Stop Making Me Defend President Biden!

In his Christmas speech on December 23, President Biden said, referring to Christmas’s religious significance,

“How silently, how silently, the wondrous Gift is given. There is a certain stillness at the center of the Christmas story. A silent night when all the world goes quiet and all the glamour, all the noise, everything that divides us, everything that pits us against one another, everything — everything that seems so important but really isn’t, this all fades away in stillness of the winter’s evening. And we look to the sky, to a lone star, shining brighter than all the rest, guiding us to the birth of a child—a child Christians believe to be the son of God; miraculously now, here among us on Earth, bringing hope, love and peace and joy to the world.”

Many conservative blogs, pundits and celebrities “pounced,” attacking the President for not mentioning Jesus by name.

The headline at The Daily Wire was “Biden Delivers Christmas Address Without Mentioning Jesus By Name: ‘A Child Christians Believe To Be The Son Of God’” Father Gerald Murray of the Archdiocese of New York told Newsmax that it made “no sense” for Biden to omit the name of Jesus from his annual Christmas address to the country. “President Biden is always talking about his Catholicism and how it inspired him,” Murray said. “If you’re going to honor the birth of Jesus, you should mention his name. I was very sad to see that. That’s not anything that should be imitated in the future.” Doug Collins, a Georgia Republican and former member of the House,said, “Not saying the name of Jesus—look, there are other holidays to celebrate, but Christmas is the birth of Christ. When we celebrate the birth of Christ who came and gave us the gift of life. That’s what we celebrate and to take that out is just sad.” The Heritage Foundation’s Kara Frederick, complained, “America’s lost its sense of God, it’s Judeo-Christian values, and I think this is just a manifestation. This speech not mentioning Christ, talking about how divided this nation’s been for so long, it’s all part and parcel of the secularization of America and we need to return to our faith.”

The United States is not supposed to have a stated “sense of God,” and for the President of the United States to officially espouse the beliefs of any particular religion is, according the the line of judicial interpretations of the Establishment Clause and the First Amendment, a violation of the Constitution.

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Ethics Observations On Gallup’s U.S. “Moral Values” Poll

Gallup released a depressing poll last week that it headlined, “Record-High 50% of Americans Rate U.S. Moral Values as ‘Poor.'” Like many Gallup polls, but perhaps more than most, this one suffered badly from a failure a define terms and to ensure that respondents were basing their judgments on the same understanding of “values.” Using the term “moral” rather than “ethical” to define values is a crippling error: it automatically directs attention to religion. This, in turn, probably explains this chart…

…in which twice as many Republicans as Democrats rate the state of “moral values” as “poor.” About twice as many Republicans and Democrats are religious: the result was preordained. Morality involves behavioral codes, notably the Ten Commandments. Republicans are more likely to believe that such codes should guide conduct, although the whole point of moral codes is that one doesn’t have to think: just follow the code, and you’ll be “good.” Democrats have increasingly embraced the idea of subjective values and personal codes, “pursuing one’s truth.” Their idea of poor values are values that seem contrary to their objectives.

The poll does not rank values, or even require respondents to identify what values they think are being violated or ignored. Thus the figures given for various measurements in the poll are by definition apples, oranges and eggplants mash-ups. For example, a core ethical value is fairness, but progressives increasingly believe what is fair is for everyone to achieve the same level of success, security, comfort and power regardless of effort, ability, or contributions to society. Conservatives believe  fairness means that every individual should be allowed to achieve according to his or her aspirations and best efforts given the resources, talents and opportunities distributed by the vicissitudes of life and luck, and keep and use the rewards of those efforts, if any. Asking whether a group believes that life in the U.S. is fair when the group holds diametrically opposed definitions of the word is useless.

Similarly, an increasing component of the American Left believes that the U.S. Constitution embodies the wrong values. They believe it would be more “moral” to censor speech so as not to “harm” vulnerable populations; to keep “dangerous” ideas and “misinformation” advocated by Bad People from being heard or read. They believe that a right to self-defense is “immoral” because the tools of self-defense can be used to kill. They also believe, as we have seen in recent weeks, that it is “moral” to allow the mass killing of the unborn, because otherwise women are hindered in their opportunities and life choices by “unfair” biology. Most conservatives view those positions as opposition to American values.

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Woke Derangement Symdrome-Infected Conservatives Board An Ethics Train Wreck To…Hungary??

This was late crossing my consciousness, perhaps because I do not trust Tucker Carlson and will not watch his allegedly sincere rants because we know, or should, that he is more interested in ratings than principles. The idea of prominent conservatives suddenly deciding the the U.S. can learn from Hungary, of all places, is ridiculous on its face, but I did not realize the extent to which the current wokeness epidemic has driven many conservatives and Republicans into the mouth of madness.

Carlson has been broadcasting nightly from Budapest, as he has interviewed and celebrated Hungary’s corrupt and authoritarian leader, Viktor Orban.There is no excuse for this, but Carlson thinks Fox News viewers will approve of his: Orban has defied the European Union on the issue of accepting illegal immigrants and refugees, and has installed harsh measures against trans individuals and LGBTQ people generally. He also has taken action to intimidate and control the news media. In embracing such a leader, Carlson (and others—I’ll get to them shortly) is realizing the worst stereotypes of conservative Americans.

Orban is a central-casting anti-democracy thug. Last year, he pushed the Hungarian parliament, which his party controls, to pass laws creating a state of emergency without a time limit, granting him the ability to rule by decree, suspending elections to fill positions that have become conveniently vacant between regular elections, and permitting prison sentences for spreading “fake news.” But his real appeal to Carlson and the Cro Magnon subspecies of conservatives is his persecution of gays and trans individuals. In 2020, Orbán’s government ended legal recognition of transgendered people, and his party has proposed legislation to ban “LGBtQ positive content” in movies, books or advertising.

Gee, what a great guy! Do conservatives comprehend the cognitive dissonance scale at all? This autocratic creep is so underwater on the scale, I’d say a minus hundred or more…

Cognitive Dissonance-SMALL

…that he would drag the Puppies Are Adorable Party below zero if it endorsed him. But on their own currently warped scale, conservatives’ terror over losing such culture war battles as the same-sex marriage debate and illegal immigration restrictions has wokeness so low on the their scale that an aspiring dictator who opposes gays and illegals appears to be in positive territory.

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Regarding “Uncle Tim”: Everybody’s Wrong.

Scott response

South Carolina Republican Senator Tim Scott delivered a rarity, an opposing party “replay” to a Presidential address that was eloquent, powerful, and relevant. However, Scott also fell into the ethics abyss by demanding that Twitter take down tweets that included the hashtag “Uncle Tim.” Scott called the trend “upsetting” and “so disappointing” this morning, saying that it shows the left “are literally attacking the color of my skin.”

Well yes, they are. That shouldn’t be surprise, since they have also been attacking the color of MY skin.

The conservatives, as the mainstream media likes to say when Republican point out hypocrisy, “pounced”:

Tim tweet 1

Tim tweet 2

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Ethics Observations On A Suddenly Ubiquitous Meme

bookswap-600x600

This thing is everywhere, particularly on conservative websites. It was even quoted on Ethics Alarms.

Observations:

1. It’s not true. Try not to embarrass yourself by quoting it, for “Wet Ass Pussy” was not, in fact, the “Song of the Year.” At last year’s Grammys, which gives out the annual “Song of the Year” awards, “Wet Ass Pussy” by female rapper Cardi B was not even nominated in the category. The nominees were…

  • Natalie Hemby, Lady Gaga, Hillary Lindsey & Lori McKenna for “Always Remember Us This Way” performed by Lady Gaga
  • Billie Eilish O’Connell and Finneas O’Connell for “Bad Guy” performed by Billie Eilish
  • Brandi Carlile, Phil Hanseroth, Tim Hanseroth & Tanya Tucker for “Bring My Flowers Now” performed by Tanya Tucker
  • Ruby Amanfu, Sam Ashworth, D. Arcelious Harris, H.E.R. & Rodney Jerkins for “Hard Place” performed by H.E.R.
  • Taylor Swift for “Lover” performed by Taylor Swift
  • Jack Antonoff & Lana Del Rey for “Norman Fucking Rockwell” performed by Lana Del Rey
  • Tom Barnes, Lewis Capaldi, Pete Kelleher, Benjamin Kohn & Sam Roman “Someone You Loved” performed by Lewis Capaldi
  • Steven Cheung, Eric Frederic, Melissa Jefferson & Jesse Saint John for “Truth Hurts” performed by Lizzo

The winner was “Bad Guy.”

This year’s Grammys have not yet been awarded, so “Wet Ass Pussy” can be called the “Song of the Year” by any measure.

2. Therefore the irony, the dripping contempt for contemporary culture, and the implication of corrupted societal values are only effective if one is ignorant of the topic. Nice.

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Comment Of The Day: “My Name Is Jack, I Am Not A Racist, And All Of You Are A Disgrace To The Nation.”

Well, you knew this, by Steve-O-in NJ, would be a Comment of the Day. I virtually begged for someone to  issue a manifesto in response to my post. There were at least six likely candidates among the regulars here, but if I had to bet, my money would have been on Steve. Here is his COTD on “My Name Is Jack, I Am Not A Racist, And All Of You Are A Disgrace To The Nation.”

Oh–in a blog with a more diverse commentariat, I could count on at least one rebuttal. I hereby pledge that any reasonably articulate one will have Comment of the Day status.

My name is Steven, and I am a conservative and a Republican. I’ve been a Republican since I was 18 and never once considered walking away.

I believe Europe and the Europeans got to where they are because they learned to be better at navigation, exploration, and warfare than others, no other reasons.

I believe Christopher Columbus was a brave navigator who sailed where no one else dared to go, and that without his opening the way between old world and new, the United States would not have come to be, and the world would be the poorer for it.

I believe that George Washington, Andrew Jackson, Ulysses S. Grant, and FDR were the right men at the right time to deal with the biggest crises this country found itself in, and lesser men might well have failed, and we’d be worse off for it.

I believe that the Founding Fathers got it right, and that their work doesn’t deserve to be discarded because men two centuries ago did not measure up to the values of less than two decades ago.

I believe that the conquest of the frontier was inevitable, as is always the case when a more developed society meets a less developed one. Continue reading

“Thank God It’s Friday!” Ethics Amen, 2/28/2020: Will Women Give Up Sports? Does Joe Biden Know What “Arrest” Means? Do Kids Really Think Sitting In The Car Is Fun?, And Other Important Questions…

Amen to THAT…

1. Conservatism and nostalgia gone nuts...In the category of posts I don’t understand at all, right-ward blogger/pundit Megan Fox put up something called “8 Fun (and Possibly Dangerous) Activities Enjoyed by Past Generations That Today’s Kids Will Never Experience.” She said in her introduction of the paean to the good ol’ days, “Children are more coddled and protected than ever in 2019. For kids, it’s oppressive. I know mine listen to my stories of summers full of freedom and independence, running around the neighborhood all day until dark, with wide-eyed envy. These days, kids are hardly free to do anything we could back in generations past.”

But look what she chose…

  • “Play all day with no adult supervision, roaming neighborhoods and friends’ houses until dark”

We let out son do this, and I would do it today. There’s nothing stopping you. I’d strongly suggest waiting until the child is at least 10, though.

  • Ride in cars without seatbelts.

I don’t see how anyone can be nostalgic about something that got kids killed, abd what was so much fun about riding without seat belts anyway?

  • “The joy of phone calls” 

Okay, texting is more popular. But I see kids on the phone all the time (A school is almost next to our house.). If a kid really thinks phoning is a “joy,’ nothing is stopping her.

  • ” Lawn darts, rusty slides, dangerous park equipment”

Says Fox,

“At our neighborhood park, the slide was so high that it would make your stomach drop half way up the ladder…..  Nobody’s mommy came with them to the park. It was a sanctuary…Parks have been sanitized and de-riskified with padded ground and plastic, twisty slides that are so slow it seems pointless to even use them….Everything is super safe, and yet everyone’s mother is hovering. It makes no sense.”

There’s also a park just like the one she described within view of our house, yes, with moms (actually nannies) all around. The kids there seem to be having a lot of fun anyway.  All I remember from our local playground was coming home injured, sometimes badly. The only time I was ever beat up as a child was at that playground, because there were no adults around. What fun!

  • Hanging out at the mall in packs of 11- to 15-year-olds

Good riddance.

  • Buying cigarettes for a family member

What? Why is this  on the list?

  • Sitting in the car for up to an hour while Mom grocery shops

This is also a “What?” My parents never did that to us, and I don’t know why any responsible parent would. “Oh yes, we all did this,” says Fox.  “Back when I was a kid it was completely normal to have a parking lot full of kids in cars waiting for parents. No one thought this was a crime or weird at all. And we loved it!” She must be from Mars.

  • Babysitting

Babysitting was (and still is) a way to make money. Anyone who thought it was “fun” was weird.

Posts like this are among the reasons why conservatives have a bad reputation. Continue reading

Was Rush Limbaugh A Worthy Recipient Of The Medal Of Freedom Award?

What an easy question.

Of course he was. Those who argue otherwise do not appreciate his remarkable influence on the culture, entertainment, and the political landscape. In many cases, they blame him for opening up public discourse and eroding the liberal domination of news commentary and political advocacy. They are the same people who find free speech “problematical,”

I am not a dittohead. Rush Limbaugh’s politics and causes are not mine; I admire his skills, but not always his employment of them.  In the Nineties I  sometimes listened to Rush in the car before I moved permanently to a home office. I have parallel life in theater, acting, comedy, skit writing and stage directing, and I was impressed with Limbaugh as a performer, which is what he is, and has always maintained that he is. His combination of politics, satire and  deft disc jockey patter was unique. It was obvious why he had become, by far, the biggest star in talk radio.

The end of the Fairness Doctrine, which required broadcasters to present all sides of opinion when discussing public issues—(riiiight)—was  repealed in 1987, and  Limbaugh invented a new format, a conservative talk radio show that was dominated by a quick-thinking , quick-tonged, generally jovial ideologue with a sonorous voice. Rush took phone calls from people on all sides of the political spectrum, and unlike so many talkmeisters that followed him, was never rude or abusive to those who challenged his positions.

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Political Fundraising Frauds And Scams, PART II: The Conservatives

(Except nobody was alerted…)

An intrinsic problem with members of a party that extols Capitalism is that so many  have a fondness for making money that often overwhelms their ethics alarms, assuming they have any….and many don’t.

In a brave and responsible article posted to day, National Review writer Jim Geraghty , lays out a devastating indictment. He writes in part,

“Why is the conservative movement not as effective as its supporters want it to be? Because day after day, year after year, little old ladies get called on the phone or emailed or receive letters in the mail telling them that the future of the country is at stake and that if they don’t make a donation to groups that might as well be named Make Telemarketers Wealthy Again right now, the country will go to hell in a handbasket. Those little old ladies get out their checkbooks and give what they can spare, convinced that they’re making a difference and helping make the world a better place. What they’re doing is ensuring that the guys running these PACs can enjoy a more luxurious lifestyle. Meanwhile, conservative candidates lose, kicking the dirt after primary day or the general election, convinced that if they had just had another $100,000 for get-out-the-vote operations, they might have come out on top.”

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On Biden And Sexual Harassment, The Left, As Always, Is Hypocritical, But The Right, As Usual, Is Stupid

Ah, the good old days, when men were men and in charge, and women knew they were there to hug…

The question of the ages is, which is worse?

It’s a close call, but I vote for the conservative side.

It is true, transparent and pretty embarrassing (I hope) that so many progressives, the Walking Woke, and even feminists are tying their own brains and ours into knots by trying to defend Obama’s long-time happy-go-lucky serial toucher/ hugger/ kisser/ sniffer, nuzzler and groper. We’ve seen this integrity vacuum from them before, as when Gloria Steinem, after successfully selling the undeniable concept that when a man has superior power over a woman, that woman cannot meaningfully consent to being mauled (with love, of course) in the workplace or even boinked after-hours, changed her position so Bill Clinton could escape the consequences of his own sleazy and illegal behavior.

The hypocrisy,is especially egregious now, as I already discussed, because sexual harassment law has been around for over 30 years, because we are two decades past Monica Madness, because Al Franken is watching old Saturday Night Live videos somewhere in Minnesota, and because #MeToo was supposed to have made sure that America “got it.” How is the world can Biden pretend that this doesn’t apply to him? In a 2017 appearance at George Mason University, he defended the Obama “guilty until proven innocent” approach to campus sexual assault allegations, saying: “Guys, a woman who is dead drunk cannot consent — you are raping her! We’ve got to talk about this. Consent requires affirmative consent! . . . If you can’t get her to say ‘yes’ because she wants to, you ain’t much.” And Joe, a woman who is within feel-up distance of a Senator or Vice-President can’t give affirmative consent to touching, hugging, kissing, sniffing, nuzzling and groping, either. This isn’t hard. Continue reading