I’m Thankful That So Many Americans Will Refuse To Comply With Pandemic Orders From Arrogant And Contemptuous Elected Officials Like These

Thanksgiving plus US

Elected mayors and governors across the country have simultaneously demanded obeisance to their burdensome orders constraining American rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness while showcasing their belief that they are above the obligation to live by their own rules.

I’m grateful for this disgusting phenomenon. It vividly exposes a political class that thinks Americans are marks and fools, or perhaps some kind of human-sheep hybrid. These elected dictators’ not-so-secret desire is to dominate and rule. They have but a faint concept of what a representative democracy means, and have contempt for it and us. Members of the public who can’t see the unethical double standards these nascent totalitarians would inflict on the nation, or worse, those who accept and tolerate the double standards, are the intended victims. Fortunately, there are still a critical number of citizens who recall this nation’s origins as a rebellion against tyrants.

The open contempt these leaders have for us is staggering. Perhaps they expected their allied propagandists among news media to hide the hypocrisy, which so far it has been unwilling to do. Actually, considering the embargo on stories that might reflect positively on President Trump during the run-up to this months election, it is surprising our aspiring dictators haven’t been provided with more cover. This is something else to be thankful for.

From the Thanksgiving section of the Dead Ethics Alarms files:

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It’s Time For Another 2020 Election Ethics Train Wreck Update! [Updated!]

Devil on shoulder

1. I find it nearly impossible to believe that the presumed election of Joe Biden can be reversed by now. Moreover, if it were over-turned, the reaction from the Axis of Unethical Conduct—they are the violent ones, after all—would be too frightening to contemplate. Richard Nixon, of all people, looks better and better in the rear view mirror. In one of his few noble and self-less acts, Tricky Dick of all people decided that the consequences of overturning an election because of fraud and illegal voting tricks weren’t even worth winning the White House. Of course, the political differences between Nixon and Kennedy were puny compared to the divide today.

2. However, there is legitimate doubt today whether allowing election manipulation allegations to just fade away without legitimate scrutiny—as they certainly would once the Democrats take over the Executive Branch—wouldn’t be as destructive as what Nixon feared. It Trump concedes, one could argue, he’ll be allowing election fraud to succeed and even to become a “norm.” Finding and punishing election cheats are important even if they didn’t change the result.

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Monday PM Ethics Parcels, 11/16/2020: Hypocrisy, Hypocrisy, Harvard

packages--1

1. Hypocrisy One. Another note on crazy-making discussions with the Trump Deranged; I admit to snapping when a once-intelligent Biden voter tossed off the Big Lie that Trump was a danger to individual rights, specifically free speech. “What?” I exploded. “Give me a single example where the President has taken any action that threatens free speech! Meanwhile, conservative speakers have been blocked from reaching audiences on campus, members of  Congress, all Democrats, have argued that “hate speech” isn’t protected under the Constitution, executives, board members, faculty members and others have been forced to resign because of communications that do not comport with progressive positions; citizens wearing MAGA hats have been attacked; Democratic leaders have endorsed Black Lives Matter, which enforces compelled speech (because silence is violence), social media platforms run by Democratic Party supporters are actively censoring conservatives, the a  New York Times editor was forced to apologize and ultimately resigned for allowing an opinion the staff didn’t like to be published as an op-ed, a Democratic Representative and others area calling for supporters of the President to face accountability, and President Trump is a threat to free speech?

Do you know what her sole justification for that position was? The President attacked the news media and declared them the “enemy of the people.” That was it. That was enough: words, not actions. Barack Obama’s administration bugged a journalist. Obama himself attacked Fox News. But Donald Trump threatened the First Amendment.

I don’t understand how such nonsense can come out of an educated person’s mouth without her hearing it and gasping, “Wait! That was completely ridiculous! What’s the matter with me? How did I get this way?”

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Comment Of The Day: “The Hanging Of Henry Wirz”…And Thoughts On Who Is Worthy Of A Memorial

wirz2

Michael West’s latest Comment of the Day was a provocative note relating to the recent post marking the execution of Capt. Henry Wirz, the Confederate commander of the infamous Andersonville prison camp and the defendant in the first American war crimes trial. Apart from the information, his comment also prompted some research and thought on my part. There are ethical conundrums afoot.

I’ll be back to discuss them after Michael West’s Comment of the Day on the post, “The Hanging of Henry Wirz”:

And there’s a monument in memory of Henry Wirz smack dab in the middle of the “main” intersection of Andersonville. The town, which literally had NO connection to Wirz outside of circumstance…has a monument to the man. At least when Southerners were given the option to erect monuments and name installations, they generally associated places with Southerners who had geographic connections with the locale.

Like Fort Bennin: with a military career earning no more than a “yeah, he was there” mention, Fort Benning is named after a man who happened to be born near there. But Henry Wirz gets a monument in the town associated with his notoriety. Perhaps it would be fair to let his monument be the last torn down by the history-eaters, if only to remember that lethal scapegoating is wrong, however temporarily useful.

I’m back with more on this topic:

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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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The Hanging Of Henry Wirz

Andersonville photos

On this date in 1865, Henry Wirz, the Confederate commandant of the infamous Andersonville prisoner of war camp in Georgia, was hanged after the war crimes trial that became the precedent for the Nuremberg trials after World War II.

I know the story of Captain Wirz and the circumstances of his trial well, having directed Saul Levitt’s great ethics play “The Andersonville Trial” twice. Not that Levitt’s play was an accurate portrayal of the trial—for one thing, Wirz’s dramatic stage testimony defending himself never happened. However, Levitt brilliantly brought to the fore the deep hypocrisy of Wirz’s scapegoating after the Union victory. Not only were the atrocities at Andersonville no worse than those at some Northern prison camps, Lincoln and Grant deliberately provoked the crisis in managing such camps by the South when they made the tactical decision not to engage in prisoner exchanges.

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Early Sunday Morning Ethics Warm-Up, 11/8/2020: The 2020 Presidential Election Ethics Train Wreck Accelerates…

Train-Wreck air

The news media, Democrats and Trump-Haters—are there any Biden supporters, I wonder?—are behaving like—no other word will do— assholes to a degree that even I could not have imagined. They are doing so in such a flagrant matter that one has to ask if they all really are assholes, if they are this way permanently now, and if we can ever trust any of them again. Gloating, threatening, insulting and lying is not the way to heal the damage done to the nation (by them, primarily) over the last four years.

Do not send Ethics Alarms comments about how “this is no surprise.” Just cut that out. Writing that mitigates the offense. It is a surprise. It may have been predictable, but one has to be surprised at such despicable conduct by such a huge component of the population, or one just has to give up.

It’s unethical to give up.

1. I just blocked my first Twitter account, and it was that of the self-banned, former puckish Ethics Alarms commenter Jeff Field, known here as Fattymoon. Jeff was an enthusiastic member of Occupy Wall Street, meaning he was essentially an anarchist and thoroughly deluded, but he was treated well here. Then he went off to Medium to attack me and the blog by name. That’s fine. What’s not fine is the string of tweets he has sent out lately threatening me for daring to point out the same kinds of issues I’m covering in this post. That is signature significance for both an asshole and a totalitarian (anarchists are often totalitarians, as long as they see themselves in charge, and all totalitarians are assholes).

I really thought better of Jeff. I have never blocked anyone on Twitter; I object to it on principle, but I’m willing to be insulted—I know how to defend myself—but threats on social media are intolerable.

2. The news media cannot ethically refer to Joe Biden as “the President-elect.” He isn’t. That’s a fact. They didn’t call George W. Bush “President Elect” when Al Gore and Florida Democrats were searching high and low for any way to flip Florida into the Gore column in 2000, and at this point, the 2020 election is no more decided than that one was. It is a remarkable—and obviously unethical—exercise for the news media to declare Biden the winner and then use its own fake news to proclaim him President-elect. There are sufficient states with their vote totals in question, with recounts looming and lawsuits mounting, to wait. Waiting costs nothing; premature declarations and celebrations make the nation look ridiculous, because at this juncture, it is ridiculous.

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Saturday Ethics Review, 11/7/2020: And The Beat Goes On (Item #7 Added)

1. It’s not only the obvious hypocrisy and double standard, it’s the fact that they are so shameless about it. Of course, the average low-information voter (or the average partisan hack who likes applying double standards) cheered on Al Gore and the Democrats when they challenged the 2000 election using a shifting set of theories—remember the “butterfly ballot” that sparked the first legal challenge from Al’s lawyers? Then it was the hanging chads. The 2020 election isn’t over and the race isn’t won until every re-count is completed and there is a credible and trustworthy result. The results so far in multiple states are spiderweb thin, and even relatively small instances of voter fraud could change the winner.

As I have already written here more than once since Tuesday, President Trump has an obligation to oversee responsible investigations into questions regarding irregularities in the vote counting and mail-in voting. He is, after all, President for two more months at least. But the Axis of Unethical Conduct is, as it has from the beginning of his term, claiming that what is virtuous and justified when their favorite politicians do it is sinister when Republicans do the same. I have a complete library of asshole tweets to the effect that the latest Democratic coup attempt should be granted instant legitimacy before all of the issues are satisfactorily resolved. Here are two samples,

Tapper twt

Winslow tweet

If you have problems with my characterization of “coup” just now, sorry, I’m not retracting it. The election was not held on even ground, between the news media’s open bias and the use of the pandemic to justify early and inherently corruptible mail-in voting. It is certainly possible that Joe Biden would have won in a fair election, but we will never know that. The price of the party’s “ends justify the means” strategy is that this election can never be regarded as decisive or fair, and expect the Right to act accordingly.

The fact that a news organization or a decision desk has declared Biden the winner doesn’t mean that he is the winner, and if there are valid legal issues and voting questions to be settled, we should settle them now, because we know they won’t be addressed once the Democrats have the Presidency. I also endorse the point made in this tweet…

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Decided: The Ten Reasons I’ll Be Voting To Re-Elect President Trump [6-10]

Hiding Biden meme

[Reasons 1-5 are here; the Preface to this exercise is here.]

6. I hate to quote Newt Gingrich, whom I detest, but in an appearance on Fox News yesterday predicting a Trump victory, he put his finger on a factor that the media (and pundits like Nate Silver) seem to ignore or not understand. (Newt is despicable, but he’s not dumb.) He said,

“In the end, as you watched these two candidates campaigning, I think it’s coming down to sort of a bunny rabbit hiding in a basement protected by the news media and a bear who is wandering around on the stage courageously without fear. If you think the world is dangerous, whether the dangers are riots in Philadelphia or the dangers are the Chinese communists, you probably want a bear that is strong enough to defend you and not a bunny rabbit that has to be protected by the news media. I think every day that Biden hides and Trump goes out and campaigns, the psychological message being driven to the American people is really deeper than just ideology or partisanship. It says one guy has the guts, the willingness, the toughness to actually be out here, taking on things including Covid. The other guy is hiding, frightened, hoping the news media will save him because he can’t possibly save himself. And I think that sinks in,” he continued. “And I think that’s why you are seeing in virtually every poll I trust we’re seeing a steady drift towards Trump and away from the undecided and away from sort of leaning towards Biden but not sold. My personal bet is it will lead to a surprising majority for Trump.”

I don’t quote Newt to suggest the likely outcome, but rather to explain how this factor influenced my decision. Reluctant leaders are lousy leaders, and for the most part, they don’t reach the Presidency, and shouldn’t. I admire Trump for campaigning so vigorously despite the chorus from the media that he will lose, despite the constant hate directed his way, despite being in his mid-seventies and having just had a bout with the Wuhan virus. The man is working. He wants it. I see no evidence that Joe Biden really wants the job, or, if he does, that he’s capable of fighting for it. If he’s not capable of fighting to be President, he is not capable of being President once he’s elected.

7. The decision by the Democrats to allow the Biden ticket to represent the party and its supporters in the 2020 election will stand as the most cynical, irresponsible and unethical act by any political party in American history, only rivaled by the same party’s decision to let a dying President Roosevelt run for a 4th term in 1944. At least that version of the party had some excuses: there was a world war to wrap up, and many in the party leadership didn’t know just how sick FDR was, since he actively hidden the fact. These Democrats have no such excuses.

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The Throbbing, Unethical Stupidity Of Senator Mazie Hirono

Hirono

One of the more ridiculous moments in the hearings to vet Judge Barrett was the contrived indignation expressed by Senator Hirono and Senator Cory Booker when the nominee used the term “sexual preference.” The Democrats had nothing valid to complain about regarding the judge—attacking her religion had proven unpopular and ugly in her previous confirmation hearings—so this was the best they could do: political correctness and dubious language taboos.

It wasn’t just them, of course: Patty Murray, the third-ranking Democrat in the Senate, tweeted: “Judge Barrett using this phrase is shameful and offensive—and it tells us exactly what we need to know about how she views the LGBTQIA+ community.” Yes, that’s certainly fair: the unplanned and innocent use of term that has been unofficially designated as “offensive” by activists tells Democrats “all they need to know.” This was the signature significance moment that saw Webster’s dictionary prove beyond a shadow of a doubt its unethical bias and lack of integrity when the company reacted to the Hirono-Booker vapours by changing the online definition of “sexual preference” to match the new GoodSpeak.

Honestly, why aren’t people embarrassed to be supporting a party and its allies that behave like this? But I digress.

As pointed out in the related Ethics Alarms article, inconveniently for Hirono, two of her Democratic colleagues on the Judiciary Committee and her party’s Presidential nominee, Joe Biden, had also recently used that phrase that “tells us exactly what we need to know” about them, which is—what exactly? That they missed a memo from the Language Police High Command? I’m confused.

So was National Review writer John McCormack, who relates his exchange with the Hawaiian Senator on the topic:

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