Monday Ethics Final, 3/8/2021: A Bad Day In The Revolution

GnadenhuttenMassacre

March 8 should be a day that “lives in infamy,” but it isn’t, in part because of this nation’s, and all nations’, tendency to forget episodes in their history that they would rather pretend didn’t happen. On this date in 1782, 160 Pennsylvania militiamen slaughtered 96 Christian Indians including 39 children, 29 women and 28 men. The Patriots killed their captives by hammering their skulls with mallets from behind, as the victims knelt praying and singing. The Patriots then piled the bodies in mission buildings, and burned the entire Moravian Mission at Gnadenhutten to the ground in the Ohio territory. . The Pennsylvanians claimed that the attack was revenge for raids on their frontier settlements, but the Native Americans they killed were not involved in any attacks. In fact, they were pacifists who had been assisting the Americans against the British by serving as scouts and performing other services.

There were consequences of the massacre, though not to the criminals responsible. Despite talk of bringing the murderers to justice, no charges were filed. But Native American tribes became less willing to trust the Patriots as the Revolutionary War continued. When General George Washington heard about the massacre, he told his soldiers to avoid being captured alive by Indian forces, as he feared the Americans would be tortured. Many were, and Native Americans had longer memories of the atrocity at Gnadenhutten than the citizens of the new nation. In 1810, Shawnee chief Tecumseh pointedly reminded future General and later President William Henry Harrison, “You recall the time when the Jesus Indians of the Delawares lived near the Americans, and had confidence in their promises of friendship, and thought they were secure, yet the Americans murdered all the men, women, and children, even as they prayed to Jesus?”

Theodore Roosevelt, a historian in addition to his other pursuits, called the atrocity “a stain on frontier character that the lapse of time cannot wash away.”

But it has, hasn’t it?

1. And they said Trump supporters were stupid! A group called Pro-Life Evangelicals for Biden feel betrayed:

Pro Biden

These people really believed that the Democratic Party was going to “engage” on the topic of abortion, and that electing Joe Biden President would lead to compromises and moderation on the issue. Let me write that again: These people really believed that the Democratic Party was going to “engage” on the topic of abortion, and that electing Joe Biden President would lead to compromises and moderation on the issue.As you know, I have constant difficulty accepting the principle that being stupid isn’t unethical. Outrageous stupidity makes me angry, and maybe that’s unfair. Episodes like this are difficult for me to put in perspective.

Continue reading

Ethics Dunce: Gov. Rick Perry

GOP Presidential Candidate History: The Battle of Concord, fought in 16th Century New Hampshire

I’ve been down this road too many times with various Tea Party favorites, so I’ll make it brief:

  • If you are going to keep talking about the Founders, the Declaration, the Constitution and the Revolutionary War, get your facts right. Paul Revere was not warning the British (Sarah); the Shot Heard ‘Round the World was not fired in New Hampshire, no Founding Father  did  spend his life trying to get rid of slavery,  and John Quincy Adams wasn’t a Founding Father (Michele); and “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” isn’t from the Constitution (Herman).
  • Don’t make the public more cynical than it already is about the intelligence and competence of its elected leadership by sounding like an ignoramus.
  • Don’t make our already historically ignorant public even more ignorant by giving it  bad information, from a supposedly trustworthy source. Continue reading

American Disrespect for History, April 18 Edition

I waited until midnight, just to see if how many major news organizations would note the importance of April 18 before it was over. Oh, many mentioned the Boston Marathon, and almost every one of them prominently mentioned that it was tax day. The real importance of April 18, however, and the American heroes who made it significant, was ignored yesterday in all but a pitiful few newspapers and websites. It was yet another example of this country’s growing disrespect for its origins, its ignorance of the deeds of the men and women who created the United States, and the increasing disconnect between America’s present and its founding ideals.

On April 18, 1775, an accomplished silversmith named Paul Revere, eventually joined by fellow patriots  Charles Dawes and Dr. Samuel Prescott, rode from Charlestown, Mass. to Lexington, stopping at houses and farms along the way to warn the occupants that “The British are coming!” Continue reading

Comment of the Day: “Ethics Dunce: Rep. Michele Bachman”

Oh, how I LOVE LOVE LOVE this comment, from “ruralcounsel,” regarding my post about Michele Bachmann embarrassing herself, and not for the first time. Seldom does a commenter employ such shameless rationalizations and staples of intellectual dishonesty, and for his grand finale, he breaches one of the explicit Comment Policies by employing that all-purpose fallacy, “you’re just using ethics to go after political enemies.” I’m especially happy about the latter, because no one has accused me of being biased against the Right since “Ronbo.” I can’t hope for as much entertainment from ruralcounsel, but I am certainly grateful for this (Forgive me. I have to give interlinear commentary. I can’t resist): Continue reading

Ethics Dunce: Rep. Michele Bachmann

Ah! Historical New Hampshire...

Rep. Michele Bachmann (D-Minn), Tea Party leader and potential presidential candidate, recently told a Manchester, New Hampshire crowd that she was in the state of “the shot heard ’round the world.” Ethics Foul. Minnesota disgrace. Congressional Disgrace. Tea Party disgrace. National disgrace.

U.S. educational system disgrace!

As most grade school children know (Some grade school children? Grade school children in New England, maybe? Please?), the source of that loud shot, the Battle of Concord (the Battle of Lexington was fought on the same day) was fought in Concord, Massachusetts, which, like Lexington, is a next door neighbor of my home town, Arlington, Massachusetts, known as Menotomy on April 18, 1775 —which, as Rep. Bachmann can tell you, was also the date of Phil Sheridan’s ride. Oops! I mean Paul Revere’s ride! Continue reading