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?”’

mcdonalds drive-thru

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?”


“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.

Continue reading

The Protest Ethics Check List And The Ferguson Demonstrations

APTOPIX Police Shooting Missouri

Protests are an American tradition, with protective rights enshrined in the Constitution, and a distinguished legacy that includes the Boston Tea Party and Martin Luther King’s civil rights marches and rallies. They are also perhaps the most misused and abused device in national politics. Most of them are useless, many of them are stupid, and too many of them do tangible harm.

The Obama Administration’s crisis of the hour is the Ethics Trainwreck in Ferguson, Missouri, where a perfect storm arose when an an inept, distrusted and untrustworthy police force and a poor and frustrated African-American population clashed over the Rashomon shooting of an unarmed black teen. Now there are demonstrations every day in Ferguson; several people have been killed, and the demonstrations have spawned rioting and looting.

What is the purpose of all of this? It better be a good one, given its cost, and the protesters better be right. The problem is that the protesters can’t possibly be right at this point, because the facts aren’t known. We are told that the reason for the demonstrations is larger than mere anger over the shooting of Michael Brown; that it’s about police harassment, abuse and violence against African-Americans and their lack of accountability for it. That would only be a sustainable justification if in fact the death of Brown was an unequivocal, clear-cut example of the phenomenon being protested. It is not, not yet, and it may never be. So again the question has to be asked: is it ethical to be protesting in Ferguson at all? Continue reading

Jesse Jackson, Jr. and Our Sick Democracy

Exactly what we deserve.

Exactly what we deserve.

In the end, the fact that Jesse Jackson, Jr. is going to jail in disgrace is less significant than what his disgraceful career represents. Jackson is only one man, and many men have failed their responsibilities to society while showing dire deficits of character in the process. Jackson’s career, however, is smoking gun evidence of the travesty we have allowed America’s democratic system of government to become. If there are any who still wonder why the nation seems incapable of addressing its problems and challenges responsibly,  look no further. This is a democracy whose citizenry has become too complacent, lazy, apathetic and ignorant for the privilege of self-government. The implications of this are terrifying.

Reading the various articles about Jackson’s imminent guilty plea to conspiracy charges, I was struck by the realization that this one-time rising political star is a child. He misappropriated over $750,000 in campaign funds to buy, among other gewgaws like a Rolex watch, such indefensible treasures as Bruce Lee memorabilia ($10,105), Michael Jackson mementos ($14,200), a “Michael Jackson and Eddie Van Halen” guitar for $4,000, and a Michael Jackson fedora, a bargain at $4,600…all with money donated to his political campaign. This is the caliber of mind and the considered priorities of the man entrusted by an Illinois congressional district to participate on their behalf in crucial decisions affecting jobs, the economy, and the course of the nation, while being consistently endorsed by our toadying news media. Continue reading

“Is We Getting Dummer?” Oh,Yes. Does We Care?

Why yes, it DOES remind me of “Idiocracy,” which is only funny if it isn’t true.

Today, just prior to convicting Drew Peterson of killing his wife, his jury sent a message to the judge asking what the word “unanimous” meant.

Think about the implications of this. First of all, it means that one man’s life and the U.S. justice system’s integrity is resting on the judgment of twelve people, not one of whom possesses a fifth grade vocabulary, or, if one of them does, he or she did not possess the skills of persuasion or credibility to convince a majority of his colleagues that yes, “unanimous” means that everybody is in agreement. It means that the voir dire system managed to carefully select the most ignorant and inarticulate jury of adults imaginable for a first degree murder trial.

That’s not all. It means that in Joliet, Illinois, a select group of twelve adults, in addition to possessing only a rudimentary English vocabulary, were completely uninformed about the jury system. To reach adulthood this stunningly ignorant about one of the basic features of our justice system and  democracy, these individuals could not have regularly read newspapers or watched the news, and if they did, could not possibly have understood what they were reading or seeing. Continue reading

Where Should The Alarms Sound For THIS?

I have little to add to the video above, which is nearly self-explanatory. A student took a video camera to the halls of his Washington State high school to quiz  class mates on basic U.S. history, geography and civics. I’m sure—I hope—that the answers shown on the video were atypical, but never mind: they are scary enough.

The blogger Kevin DuJan on Hillbuzz uses the video to attack teachers unions, writing,

As I watched the video above, two thoughts immediately popped into my head:

1. Why do teachers’ unions claim they deserve more pay and endless benefits when this is the result of their “hard work” in the classroom?

2. I honestly can’t remember anyone this dumb in my Catholic high school back in Ohio when I was going to school in the mid-90s. Continue reading

A Protest Code of Ethics

I began work on a protest code of ethics a decade ago, periodically putting it aside, then adding to it, subtracting from it, and refining it. I regard the current version as a work in progress still, but the discussion here regarding the “Occupy” movement prompted me to complete this initial final draft, at least. This is the first time it has been published.

It has been a source of continuing amazement to me that there was no such Code had been proposed previously, or none that I could locate. When an activity such as organized protesting, activity that is obviously rich with ethical dangers and the potential for excess, does not have  proposed or established ethical standards of conduct, the reason is usually that nobody wants to be limited by ethical considerations or to be held accountable for misconduct.  I strongly suspect that is the case here. Well, too bad. Now we have proposed standards with which to measure the ethical nature of protests. Whether these 25 principles are the first or the last, or just begin the discussion and inspire something better, is of no import. They open the discussion. It’s time.

The Protest Code of Ethics

A. Guiding principles

All participants in protests and demonstrations should recognize and respect the important role lawful assemblies for the purpose of airing grievances and advocating change and reform have played in the history of the nation and civilization, must strive to uphold the best of that tradition by upholding these ethical principles. A protest without leadership and objectives is only a mob, and a protest without discipline and respect for others is a riot.

B. Public protests
Any protest involving demonstrations or other public conduct… Continue reading

Rep. Wu and the Scourge of Government by Ventriloquist Dummies

I have a 90% completed post tentatively entitled “Why We Are Doomed” sitting in my drafts file, and I can’t bring myself to finish or post it. I don’t want to believe we are doomed, so the Golden Rule keeps telling me that I shouldn’t be trying to convince others we are doomed. I believe in hope. I believe that cultures, especially this culture, can do the right thing and still be successful, provided that they can find leaders and role models who represent and encourage ethical values.

On the other hand, I really do believe we, that is to say, the United States of America, are probably doomed.

A story unfolding now, a sad saga that has really been unfolding for a long time, illustrates one of the factors I lament over in my languishing draft. Rep. David Wu (D-Ore.) has been accused of an “unwanted sexual encounter” with the teenage daughter of a longtime friend. We have to be careful here, but there seems to be little doubt that the “encounter” occurred.  The Oregonian has reported that sources aware of the incident say that Congressman Wu, who is 56, “acknowledged a sexual encounter to his senior aides but insisted it was consensual.”

Wu has been a train wreck waiting to happen for a long, long time. Continue reading

When Not Voting Is The Right Thing To Do

I just listened to a CNN host chastise Americans for their relatively low voting percentage (less than 50%), and then urge “everybody” to vote–“Men and women have died for your right to vote!” he said. “Democrat, Republican, Independent or undecided–go to the polls and vote!”

Inspiring. And wrong. Continue reading

The Ethics of Non-Voting Candidates

Meg Whitman, the former eBay  C.E.O. making a run at the California State House from the Republican side, didn’t bother to register to vote until 2002.  Nassau County’s candidate for attorney general, Kathleen Rice, registered 18 years before Whitman sis, but still didn’t bother to go to a polling place or cast a ballot until the same year, 2002. She calls this repeated lapse, which ended when she was 37 years old, a “youthful mistake.”

No, it was a series of the same “mistake” repeated over and over again from youth, though young adulthood, into early middle age. Continue reading

Ethics Dunce: North Carolina Rep. Bob Etheridge

This video is remarkable and disturbing.

Rep. Bob Etheridge, (D-N.C.) was walking down a Washington street when he was approached by a student holding a cell phone camera. The young man asked the Congressman about his views on President Obama’s agenda. Etheridge angrily demanded to know who the student was, tried to snatch the phone, and then assaulted and battered him. Continue reading