw him speak. It was irresponsible and cynical for Democrats to encourage him to run; cruel for his family to let him run, and proof of desperation that primary voters supported him.

It is an open secret that Biden and his party have allowed the pandemic and lock-down to minimize his public exposure this long, but that lucky circumstance is running out quickly. Biden will have to be interviewed by some non-generous journalists eventually. He also will have to debate Donald Trump, but some progressives and Democrats, and their media allies,  are trying to find a way to let Joe avoid the debates, which have been a feature of every Presidential campaign since 1976. That’s 44 years and eleven campaigns. The public expects debates. If Biden refuses to debate while the President repeatedly calls him out, it will be a disaster for him. Even knowing this, Democrats seem to think that Joe engaging in debates will be an even greater disaster given the rate of Biden’s deterioration. Continue reading

Addendum: “Unethical Quotes Of The Month, Incompetent Elected Official, And John Lewis Memorial Ethics Dunce: Rep. James Clyburn”

I thought I was through blogging for the day, but I saw this story, which shows, in vivid terms,

  • …how closely the “Axis of Unethical Conduct” works together on its false narratives,
  • …how Big Lie #3, that Donald Trump  is an aspiring dictator, still drives the media’s framing of the Trump Presidency,
  • …how biased, unprofessional and unethical CNN is—but we knew that,
  • …what a low-life hack April Ryan is, as her Ethics Alarms dossier already demonstrates,
  • …how blatant the Big Lie tactic has become. This is the rare future Big Lie species,
  • …the unpunished depravity of Hillary Clinton, Rep. Maxine Waters, Joe Biden,  Clyburn of course, MSNBC’s Joy Reid and CNN’s editor-at-large Chris Cillizza, among others, who have, indecently ,asserted this fantasy, based only on the familiar “Trump is a bad guy so we can assume that he would do this” logic. This is the basis upon which a famous ex-commenter here argued that the Russian collusion allegations were true, and evidence be damned. It has been the predominant theme of the Facebook Deranged for nearly four years. It is, of course, the essence of bigotry: deciding that someone must have done something or will do something because of who they are, or what someone thinks they are.

Ryan, a CNN political analyst, which tells you all you need to know about what CNN has become,  declared, Continue reading

Unethical Quotes Of The Month, Incompetent Elected Official, And John Lewis Memorial Ethics Dunce: Rep. James Clyburn

Unethical Quote #1:

“I feel very strongly that he is Mussolini, Putin, is Hitler.”

House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn (D-S.C., slander President Trump and broadcasting Big Lie #2 on CNN yesterday.

Unethical Quote #2, same interview.

“I believe very strongly that this guy never had any idea about being — want to peacefully transfer power. I don’t think he plans to leave the White House. He doesn’t plan to have fair and unfettered elections.I believe that he plans to install himself in some kind of emergency way to continue hold onto office.”

And I believe the two statements, lacking any justification, factual basis, or reasoning whatsoever, are signature significance for an official and a party that has lost all claim to civility, fairness, trustworthiness or respect. Continue reading

The Unethical Candidacy Of Joe Biden And “Somebody”

Quick, Democrats: Name your next President…

We were told that whatever it is that Joe Biden  is now would announce his choice for Vice-President today. Today it has been announced that the decision will be put off for another week. This is bad news for the Trump Deranged, the “resistance” and the news media (but I repeat myself), though so far I haven’t seen any articles from that news media explaining why.

The entire Biden/Democratic victory plan is to make the election between Trump and Not-Trump, a fantasy Rorschach ideal that doesn’t exist. The more Biden hides, the fewer details about him are revealed to apathetic and lazy voters who barely knew who he was during the Obama administration and before—Neil Kinnock? Who’s that? What Clarence Thomas hearings?—the more likely Biden is to get elected. Then there’s the senility problem. And the sexual harassment problem. And his enabling  influence-peddling by his son problem. Soon we’ll have more details of his participating in the framing of General Flynn, and lying about it.

The news media will help keep as much of this out of the public consciousness as possible, but there are limits, and one of the biggest limit sis that Biden has to have a real person as his running mate, and he is painted into a corner. He has to pick a woman—this was pre-ordained for whatever candidate the Democrats chose the second the #MeToo wave began, if that candidate wasn’t female—and the George Floyd Freakout made it mandatory that the choice be a black woman, making the pool ridiculously small. Worse, a majority of the public has seen enough to figure out that between Joe’s advanced age and advancing IQ deficit, whoever is VP is more likely to become President than anyone elected to that office in US history.

No one on Biden’s list is qualified. None of them. An ethical candidate running under the banner of an ethical party would decide that if the demographically desirable VP options weren’t up to the job, then he couldn’t pick any of them. But race is all that matters to this mutation of the Democratic Party, and winning is all that matters to Joe. Continue reading