Ethics Hero: Michelle Obama

Like it or not, Michelle Obama has established herself as a cultural role model, and millions of American respect her statements and opinions and take them to heart. As clearly contrary to reality as  her now-famous “When the go low, we go high” remark was—its is difficult to remember the last time the Democratic leadership “went high”—the statement would have been an ethical one if it were true, and was still arguably aspirational, unless regards it as cynical public deception.

(Which, I confess, I have…)

This week, as important voices in her party increasingly courted hate, anger and violence among members of the public in the wake of Operation Smear Kavanaugh failing so spectacularly, the former First Lady refused to encourage the mob, and told the Today Show,

“Fear is not … a proper motivator. Hope wins out, and if you think about how you want your kids to be raised, how you want them to think about life and their opportunities, do you want them afraid of their neighbors? Do you want them angry? Do you want them vengeful?…Which motto do you want them to live by? And I have to think about that as a mother.”

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Florida State Senator Frank Artiles Resigns After Calling Colleagues “Niggers”…

Obviously, we can’t have that conduct from an elected official. He had to resign; there is no question about that. Artiles was at a members-only club in Tallahassee earlier this week when he was speaking with fellow state Senators Audrey Gibson (D) and Perry Thurston (D), who are both black.  Artiles told them, in the course of an obscenity-rich rant, that “six niggers” had helped get Senate President Joe Negron  elected.

I’ll give Artiles credit for one thing: he didn’t resort the Pazuzu Excuse (“This isn’t who I am, and what I said does not reflect what I think or feel”), which is what almost all public figures in his self-authored predicament do. His resignation letter’s main section reads,

It is clear to me my recent actions and words that I spoke fell far short of what I expect for myself, and for this I am very sorry. I apologize to my family and friends and I apologize to all of my fellow Senators and lawmakers. To the people of my district and all of Miami-Dade, I am sorry I have let you down and ask for your forgiveness. My actions and my presence in government is now a distraction to my colleagues, the legislative process, and the citizens of our great State. I am responsible and I am accountable and effective immediately, I am resigning from the Florida State Senate. It’s clear there are consequences to every action, and in this area, I will need time for personal reflection and growth.

Not bad.

What the episode made me ponder is this: what does using “nigger” when speaking about a black man or woman tell us about the speaker? Continue reading

Integrity Test For The Angry Left “Resisters”: Why, In Light Of Your Conduct And Rhetoric Since November 8, Is This Analysis Unreasonable?

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The last time Ethics Alarms  highlighted a provocative post by conservative writer Kurt Schlicter, it was designated here as irresponsible. I’m not as certain that his latest is. I wonder if there are Democrats and progressives who can make a substantive argument that he isn’t expressing a legitimate concern. ( Ad hominem arguments not accepted.)

The post is called Straightforward From Here To The Left’s Fascist, Maybe Violent, Endgame.

Here are some excerpts, with my initial reactions:

The Democrat Party, its Media serfs, and Social Justice Incorporated are all outraged because we uppity normals are again presuming to rule ourselves, and their agony is delightful. Less delightful is how, in the process of trying to claw their way back into power, they are incinerating the norms and rules that preserve our political order. That stuff Hillary babbled about honoring the legitimacy of elections? Yeah, no. There’s an invisible asterisk only liberals can see that explains that the norms and rules are void when liberals lose.

I don’t see how this statement can be rebutted. The tone is hostile, but the analysis is accurate.

Think what they will do if they take power again. They are certainly not going to risk us ever being able to repeat November’s rejection. California’s decline lays out their tyrannical road map. When the Democrats took power here, they “reformed” the election laws to lock-in their party, co-opted the “nonpartisan” redistricting process, and changed the ballot initiative system to make sure we will never see another unapproved proposition. They ensured there is no way to stop illegal aliens from voting because they want illegal aliens voting.

Over the top, but not too far. California no longer has a two party system, and has embraced progressive cant as policy even when there is no evidence that it won’t be disastrous, as with the high-speed rail debacle and the commitment to double the minimum wage. Of course, Democrats will take power again. If too many conservatives feel about them like Schlicter does, the conservative “resistance” may make this “resistance” look like child’s play.

Do you think Hillary Clinton or whatever aspiring Hugo Chavez they offer up next is going to protect us from violent leftist thugs, or encourage them? Remember how Obama weaponized agencies like the IRS against conservatives? Multiply that by a thousand. Think about the “hate speech” rules used to silence conservatives on campus; imagine them as federal law. That’s coming, just like in Europe – it’s now a crime in France to speak out against abortion. Do you imagine leftists don’t dream of doing that? No, once back in power they will ensure we will never be able to challenge their rule. One man (or woman or other), one vote, one more time, then never again.

It is, in fact, now illegal to oppose abortion in France. In the U.S. Robert Kennedy III has advocated imprisoning climate change skeptics. The popular progressive, globalist argument that progressives always use to advocate government health care, gun bans, and elimination of capital punishment are easily adaptable to free speech restrictions, and Democratic members of Congress have endorsed those already. The casual shrug the mainstream news media gave to the IRS scandal while the Holder Justice Department refused to investigate it was just as ominous as Schlicter implies. Continue reading

Comment Of The Day: “From The Ethics Alarms ‘For Each And Every Unethical Action, There Is An Equal And Opposite Unethical Reaction’ Files: Kurt Schlicter’s Irresponsible Column”

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The post about Kurt Schlicter’s warning and call to arms against a progressive establishment that he regards as having declared war on “normal” citizens attracted approximately the range of comments I expected, though I find the inclination of otherwise rational liberals to deny that the current progressive freak-out is unusual, unwarranted or worthy of alarm discouraging.

Here is Zoltar Speaks! reflecting on Schlicter’s rant  in his Comment of the Day on the post, From The Ethics Alarms ‘For Each And Every Unethical Action, There Is An Equal And Opposite Unethical Reaction’ Files: Kurt Schlicter’s Irresponsible Column.

I’m going to set aside some of the hyperbole and focus on a few points made by Kurt.

Kurt Schlicter wrote, ”Leftists don’t merely disagree with you. They don’t merely feel you are misguided. They don’t think you are merely wrong.”

I agree with this part.

Kurt Schlicter wrote, ”Once you get that, everything that is happening now will make sense.”

“Make sense;” that’s just ridiculous! Only if you choose to think like they are thinking can it “make sense”.

Kurt Schlicter wrote, ”They hate you.”

I agree that hate is taking over. This is a real problem for the left because the left has taken their attack the messenger to new levels and true hate is directed at the people they oppose NOT the ideological differences. The path of true hate usually has one end, violence.

Kurt Schlicter wrote, ”You are normal, and therefore a heretic.”

From their point of view that’s completely false; you are a heretic because you disagree with them, therefore you are abnormal. Continue reading

From The Ethics Alarms “For Each And Every Unethical Action, There Is An Equal And Opposite Unethical Reaction” Files: Kurt Schlicter’s Irresponsible Column

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Kurt Schlicter is a conservative, an author and a trial lawyer, and all three of those  factors are on display in his recent column for the conservative site Town Hall, titled, “The Left Hates You. Act Accordingly.” In saying that the essay is irresponsible and inflammatory does not  mean that I think it is badly reasoned or argued. Schlicter is passionate, articulate and skilled at his craft, and as much as I wish I could, it is difficult to take issue with his assessment of the current political climate and its implications.

Nonetheless, this is a deeply unethical article, irresponsible, reckless, and divisive. It is true hate speech, in that it both is constructed on hate and designed to create hate. It is also, I fear, very persuasive.

The column has its uses. If there are members of the Angry Left (perhaps the label needs to be updated to “The Berserk Left”) who are capable of recognizing where their current path may lead, Schlicter’s screed points the way. For three months, the entire progressive/Democratic/mainstream media complex has displayed escalating contempt for anyone who does not accept their favored view of the world, and has simultaneous demonized and marginalized half the country for the crime of engaging in the essential civic act of voting. If the furious anti-Trump “resisters” didn’t think this despicable defiance of traditional American responses after an election would spark a backlash, and a furious one, they have allowed hate to delude them. Schlicter’s column provides an accurate taste of what that backlash will be like.

Some excerpts, of a piece that needs to be read in its entirety:

They hate you. Leftists don’t merely disagree with you. They don’t merely feel you are misguided. They don’t think you are merely wrong. They hate you. They want you enslaved and obedient, if not dead. Once you get that, everything that is happening now will make sense. And you will understand what you need to be ready to do.

***

Understand that when they call Donald Trump “illegitimate,” what they are really saying is that our desire to govern ourselves is illegitimate. Their beef isn’t with him – it’s with us, the normal people who dared rise up and demand their right to participate in the rule of this country and this culture.

***

Oh, there are different leftist sects. There are the social justice warriors who have manufactured a bizarre mythology and scripture of oppression, privilege, and intersectionality. Instead of robes, they dress up as genitals and kill babies as a blasphemous sacrament. Then there are the pagan weather religion oddballs convinced that the end is near and that we must repent by turning in our SUVs. Of course, the “we” is really “us” – high priests of the global warming cult like Leonardo DiCaprio will still jet around the world with supermodels while we do the ritual sacrificing of our modern comforts. Then there are the ones who simply worship themselves, the elitists who believe that all wisdom and morality has been invested in them merely because they went to the right college, think the right thoughts, and sneer at anyone living between I-5 and I-95.

***

They are fanatics, and by not surrendering, by not kneeling, and by not obeying, you have committed an unpardonable sin. You have defied the Left, and you must be broken. They will take your job, slander your name, even beat or kill you – whatever it takes to break you and terrify others by making you an example. Your defiance cannot stand; they cannot allow this whole Trump/GOP majority thing to get out of control. They must crush this rebellion of the normal, and absolutely nothing is off the table.

***

So the only outcome is that one side wins and the other loses. There’s no truce to be had, no possibility of a tie. And the frightening thing is that the Left is so foolish, so stuck in its bubble that it has no understanding that it can only push so far before the people with all the guns and all the training push back. That’s the problem with kids who were raised on participation trophies and who never got into a fistfight – they don’t consider the possibility that they will lose, and lose hard.

***

You get the idea. The problem is that in light of what we have been seeing and hearing, that idea does not seem as extreme or hyperbolic as it should.

Thus the hatefulness of this piece has a real chance of taking root, but if it does, Kurt Schlicter will not be the reason. The conduct of the Left clears the way for such feelings and beliefs, and they are feelings and beliefs that a unified, democratic nation can not survive. All Americans have an ethical obligation to restrain these fight-or-flight instincts, and to soothe and mellow the anger and emotion that feed them. At the same time, the Left must stop the dangerous activities and rhetoric that inspired Schlicter to write what he did. They will lead increasing numbers of citizens to find themselves nodding their heads as his words, or similar ones, cause the blood to rush to their faces.

All citizens have to accept their duty to be responsible, respectful, and intimately, to trust in each other, our shared heritage and values, and the far-from perfect but still vibrant and essential culture we have created together. We are careering, as one, toward a deadly precipice. Our leaders have failed us by surrendering to powerlust, narrow loyalties and vengeance, so we have to stop ourselves. Screeds like Schlicter’s do not help, but the catalyst for his screed has been an irresponsible and self-indulgent abandonment of ethics–fairness, respect, prudence, honesty and citizenship—from people who seem awfully recognizable as those the writer evoked when he wrote,

” [A]ccept the truth that if we let them win we will spend the rest of our lives on our backs with a giant Birkenstock pressed into our collective face.”

Kurt Schlicter’s column is, as I stated at the beginning, unethical and hateful. It is also a warning, ignored at our peril.

Unethical Blog Post Of The Month: The Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler

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I normally would not have read this post, not being a regular fan of The Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler. However, more than one political website that I do frequent cited the post with favor, and this is profoundly depressing. The pots expresses classic non-ethical reasoning, based entirely on emotions like anger, hatred, desire for revenge, and joy at the pain of others. The blog, interestingly, includes a page on logical fallacies, but not one on rationalizations. The post, titled “How’s That Shoe on the Other Foot, Prozis?,” is the wholesale expression of an especially destructive rationalization, “Tit for Tat,”  that is well-expressed in the Golden Rule distortion, “Do Unto Others As They Did Unto You, But Even Harder, If Possible.”

This screed does have value: it does support my theory that a large portion of Donald Trump’s support was akin to Delta House’s decision in “Animal House,” spurred by this kind of logic:

Otter: Bluto’s right. Psychotic… but absolutely right. We gotta take these bastards. Now we could do it with conventional weapons, but that could take years and cost millions of lives. No, I think we have to go all out. I think that this situation absolutely requires a really futile and stupid gesture be done on somebody’s part!

Bluto: We’re just the guys to do it.

I wrote,

“In Germany, The Big Cheese says jump and the Germans say “How high?” In the US, the response is “Fuck you!” Obama never understood that. He and the Democrats are finally getting the “fuck you!” they have been asking for. I love that about America. And much as I hate the idea of an idiot being President, I do love the message and who it was sent to. America still has spunk.”

I should have also noted that the spunk is often registered in reckless and unethical ways.

The post begins with approving cites to quotes from a commenter: Continue reading

Comment Of The Day (A Deft Rebuttal!) : “Comment of the Day: ‘From The Signature Significance Files: Trump And The Teleprompter. Seriously, How Can You Even Consider Voting For A Guy Like This?”’

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I posted Fattymoon’s lament regarding the state of America’s culture, politics and prospects late last night, and yet another deserving Comment of the Day arrived in record time, this morning at 8:41 PM.

Here is Tim Hayes’  rebuttal to FattyMoon’s Comment of the Day in response to “From The Signature Significance Files: Trump And The Teleprompter. Seriously, How Can You Even Consider Voting For A Guy Like This?”

(THE MANAGEMENT FULLY AGREES WITH AND ENTHUSIASTICALLY ENDORSES THE OPINION EXPRESSED HERE.)

“To this very day I call for armed revolution and don’t give a fuck who knows it. Maybe Homeland Security will make me a return visit at one in the morning. But, this time, I ain’t inviting them in. Ain’t got no guns”

This statement, right here? This is the symptom of so damn many of the problems facing our country right now. I’m not saying that to attack FM as an individual, here, but rather to reject a representative of a mentality that provokes the gnashing of teeth and tearing of hair. So please, when reading this post, understand that all directed comments towards a “you” are directed towards anyone sharing that mentality, not at a specific individual.

You call for armed revolution, but you don’t have arms with which to join one.

You call for changes to who is elected to office, but you then say “but I only voted twice” with the clear implication that you’re not to blame for how things are.

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