Follow-Up From The Ethics Alarms “I Don’t Understand This At All” And “Wuhan Virus Ethics Train Wreck” Files: Why Are We Allowing This To Continue?

Louise joke

Minnesota state Representative Mary Franson and Senator Scott Jensen (who is a physician) collected 2800 death certificates provided by the Minnesota Department of Health, checking to see if alleged Wuhan virus deaths were being over-counted. (Well, anyone who sees the obituaries of 95-year-olds and 103-year-olds who are called pandemic victims knows they are being over-counted. Ethics Alarms has noted this tool of the hysterics, nascent totalitarians and fearmongers before.) Jensen had earlier pointed out that hospitals had financials incentives to use the pandemic as a default cause of death.

Jensen explains that while one would typically look to the “UCOD” or “Underlying Cause Of Death” for classification purposes rather than the “immediate” cause or the “intermediate” causes. The practice the CDC had always required in classifying deaths was to use the UCOD.

But for the Wuhan virus, the CDC practice of 17 years was changed, and physicians were told, “If someone had the pandemic virus, it doesn’t matter if it was actually the diagnosis that caused death. If someone had the virus, they died of it.” Stroke? Multi-organ failure? If the deceased tested positive for the Wahun virus, that was the cause of death. Franson and Jensen uncovered examples where victims of a fall were called pandemic casualties. Drowning victims. One “Covid 19” victim died after being thrown from a speeding automobile. About 800 of the 2,800 death certificates examined indicated that the virus was not the underlying cause of death. That’s a 40% overstatement.

It isn’t just Minnesota that’s doing this, either. It’s every state, and the whole country.

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Fearmongering Is Apparently All They’ve Got Now, And It Better Not Be Enough

Fearmongering

Unable to provide actual guidance that restricts the spread of the Wuhan virus, unable to be consistent in their various “scientific” pronouncements, unable to avoid utter hypocrisy by violating their own measures, and insulting our intelligence by implying that the pandemic doesn’t bother Black Lives Matter and the Democratic Party, the various state governments are now reduced to pure fearmongering, apparently in the vain hope that if everyone is terrified to do anything or interact with anyone, that will keep the Wuhan virus at bay, and, perhaps even more importantly, condition Americans to Love Big Brother.

Well, to hell with THAT.

When I saw today’s new, revised, extra scary risk wheel from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE), I thought it was a Babylon Bee joke. Sadly, it’s not. Sufficient numbers of idiots and would-be human-sheepherders in the Colorado state government decided that the usual DefCon 5 Red Zone wasn’t enough to frighten Coloradans sufficiently to meekly allow the government to wreck their businesses, stunt their children’s social and educational development, make them poor, and confine them to house arrest. These bureaucrats are so dim that they don’t realize that the sillier and more desperate they act, the less likely anyone with self-respect and a brain is going to care what they say.

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A False Narrative Exposed, Part 2: The Times’ Editors Beclown Themselves

Clowns

[This is Part 2 of the Ethics Alarms essay that begins here.]

The first section of “A False Narrative Exposed” concluded,

The extent of the Democrats’ false smearing of Justice Amy Coney Barrett and the blatant fearmongering regarding the consequences of her confirmation are put in sharp perspective when one goes back and re-reads the New York Times editorial of the week before headlines, “The Republican Party’s Supreme Court.”  Indeed, the Times editorial shows us much more: the utter dishonesty of the mainstream media and its willingness to mislead rather than inform the public; it’s deliberate employment of false history to advance its partisan ends, and perhaps  most damming of all, the weak powers of reasoning and analysis the alleges cream of the journalistic crop applies to its craft. Then there are the repeated reminders that the Times is so deeply in bed with the Democrats that it can count its moles.

Let’s look at that editorial…

“What happened in the Senate chamber on Monday evening was, on its face, the playing out of a normal, well-established process of the American constitutional order: the confirmation of a president’s nominee to the Supreme Court. But Senate Republicans, who represent a minority of the American people, are straining the legitimacy of the court by installing a deeply conservative jurist, Amy Coney Barrett, to a lifetime seat just days before an election that polls suggest could deal their party a major defeat.”

Right—those phony polls meant to suppress the GOP vote showing that the Democrats were going to increase their dominance of the House and win control of the Senate. The scandalously misleading and mistaken polls were also part of the novel Democratic argument, endorsed by the Times, that the Senate should reject a legal and historically routine SCOTUS nomination because of clearly biased polls…a corrupting phenomenon the Founders never heard of.

“As with President Trump’s two earlier nominees to the court, Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh, the details of Judge Barrett’s jurisprudence were less important than the fact that she had been anointed by the conservative activists at the Federalist Society. Along with hundreds of new lower-court judges installed in vacancies that Republicans refused to fill when Barack Obama was president, these three Supreme Court choices were part of the project to turn the courts from a counter-majoritarian shield that protects the rights of minorities to an anti-democratic sword to wield against popular progressive legislation like the Affordable Care Act.”

The only valid question for the Senate to consider was whether Barrett was qualified. Even the deeply progressive-biased American Bar Association  agreed that she was. I don’t know what the Times is trying to say: the Federalist Society wouldn’t have approved of an unqualified justice. “Anointed’ is just cheap Times rhetoric meaning “conservatives tended to agree with her jurisprudence,” just as progressives approved of the late Justice Ginsberg. Both had to excel during tough questioning in their confirmation hearings. Neither was “anointed.” The editorial board is pandering to its readership’s hysterical biases against conservatives….

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A False Narrative Exposed, Part 1: Fearmongering And The Comey Lie

Terror

Wrote conservative columnist Tyler O’Neil after this week’s oral argument in the SCOTUS case of California v. Texas, “While the resolution of California v. Texas remains unclear, it is likely that the Court will preserve most of Obamacare. Such a decision would expose Democrats’ shameless fearmongering about Amy Coney Barrett as a disgusting political ploy.”

Wrong. It was a disgusting and unethical political plot no matter how that case comes out, but hey, it probably won a lot of votes for Joe Biden from the brick-ignorant public, so it’s all good, right? The ends justify the means.

During the confirmation hearings for Barrett, Democrats warned that Barrett would destroy the Affordable Care Act, joining with the other intractable right-wingers on the Court to finally strike down the law for all time. Yet when the Supreme Court heard arguments on the Obamacare case last week, the Associated Press reported that the tenor of the questions from the Justices made it clear how unlikely it was that the Court would strike down the health care law. Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Brett Kavanaugh signaled that they were  unwilling to invalidate the entire law just because the individual mandate forcing people to purchase health insurance was unconstitutional.  

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Final Pre-Election Ethics Notes II

Jefferson quote

That meme turned up on Facebook. Of course, progressives and the Woke think Jefferson is racist whose memory should be consigned to the ash heap of history, so no wonder they disagree.

1. Daniel Horowitz suggests that Democratic and media fearmongering about the dangers of exposure to the Wuhan virus might have had the perverse effect of scaring Democratic voters away from the polls. “While we don’t know the ballot choices of those who voted early, we do know the party registration breakdown in most states. And in nearly every critical state, Republicans are doing much better than they did in 2016 in terms of in-person early voting,” he observes. “Given that Trump won in 2016 and the electorate will only get more favorable for Republicans on Election Day itself (because the majority of Democrats vote early), this portends an outcome way out of sync with the majority of polls.”

Boy, would that be what NeverTrumper George Will likes to call “condign justice”!

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Fake News! Bad Science! Confirmation Bias! Wuhan Virus Fear-Mongering! The Sturgis Motorcycle Rally Narrative Has It All!

I was going to write (another) post about politically weaponized studies and surveys after Nick Kristoff pronounced the U.S a failing nation after seeing the latest Social Progress Index, which determined that out of 163 countries assessed worldwide, the United States, Brazil and Hungary are the only ones in which people are worse off than when the index began in 2011. This is always one of my least favorite type of studies studies, the apples to oranges compendiums where it is the researchers’ values being measured and not what the study claims. Weight the 50 “metrics of well-being”  differently, take out some or add others, and the result is completely different, and just as imaginary. “The data paint an alarming picture of the state of our nation, and we hope it will be a call to action,” Michael Porter, a Harvard Business School professor and the chair of the advisory panel for the Social Progress Index, told Kristoff. “It’s like we’re a developing country.”

Right. That’s certainly a rational statement.  Kristoff goes on,

The index, inspired by research of Nobel-winning economists, collects 50 metrics of well-being — nutrition, safety, freedom, the environment, health, education and more — to measure quality of life. Norway comes out on top in the 2020 edition, followed by Denmark, Finland and New Zealand….The United States, despite its immense wealth, military power and cultural influence, ranks 28th — having slipped from 19th in 2011. The index now puts the United States behind significantly poorer countries, including Estonia, Czech Republic, Cyprus and Greece.

I guess the smart thing is to move right over to Finland or Estonia then! I’m sure the rest of the Trump-bashing pundits and America Stinks crowd, like Michael Moore, will have a field day with this propaganda, because it fits in nicely with Big Lie #5: “Everything is Terrible,” which I expect to have a resurgence as we approach election day. Actually it already is; here’s TIME’s cover:

But I digress: lets’s get back to Sturgis. (Thought I had forgotten, didn’t you?) Continue reading

End Of The Day Ethics, 4/24/2020: A Curse, A Whorehouse, And The Grim Reaper

Yay.

Another weekend…

1. Nah, there’s no news media narrative coordination! Twitchy has pointed out the remarkable conformity of language regarding the Joe Biden sexual assault accusation. Last week, CNN reported that Democrats are “grappling with questions” about Tara Reade’s allegations. This week:

Politico: “The movement is facing a new challenge: how to grapple with the allegations against Joe Biden without tearing itself apart.”

Jake Tapper on Twitter: “Democrats grapple with questions about Tara Reade’s sexual assault allegation against Joe Biden…”

Jeremy Scahill at the Intercept: “My aim in writing this piece was to put into words what many principled people are grappling with right now, not to tell anyone what to do. Recognizing and understanding the problem helps us all decide what we believe is right…”

Mother Jones: “Sexual Assault Advocates Are Grappling With the Allegations Against Joe Biden”

All independent, objective journalists, of course…talking points? What talking points?

2. This “sharing a life” concept seems to be beyond you…over at Social Q’s a woman who is living with her boyfriend to ride out the pandemic complains, “He eats significantly more than I do, including some foods I don’t touch. Still, we split the grocery bill, and I am paying significantly more for food than usual. How should I handle this?” Columnist Phillip Gallanes’ advice is impeccably ethical:

Try stepping back and looking at the bigger picture…Sure, he eats more than you, but are you twice as messy (while sharing cleaning duties equally)? Do you watch three times as much Netflix (but split the bill in half)? And I haven’t even touched on emotional labor yet. ..if you want your partnership to survive even after we’re set free again, consider all the contributions each of you makes.

Nice try, Phil, but I’m guessing that question is signature significance, and the relationship is doomed. Continue reading

Sunday Morning Ethics Reveries, 3/15/2020: Oh, Hell…I Have To Write About The Wuhan Virus Whether I Want To Or Not..

Good morning…

The avalanche of Wuhan virus stories with ethical implications cannot all be squeezed Part III of the series about the pandemic’s ethical implications, especially since that one will concentrate on politics and the news media. So I’m stuck, much as I would prefer to think about almost anything else….

1. Here’s one that compels the question, “What’s going on here?” among others.  The Struthers, Ohio, police department posted this notice on Facebook:

“Due to the coronavirus, the police department is asking that all criminal activities stop until further notice. Thank you for your anticipated cooperation in the matter. We will update you when we deem it’s appropriate to proceed with yo bad selves.”

Before I got to the end, I assumed this was a serious message. It is far from the dumbest thing I’ve seen in response to the Wuhan Virus mess.Then I reached the end, and I decided that it was probably a joke.

Thinking some more, though: would it necessarily be futile to ask criminals to be responsible members of the community just for a while, for their own benefit as well as society’s? There might be some who would take the appeal to heart. If there were, however, the joke ending of the message would undermine any such impulse.

2. More on the Name Game: Our esteemed Mrs. Q had dubbed the illness the WuFlu. Checking on Google, there was a flurry or reports using that name in January and February; there was even a hashtag. I like it, but using Wuhan Virus does a better job of rubbing in the face of the appropriate parties the deceit and cowardice of the news media’s rush to follow China’s edict and pretend that the virus originated somewhere else. Continue reading

Morning Ethics Warm-Up, 3/12/2020: Walking Through A Storm Edition

I don’t care what you say, it’s a good morning.

1. Coronavirus ethics report. Today, ethics Alarms officially dubs the epidemic and ethics train wreck.

  • Good one! Rudy Gobert, the 27-year-old centerfor the Utah Jazz, intentionally touched every surface, microphone and recorders during a session with reporters after the NBA had banned access to player in team locker rooms. He was making a pointed joke about the league’s alarmism over Covid-19. Three days later, he was diagnosed with the illness, and in response, the NBA suspended its season.
  • ARRGHH! It’s what everyone thought it was!!!! The stock market crashed after the World Health Organization called the pandemic, which everyone including me had been calling a pandemic for weeks, a pandemic yesterday. I don’t understand that reaction at all.
  • Adam Kucharski, a mathematician who specializes in measuring how diseases spread, told the New York Times that “on best available data, when we adjust for unreported cases and the various delays involved, we’re probably looking at a fatality risk of probably between maybe 0.5 and 2 percent for people with symptoms.” Obviously when you add people without symptoms who are infested, the fatality risk is lower. This means that President Trump’s “hunch” that the fatality rate was probably much lower than the 3% being widely quoted, for which he was attacked as a an idiot and a liar,  was probably correct.
  • A hint regarding what kind of values we’re teaching college students: Students at the University of Dayton in Ohio became furious that the school was closing because of COVID-19, so they rioted. An estimated 1,000 students at the University erupted into screaming and violence after they were told to leave campus over the Wuhan virus outbreak. At least one person was injured by a thrown bottle.
  • Remember televangelists Jim and Tammy Bakker? Tammy’s copious TV weeping  and dripping mascara? The scandal over hush money paid to a mousey church secretary, Jessica Hahn, for Jim Bakker allegedly raping her,  leading to his resignation from the ministry? How the scandal turned Hahn into a professional bimbo, with a Playboy spread and a brief career hosting soft porn videos? Tammy and Jim divorced, and Jim ended up in prison for fraud…Ringing any bells? Now he’s back selling God on TV again, and last month started selling “Silver Solution” as a cure for Covid-19. Silver Solution “has been proven by the government that it has the ability to kill every pathogen it has ever been tested on, including SARS and HIV,” his guest told Bakker’s viewers.  Four 4-ounce bottles could be yours, a message on the screen said, for just $80.Selling a fake “treatment” for the COVID-19 disease violates state and federal law. On Tuesday, the state of Missouri filed a lawsuit against Bakker and his production company to stop them from advertising or selling Silver Solution and related products as treatments for the coronavirus.
  • Oh yeah,  this helps a lot Arthur Caplan, a professsor of bioethics at NYU, told the New York Times that without “social interventions to incentivize and support isolation, we are doomed.” Irresponsible fear-mongering. Even with the worst case scenarios, this isn’t the Spanish Flu, the Black Plague or ebola. We aren’t “doomed.”

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Amy’s Exit, Joe’s Door-Hanger [UPDATED!]

1. Senator Klobuchar eliminated the “none of the above” option from Democratic primary voters by dropping out today. This makes little sense: she’s dropping out because Biden won in South Carolina, where he was expected to win all along? Then she endorsed Joe Biden, which is irresponsible. Biden is a slowly devolving wreck, and every member of the Democratic Party has an obligation to at least try to present a mentally capable candidate for the public to consider. At his current rate of decline (let’s see, not to complain, just to be up-to-date, what did he say today? Nope, nothing, He must have been resting),

UPDATE! Joe wasn’t resting, so he did have brain synapse issues. From the Washington Examiner (Pointer:  77Zoomie):

2020 Democrat Joe Biden stumbled over his words as he attempted to recite the Declaration of Independence ahead of Super Tuesday. “We hold these truths to be self-evident,” the former vice president said during a campaign event in Texas on Monday. “All men and women created by — you know, you know, the thing”….he also accidentally referred to Super Tuesday as “Super Thursday” before correcting himself.

Joe will be a walking, babbling appeal to the 25th Amendment before November rolls around.

Ah-HA! Could that be why Amy endorsed him? Biden’s Vice-President choice will be scrutinized more carefully than any #2 since Richard Nixon in 1956 when Ike was running for a second term following a heart attack. (My wife asked today what Mrs. Biden was like, referencing Mrs. Wilson secretly taking over for Woodrow after his devastating stroke. Biden presumably has to pick an African American or a woman as his running mate.

Her choice is also a betrayal by the sisterhood of Elizabeth Warren, who is still hanging around, hoping for intervention from The Great Spirit, or something. Biden is a serial sexual harasser and assault master. The feminist, #MeToo wing of the Democratic Party  are as hypocritical in its support of Joe as the NAACP is in its support of Michael Jackson imitator Gov. Ralph Northam. In all the debates, neither Warren, nor Klobuchar, nor Kamala Harris, nor even pariah Tulsi Gabbard had the guts and integrity to confront Biden on his dirty old uncle routine. No Democratic woman should endorse Biden; it’s as unethical as cheering Bill Clinton. Oh, right…

The consensus among pundits right now is that Klobuchar’s endorsement signals that the Democratic establishment is desperate to stop Bernie Sanders from getting the nomination. That Joe Biden is their “firewall” tells us just how spectacularly the party has failed its job of finding a competent and trustworthy candidate, just as both parties failed in 2016.

2. Klobuchar’s withdrawal won’t have as much impact on tomorrow’s primaries because so many states allow early voting. This is one more reason early voting is wrong, and should be banned. It deceives voters into making a crucial decision without all the data is in, sometimes rendering votes null and virtuously void.

3. The party of women, minorities and the young somehow has managed to reach the nomination’s final laps with four white candidates, with Senator Warren being the only woman and the relative whippersnapper at 70. Of the remaining three men, one isn’t a Democrat (Sanders), one served in his only significant elected position as a Republican, and the other is relying on his connection to the inexplicably popular Barack Obama, whose failure to endorse him is a neon indictment.

Yikes. Good job, everybody! Continue reading