The “wave of anti-Asian hate” narrative is quickly transitioning into a Big Lie, and like so many of the Big Lies that have their origins in the desire to crush Donald Trump and his followers, this one is being eagerly aided and abetted by the news media.
What’s going one here? The news media sees it as advantageous to the fortunes of its beloved Democratic Party to make certain that Asian-Americans line up with the collections of aggrieved groups that give the progressives their mojo, particularly in the demonizing of whites. The fact that a disproportionate number of the attacks on Asian-Americans have been perpetrated by African-Americans is inconvenient, so the news stories just don’t mention that. Since Donald Trump is the imaginary vendetta’s official source—he’s a racist, see (See Big Lies of the Resistance #4) and insisted on calling the pandemic virus that originated in China a Chinese virus—the alleged “hate crimes” are based on white supremacy.
Here’s a revelation: that melody, my favorite of the Easter hymns, is the work of Sir Arthur Sullivan. Yes, that Sullivan.
1. Oh, no!Not the National Review too! We are indeed surrounded by idiots…in this story about how Hispanic activists are pushing to keep former President Barack Obama’s name off a school building in Waukegan, Illinois because, you see, he enforced the law by deporting illegal immigrants—can’t have THAT!—the National Review writes, “The Waukegan Board of Education looks to rename two of its schools, Thomas Jefferson Middle School and Daniel Webster Middle School. The board formed renaming committees for the schools named after Jefferson, who owned slaves, and Webster, who supported slavery.”
This is how the American public gets stupid. Of course it’s beyond idiotic not to name a school after the man whose vision of a new nation and whose brilliant mission statement made our existence possible, not to mention the fact that his words planted the seeds that resulted in slavery’s eventual end in North America. Letting that pass for the nonce, however, Daniel Webster, the New England lawyer, U.S. Senator and member of multiple cabinets in the 19th Century did not “support slavery,” and saying he did is historical libel.
To the contrary, Webster was a lifetime opponent of slavery. In an 1837 speech he called slavery a “great moral, social, and political evil,” adding that he would vote against “any thing that shall extend the slavery of the African race on this continent, or add other slaveholding states to the Union.”
Webster, however, also did not want to see a civil war, or to have the Southern states leave the union over the slavery question. His most famous quote, “Liberty and Union, now and for ever, one and inseparable!” expressed his priorities. Webster was one of many patriots and brilliant figures of the time desperately seeking a way to keep the nation together while slavery was stressing its bonds. He supported several compromises to that end, including the much-criticized Compromise of 1850, which included the reviled Fugitive Slave Act. Those who condemn Webster now for his best efforts to avert war and mass secession are engaging in the worst kind of hindsight bias. What would be their brilliant solution to the situation faced by Senators in the 30 years before the Civil War?
My analysis has always been that Webster, Henry Clay and others successfully delayed the inevitable schism over slavery until, by good fortune or, as Abe liked to say, “providence,” got a President in office who had the guts and the skill to deal with the dilemma boldly and successfully. If the South had seceded under any of the Presidents after Jackson and before Lincoln, we would have two Americas on this continent today—or maybe just one, enslaved by Nazi Germany.
Daniel Webster did NOT “support slavery.” Show some damn respect.
1 Shut up or be funny. For some reason, the fact that Monday’s “Late Night with Seth Meyers’ included a gratuitous and facile lecture by the host about gun control legislation was plastered all over the progressive news media as if he had begun speaking in tongues or channeling the ghost of Emily Dickinson. I hate to be a spoil sport, but who cares what Seth Myers thinks about gun control? He’s a comedian and a comedy writer, and has been nothing but since college. Again, he has no brief to lecture anyone on that topic: he has his job to be funny, and the show he hosts is, theoretically at least, a comedy show. Did Julia Child ever lecture her PBS audience about U.S. nuclear policy while explaining how to cook an omelette? No. Did Walter Cronkite ever break into knock-knock jokes during The CBS Evening News? Never. Did Andy Williams ever pause in the middle of “Moon River” to deliver his analysis of a Presidential campaign? Absolutely not.
Myers has a right to his opinion, as sophomoric and echo chamber-nourished as it may be (he was pimping for “common sense gun laws,” which is what people say when they have no idea what laws will stop the criminal use of guns, but want us to “do something”), but it is arrogant and presumptuous to perform a bait and switch on his audience, which doesn’t come to his show for public policy wisdom. If they do, he has an ethical obligation to make it clear that they shouldn’t. As far as I can tell, Myers knows zilch about law, guns, government, or the Constitution, yet he presumes to use a vehicle awarded to him only because of an alleged gift for topical humor (personally, I don’t see it) for political advocacy.
Be funny, get educated, run for office, or shut up, Seth. And incidentally, there are not mass shootings “three or four times a week” and never have been. In a single atypical week, there were two mass shootings, and no Constitutional gun laws are likely to have stopped either of them.
1. Spitballing ethics? When everyone is throwing out ideas—you know, “Just say whatever crazy thing pops into your head, don’t worry whether it’s a good idea or a bad idea, just let ’em rip!” is it fair later to hold someone to account because a discarded idea was offensive or politically incorrect? I tend to think not.
Hiroshi Sasaki, the creative director for Tokyo Olympics, was participating in a brainstorming session about the opening ceremony with members of a committee a year ago, and at one point suggested that a popular overweight female Japanese comedian and plus-size fashion designer, Naomi Watanabe, be costumed in pig ears, perhaps a snout and curly tail, and parachute out of the heavens as an Olympic messenger: “Olympig.”
No?OK, bad idea. Let’s move on. The inspiration received immediate negative reviews in the private meeting, but when the president of the Tokyo Olympic organizing committee, Yoshiro Mori, 83, resigned this year after saying that women talk too much in meetings, the year-old conversation about “Olympig” was recalled in an article on the website of “Shukan Bunshun,” a weekly magazine. Yes, one of Sasaki’s trusted colleagues had talked. (That’s an easy call: Unethical.)
So you know what comes next, right? Groveling. “Now many people know what I wrote. I cannot apologize enough to Ms. Watanabe,” he said, adding that he was a big fan of hers. “I have been trying not to hurt others by making fun of diversity, gender and physical appearances. But it was a great misunderstanding. I realized my low consciousness and insensitivity.” He resigned.
Now you know that at least for now, when someone says to just suggest whatever pops into your head, no filters, no fear, don’t.
On the positive side, it’s comforting to know that The Great Stupid isn’t just an American phenomenon.
This patter trio from “Ruddigore,” Gilbert and Sullivan’s follow-up to the phenomenal world-wide success of “The Mikado,” has a strange history. It was a much-loved highlight of the relatively under-appreciated operetta (though among my favorites) until the song was transplanted into Joseph Papp’s 1981 Broadway production of “The Pirates of Penzance.” That production ran for 787 performances (longer than the original production), winning the Tony Award for Best Revival and the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Musical, and spawning a 1983 film adaptation starring most of the Broadway cast, including Linda Ronstadt and Kevin Klein. Then the Broadway adaptation of “Thoroughly Modern Millie” in 2002 also interpolated a version of “It Really Doesn’t Matter” into the score, so two hit Broadway musicals included a once barely remembered song from a Gilbert and Sullivan show not regarded as one of the pair’s successes.
The version above is the one I learned the song from. Martyn Green, the best of D’Oyly Carte’s patter baritones, sings the first verse, and does so the only way it can be done properly, which is in a single breath. As you will hear, the other two singers are not quite able to pull it off. (But I can!)
1. Wait, what matters? As with Colin Kaepernick’s original kneeling stunt, Black Lives Matter has made its agenda infinitely flexible, ranging from addressing “police violence” to “systemic racism” to “defunding police” to various Marxist nostrums, depending on their mood, the spokesperson, and the tolerance of the audience. African-American actor Terry Crews invited the enmity of the George Floyd mobs by opining that if Black Lives Matter’s message became “Black Lives Better,” it would spark division rather than support. Crews, who can hold his own in any debate, agreed to be interviewed by CNN’s Black Lives Matter shill Don Lemon. Crews said,Continue reading →
[Editor’s note: The version of this column that was originally posted this morning was missing several paragraphs as well as some important quotes. I apologize profusely to Mrs. Q, whose version was fine, but for some reason I had a devil of a time formatting it, putting me into back and forth, paste and copy, metadata Hell. In the ned there were four drafts of the post up at once, plus previews to show where the formatting wasn’t working. I have no idea how so much was dropped, but it was all my fault. Please read the expanded piece, and again, my apologies to all.]
“As a gay woman, it’s kind of flattering to have the government say that if someone who has the wrong kind of hate kills me, it’s a special killing. But flattery should only go so far. My selfish side likes to be viewed as “special” by the FBI, but my honest side knows that this is both unfair and treacherous. As a gay woman, I refuse to be part of a system that tells me that I count more than any other woman who gets raped or murdered.”
—-Tammy Bruce, author of The New Thought Police.
The April 2nd Ethics Alarms post on the acts of violence committed by Jose L. Gomez against an Asian family he believed had COVID-19, highlights how hate crime laws are problematic because such laws, “have never made any legal or ethical sense, criminalizing prejudice and thought, neither of which can be made illegal under our Constitution. They were virtue-signaling and pandering to certain minority group political agendas from the beginning.”
Booker T. Washington, in his book My Larger Education, published in 1911, challenged minority based group victimhood and those who push this agenda.
“I am afraid that there is a certain class of race-problem solvers who don’t want the patient to get well, because as long as the disease holds out they have not only an easy means to make a living, but also an easy medium through which to make themselves prominent before the public.”
One of the first issues with hate crime laws is the defeatist and demoralizing outlook among their advocates that all minorities are victims. Referring to various minority types as belonging to a “victim group” attempts define or redefine how minorities think about themselves, and negates in attitude, the resilience of these peoples. Instead of highlighting, for example, how racial minorities have endured and even thrived, race-hustlers and other so-called justice advocates cling to the narrative that they need help, especially from the government, to make their lives animus free.
Minorities are not a monolith. In FBI Hate Crimes Statistics Reports the assertion is made that “the effects can reverberate beyond a single person or group into an entire community, city, or society as a whole.” What this assumes is that all people who have been designated as a minority, whether they want to be put in such a category or not, is somehow magically affected by an act committed on another person who fits the same category. Where is the evidence of this? Pandering politicians along with media misery merchants do a great job of taking a story and using it to attempt to instill fear in “victim groups” and moral grandstanding in those who love to self-flagellate with guilt, but that doesn’t mean all people of said group cares or is affected.
In Thomas Sowell’s 2009 book Intellectuals and Society, he challenges how self-proclaimed allies tend to pit, “group against group by arbitrarily viewing innumerable situations through the prism of “race, class, and gender,” setting unreachable standards of “social justice,” and setting impossible goals of redressing the wrongs of history.” He goes on to say:
“So long as sweeping presumptions are accepted as knowledge and lofty rhetoric is regarded as idealism, intellectuals can succeed in projecting themselves as vanguards of generic “change”- for whose consequences they remain unaccountable.”
Author and former radio host Ken Hamblin made a similar assertion in his 1996 book Pick a Better Country when he wrote about this vanguard of helpers:
“I understand that it was natural for them to get warm feelings when they were helping us. But I had no idea that for some liberal do-gooders, those warm feelings would become an intoxicating narcotic. Today they simply refuse to let us go. They refuse to face the fact that it is possible for a black person to get a fair shake – to be truly free and to be treated justly in America. They refuse to admit we can make it without special consideration and without their special help. They refuse to treat us as equal Americans.”
Certainly minorities, like every class of persons, experience bigotry and unfairness. However special hate crime laws haven’t eased the pain of these so-called victim groups because both new and old types of discrimination between fellow “victim groups” have continued. In LGBTQ+ circles, homophobia has made a bold resurgence, creating sometimes dangerous ill will between these rainbow groups, leading some members to break away and create their own charities and organizations. Jose L. Gomez is a Latino who attacked an Asian family. Colorism persists among racial and ethnic groups. And let’s not forget there are numerous instances of racial minorities who have brutalized whites for their skin color.
One example noted in Larry Elder’s book Stupid Black Men was a 2006 incident on Halloween where, “30-40 teens and a few adults – mostly black – beat three young white women.” These women required surgery afterward, including the repair of twelve facial fractures in one victim. Witnesses to the mob heard people in the crowd shout “we hate white people, fuck whites.” My own wife experienced race based prejudice last year when a black man followed and threatened her for blocks screaming, “I’m gonna fuck you up,” and, “I hate whites” while also calling her a “faggot.” Interestingly, in progressive Portland, none of the bystanders offered to help my wife. Perhaps they paused because they were trying to decide who the greater victim was – the black man yelling in the streets or the Irish appearing short haired lesbian. When situations like this happen, rarely is the media or those who claim to fight for equality there to seek justice for this version of hate. It seems if love is love, then the same should apply to hate. Continue reading →
Jose L. Gomez, 19, is accused of stabbing three members of a family of four, including a 2-year-old and 6-year-old child, that he encountered in a Texas store. The family was Asian -American, and the FBI’s report states “The suspect indicated that he stabbed the family because he thought the family was Chinese, and infecting people with coronavirus.”
I have managed to post twice about the name game, and the ridiculous effort to find some way to justify not identifying the Wuhan virus by its place of origin, a campaign led by, naturally enough, its place of origin. The first post focused on the idea that calling a Chinese virus a Chinese virus was “racist,” a concept so devoid of reason and logic that it made my brain hurt.
The fact that the concept was enthusiastically embraced by such proven blights on the political scene as Rep. Omar was one major clue that dastardly motives were involved. This was a pretty much flat out resort to Big Lie #4 in the “resistance” Big Lie tool box, that one being “Trump is a racist/ white supremacist.” It was a short post, because there was no legitimate argument to rebut. Continue reading →
1. This day in war ethics: The Allies completed the fire-bombing of Tokyo in 1945. Over 100,000, mostly civilians, were killed. The attack is less well remembered than the two nuclear bombs and the firebombing of Dresden, Germany, but more people died on March 9 -10 in Tokyo than in any other single air attack of World War II.
2. Coronavirus freakouts. Stipulated: the news media and desperate Democrats want the public to panic over the virus, and to blame the President, obviously.
Two media doctors, “Dr. Oz” and Drew Pinsky, have been performing a public service of sorts by trying to inject some perspective into the escalating hysteria, and by pointing their fingers at a primary suspect for it, the news media. Pinsky, in an interview with LA’s CBS afiifilate: “A bad flu season is 80,000 dead, we have about 18,000 dead from influenza this year and 100 from corona. Which should you be worried about, influenza or corona. 100 vs. 18,000, it’s not a trick question. Everything going on with everyone using Clorox wipes and get your flu shot, which should be the other message… that’s good. I have no problems with the behaviors. What I have a problem with is the panic and that businesses are getting destroyed and people’s lives are getting upended. Not by the virus, but by the panic.”
Dr. Oz (Real name: Mehmet Oz), who was routinely featured on network news during the Ebola scare, was attacked yesterday as a “quack” by the left-leaning Daily Beast, which has a stake in promoting the panic. In fact, Oz is something of a quack, but he’s a popular one, and using his influence to stop people from being crazy is an ethical use of it.
“You know…morons!” A United Airlines flight from Eagle County, Colorado, to Newark International Airport had to be diverted to Denver over the weekend after a group of passengers freaked out when another passenger started coughing and sneezing. He was suffering from allergies. In Denver, the three hysterical morons were taken off the plane, while the innocent passenger continued on the flight.
I don’t know about you, but I feel like everything’s been one big, holiday/stress/disruption blur since I enlivened Thanksgiving dinner by keeling over. There should be law preventing Christmas and New Years from falling on Wednesdays, which effectively kills two full weeks. I’m behind on everything, and I don’t know what I could have done to avoid it…
1. Sigh. This is what we have to look forward to in 2020…Ezra Klein, the Left-biased Washington Post journalist who founded Vox, which he then staffed with all Left-biased journalists, tweeted out the link a nine-month-old Post article stating as fact that counties hosting Trump rallies saw massive spikes in hate crimes compared to counties that didn’t host Trump rallies. By Wednesday afternoon, Klein’s tweet had been re-tweeted more than 7,000 times and had more than 14,000 likes. It also polluted many Facebook feeds.
Klein didn’t tell his 2.5 million followers that the article relied on a study that had been debunked months ago by Harvard University researchers Matthew Lilley and Brian Wheaton. “The study is wrong, and yet journalists ran with it anyway,” they revealed in in Reason magazine four months ago. That’s four. 4. IV. F-O-U-R.
Lilley and Wheaton tried to replicate the original study—if a study is valid, you can do that. They discovered that “adding a simple statistical control for county population to the original analysis causes the estimated effect of Trump rallies on reported hate crimes to vanish. “Given how little scrutiny was required to reveal the flaws in the thesis that Trump rallies cause hate incidents, one cannot help but wonder whether its viral status was aided by journalists predisposed to believe its message,” the researchers noted.
2. The first “I don’t understand this story at ALL” of 2020:
In July 2018, Michael J. Reynolds. a New York City police officer, was in Nashville for a three-night bachelor-party trip with six other officers. At one point in the festivities, Reynolds, who is white, kicked in a black woman’s door in a drunken rage, threatening her (“I’ll break every bone in your neck…”) and her sons while calling them “niggers” and showering them with obscenities. He was arrested, tried, and sentenced to 15 days in jail with three years’ probation after pleading no contest to four misdemeanors, court records show. Nevertheless, he remains an employee of the N.Y.P.D. More than 10,000 people signed an online petition demanding his dismissal and supporting the woman whose home he invaded.
Theories? Never mind unions, due process and mandatory investigations: the incident took place a full year and a half ago. There is no excuse for this. Reynolds apologized and said that he was so drunk he doesn’t remember the episode. Oh! Then that’s OK, Officer! Let’s all forget the whole thing!
As it habitually does, the New York Times reached a false analogy, writing,
The case of Officer Reynolds is again focusing scrutiny on the pace of the Police Department’s disciplinary process. In a prominent example of how it can drag on, five years passed before Officer Daniel Pantaleo, whose use of a prohibited chokehold contributed to the 2014 death in police custody of Eric Garner, was fired and stripped of his pension benefits in August.
Ridiculous. There were legitimate issues involved in Pantaleo’s case that made the proper discipline in his case complicated and controversial. There are no reasons for controversy here. Continue reading →