Comments Of The Day: “Dear Ethics Alarms: I Am An Advice Columnist Who Is Ignorant And Phobic About Guns….”

“Am I holding it right?”

In the comments to yesterday’s post discussing the jaw-dropping ignorance and anti-gun bias displayed by a popular advice columnist, the question again arose as to why anti-gun advocates remain so uninformed about their own passion, and don’t bother to educate themselves sufficiently that they won’t sound like idiots—like, for example, “Ask Amy,” who confused hollow-point bullets with armor-piercing bullets, said the hollow-points were “exploding bullets,” referred to a common and popular handgun as the kind of weapon criminals use, and suggested that owning a gun was a dangerous sign of hidden criminal activity.

Glenn Logan, in the first of the two  Comments of the Day that were sparked by “Dear Ethics Alarms: I Am An Advice Columnist Who Is Ignorant And Phobic About Guns. When I Get A Question About Guns, What Should I Do?, theorized thusly…

I think perhaps because they believe it unnecessary and irrelevant. Guns are bad regardless of the use or competence of the person owning them, and that badness is imputed, in large degree, to their owner. It’s a kind of guilt by association — if you own a gun, there is something fundamentally wrong with you based on that fact alone. Guns = Bad, and how they or their ammunition works is just a meaningless detail that couldn’t possibly interest an enlightened person.

You can tell by the way firearms opponents argue their points that they neither know nor care about the function of firearms. They don’t think all that stuff matters, and in their minds, no amount of facts can overcome the one simple judgment that firearm ownership is undesirable in advanced societies.

It is possible that the gun-haters actually fear knowledge about firearms — they fear they may be seduced by their apparently powerful evil, and thereby tempted to become what they not just despise, but actively want to despise. Continue reading

“Dear Ethics Alarms: I Am An Advice Columnist Who Is Ignorant And Phobic About Guns. When I Get A Question About Guns, What Should I Do?”

Bullets, shmullets, what’s the difference?

“Ask Amy,” authored by Amy Dickinson, is one of the mid-level practitioners of the syndicated advice columnist’s craft—not consistently brilliant like Carolyn Hax, not as persistently wrong-headed as the now mercifully retired Emily Yoffe at Slate.

A recent letter to Amy read,

Dear Amy: This week, I discovered that my intelligent, hard-working, responsible 24-year-old daughter (who lives with me) is a gun owner! And it’s not a normal gun, either — it is a 40-caliber semi-automatic, and she has hollow-point bullets to go with it. Amy, this is the kind of weapon a criminal would possess! She says it is for emergencies. There have only been two home invasions in our neighborhood in the last 11 years. I’ve given her three choices: She can either give her weapon to me, sell it or move out in three weeks. I love my daughter and would be so sad for her to move into a place that she would hardly be able to afford, but now I have to lock my bedroom door at night because I don’t know what she’s going to do. Now she says that I don’t trust her, and is barely speaking to me. How can I convince her to stop endangering us?—Dumbfounded Father

Let’s make a couple of observations right away.

  • The father has every right to refuse to let the daughter keep a gun in his house; she is his guest. Nor was it respectful, fair or honest for her to bring a gun into the house without telling her host. I don’t know what the writer thinks is a “normal gun,” but a 40-caliber semi-automatic is certainly one in this day and age.

The writer is apparently frightened by the scary “semi-automatic” part, which just means he is unfamiliar with firearms that wouldn’t be used by Hopalong Cassidy.

  • “Amy, this is the kind of weapon a criminal would possess!” is free-floating anti-gun hysteria.

It’s also a gun a law-abiding citizen would possess, except that such a  gun would be possessed legally. Continue reading

Ethics Dunce: Actress Busy Philipps

Actress  Busy Philipps, an abortion advocate ( of course).  testified before the House Judiciary Committee on the topic this week.

I must drop in here that I am offended by celebrity witnesses participating Congressional hearings. They seldom are the most expert or prepared authorities, and have no special credentials except that they look nice and usually can speak clearly.  They get the opportunity to attract publicity to the hearings, and accept it to burnish their images.

In this case, the actress’s primary qualification to talk about abortion is that she had one (at 15). Philipps’ more recent argument for abortion is that a lot of women have had one, which is 100% irrelevant to the ethical and legal issues at hand. Beyond that, she essentially mouths standard talking points.  In her opening statement to the House Judiciary Committee, she said,

“I am a human being that deserves autonomy in this country that calls itself free, and choices that a human being makes about their own bodies should not be legislated by strangers who can’t possibly know or understand each individual’s circumstances or beliefs.”

I’ve been unsuccessfully looking for what Busy’s major was at Loyola Marymount, assuming she graduated (all the sources says “she attended” the school), but based on that mess, we can assume it wasn’t English Literature, pre-law or Philosophy. Laws do not typically include variances according to a citizen’s beliefs or circumstances. Robbery is illegal, even if you really need the money or don’t “believe” in property rights.

Then Texas Congressman Louie Gomert asked a pertinent question.  Melissa Ohden, the founder of the Abortion Survivors Network who survived  a failed saline infusion abortion in 1977,  had testified earlier.  “Would you agree that somebody who has survived an abortion, like Melissa Ohden, has a right, once she’s born, to life, to have control over her body where someone else doesn’t take her life?” he  asked.

“Although I played a doctor on television, sir, I am actually not a physician,” she replied. Continue reading

Unethical Tweet Of The Week: Yes, It’s Representative Ocasio-Cortez Again!

I know we’re getting perilously close to Julie Principle territory here. The Congresswoman says and tweets so many ignorant, logically flawed, impulsive and silly things so often that it seem ungallant to keep swatting at them.

On the other hand, elected officials, especially members of Congress, have an ethical duty not to make their supporters, followers and the public in general dumber and more ignorant than they already are. The tweet above does that: it misrepresents laws, law enforcement, the nature of abortion, reality, justice, too much to process, really.

It also shows seriously damaged critical thinking skills and an abysmal grasp of analogies. “Right?” No, NOT right, you fool. Abortion bans target the intentional taking of what these laws deem human life. Got that? Intentional. No ICE agents set out to cause the deaths of premature babies that were, in fact, placed in peril by their mothers who endangered them by bringing them along as they attempted to break U.S. laws. There is no valid comparison here. None. Continue reading

Eugene Robinson Provides The Ultimate Impeachment Bias And Ignorance Exhibit. Thanks, Eugene!

The Washington Post’s long-time Pulitzer Prize winning mediocrity, Eugene Robinson, actually enticed me into reading one of his Left-pandering columns with the click-bait title, “If Trump doesn’t warrant impeachment, who does?” I was genuinely curious to see if Robinson had found a real justification for impeaching the President other than some selections out of the Ethics Alarms Get Rid Of Trump Plan list, which now stretched from A to Q. Just so we are all on the same page, here is the current list:

Plan A: Reverse the election by hijacking the Electoral College

Plan B: Pre-emptive impeachment.

Plan C : The Emoluments Clause.

Plan D: “Collusion with Russia”

Plan E : ”Trump is mentally ill so this should trigger the 25th Amendment.”

Plan F: The Maxine Waters Plan, which  is to just impeach the President as soon as Democrats control both Houses, because they can.

Plan G : “The President obstructed justice by firing incompetent subordinates, and that’s impeachable.”

Plan H: “Tweeting stupid stuff is impeachable”

Plan I:  “Let’s relentlessly harass him and insult him and obstruct his efforts to do his job so he snaps and does something really impeachable.”

Plan J : Force Trump’s resignation based on alleged sexual misconduct that predated his candidacy. .

Plan K: Election law violations in pay-offs of old sex-partners

Plan L: The perjury trap: get Trump to testify under oath, then prove something he said was a lie. [

Plan M: Guilt by association. Prove close associates or family members violated laws.

Plan N: Claim that Trump’s comments at his press conference with Putin were “treasonous.”

Plan O:: The Mueller investigation  report is  justification for impeachment even though the investigation found no evidence of crimes or misconduct that could sustain an ethical prosecution.

Plan P: Trump should be impeached because he’s daring the House Democrats to impeach him.

Plan Q:  Impeach Trump to have an unquestionable right to acquire his tax returns, on the assumption that the returns will justify impeachment.

If these seem progressively more desperate to you, there’s a reason: they are, particularly the last three, which emerged after the Mueller investigation failed to accomplish what it was set up to do.

So how do Eugene Robinson’s overwhelming justifications for impeachment stack up? He writes,

Obstruct a Justice Department investigation, perhaps? No, apparently that’s not enough. What about playing footsie with a hostile foreign power? Abusing his office to settle personal grievances? Using instruments of the state, including the justice system, to attack his perceived political opponents? Aligning the nation with murderous foreign dictators while forsaking democracy and human rights? Violating campaign-finance laws with disguised hush-money payments to alleged paramours? Giving aid and comfort to neo-Nazis and white supremacists? Defying requests and subpoenas from congressional committees charged with oversight? Refusing to protect our electoral system from malign foreign interference? Cruelly ripping young children away from their asylum-seeking parents? Lying constantly and shamelessly to the American people, to the point where not a single word he says or writes can be believed? President Trump has done all of this and more.

The last sentence is a tell, of course. It tells us that Robinson is just mouthing the Maxine Waters impeachment argument: Trump should be impeached because everything about Trump drives Democrats, progressives and their allies crazy….in short, “Orange Man Bad!” But let’s examine the reasons Robinson enumerates:

  • Obstruct a Justice Department investigation.

It’s so nice of Eugene to destroy his credibility up front like this.  Reviewing the (weak) evidence that the Mueller investigation suggested might support a charge of obstructing justice, the official responsible for making the determination concluded that there was no obstruction. Even Mueller, in his unethical and Justice policy defying statement, didn’t say the President obstructed an investigation, He said that the investigation didn’t prove he didn’t obstruct it, which is legally meaningless. So we also know Robinson isn’t a lawyer.

  • Playing footsie with a hostile foreign power

This is so stupid it doesn’t deserve rebuttal. So we have moved on from the “collusion” fake crime to the even more ephemeral “playing footsie” standard? Huh. Would Obama’s infamous “more flexibility” comment to Putin caught on camera be considered “footsie”?

  • Abusing his office to settle personal grievances

Another made up offense.

  • Using instruments of the state, including the justice system, to attack his perceived political opponents?

Eugene’s link to support this false assertion is a typical Trump attack Atlantic article that claims such conduct as accusing the Justice Department of behaving unethically (which evidence increasingly shows it did) and appointing an acting Attorney General who was critical of the Mueller investigation somehow meets Robinson’s hyperbolic description.  The article also asserts that Trump wanting Hillary Clinton and James Comey to be prosecuted is an abuse of power.

  • Aligning the nation with murderous foreign dictators while forsaking democracy and human rights.

Oh, for God’s sake. It’s called foreign policy and utilitarian trade-offs, you imbecile. It would be impossible to name a President who did not do this. We can argue about when it is a prudent course,  but what a self-evidently silly statement. Obama reached out to Cuba and opened diplomatic relations without insisting on any human rights reforms at all. Was that impeachable. Eugene?

  • Violating campaign-finance laws with disguised hush-money payments to alleged paramours.

See Plan K. This is a tortured election law violation theory that will not hold water. Worse, it depends on the testimony of the Most Unethical And Unbelievable Lawyer Alive, Michel Cohen.

  • Giving aid and comfort to neo-Nazis and white supremacists?

One of the “resistance’s” Big Lies.

  • Defying requests and subpoenas from congressional committees charged with oversight.

And in the process of abusing that oversight. “Defying a request” is impeachable, eh, Eugene? The President has the same right to challenge the validity of a subpoena as anyone else, as well as a duty to protect his office and the Separation of Powers. Until the issue has been adjudicated, there is nothing improper or illegal with telling Congress to take a hike.

  • Refusing to protect our electoral system from malign foreign interference?

What? WHAT?  The 2016 election was under Obama’s watch. Does Robinson know which President he is talking about?

  • Cruelly ripping young children away from their asylum-seeking parents?

So now it’s just “resistance” talking points, is it? The President cannot be impeached for legal policies executed by executive agencies, particularly policies that were mandatory under the law, even more particularly policy that the previous administration followed as well.  For “asylum-seeking parents” read “illegal immigrants endangering their children to breach U.S. borders.”

  • Lying constantly and shamelessly to the American people, to the point where not a single word he says or writes can be believed.

More talking points and narratives. All of President Trump’s exaggerations, botched facts, misrepresentations and mistakes rolled up into one ugly ball would still not equal the dishonesty and the damage done by Barack Obama’s signature lie to sneak the Affordable Care Act by the gullible public. And no, that wasn’t impeachable, just despicable.

The answer to Robinson’s headline question, “If Trump doesn’t warrant impeachment, who does?” is this:

A President who has actually engaged in conduct the Constitution says is impeachable. As Robinson’s weak and ignorant case shows vividly, President Trump hasn’t.

Ethics Observations On The Realization That Al Sharpton Is Dead-Fish Ignorant Of Basic U.S. History And Has A Network Platform To Spread His Ignorance Thoughout The Nation

Confusion is completely understandable…

On Saturday’s PoliticsNation , MSNBC host Al Sharpton led a panel discussion regarding the crisis of the  Trump administration delaying the release of the new $20 bill with Harriet Tubman’s image replacing that of President Andrew Jackson. Sophia Nelson, Dean Obeidallah, and Michael Hardy were Sharpton’s guests.

At one point in the discussion, Sharpton said,

“The blatant thing here is you’re talking about a black woman abolitionist that is going to replace a slave owner who was one that fought against many of the things that his immediate predecessor, Abe Lincoln, stood for. “

Later he said, just in case you might think this was a slip of the tongue,

“They used to call it the party of Lincoln and Frederick Douglass, both of whom were opposed to what Jackson ended up doing after Lincoln’s assassination, and both of whom were allied and stood with Harriet Tubman.”

Yes, it’s true. Al Sharpton, whom MSNBC allows to host a national public affairs show based on his supposed authority and acumen, thinks that Andrew Jackson, 1767-1845, hero of the Battle of New Orleans, creator of the modern Democratic Party, vanquisher of the Bank of the United States and foe of states’ rights, who served two transformative  terms and was one of our most important Presidents, is Andrew Johnson, 1808-1875, Lincoln’s second term Vice-President, who was impeached by the House for opposing Republican Reconstruction plans.

Observations: Continue reading

The Kate Smith Ban, Chapter II: Oops! Kate Was Actually An Important Voice AGAINST Racial Prejudice! Now Can We Put Her Statue Back Up And Listen To Her Recordings Again?

Oh, how I love this development!

As Ethics Alarms discussed last week, The New York Yankees banned singer Kate Smith’s rendition of “God Bless America” at their games after some individuals claimed she was a racist because of the lyrics of two songs she recorded in the 30s. This was a stupid complaint, and the Yankees were cowardly to react to it as they did, but you know, the Yankees. (I kid: my Boston Red Sox were even more craven for  removing the name of their most essential owner, Tom Yawkee, from the street bordering Fenway Park as a virtue-signaling  surrender to Boston progressives.)

The NHL’s Philadelphia Flyers had  more reason to be loyal to Smith’s memory than the Yankees, for the singer was the team’s good luck charm, singing “God Bless America” at crucial Stanley Cup home games in the early 1970s. Not only did  the Flyers ban Kate’s rendition of the Irving Berlin patriotic anthem, it covered Smith’s statue in front of the team’s arena with a tarp, then took it down completely.

Nice. I wonder why they didn’t renounce their Stanley Cup victories, since now they are tainted.

Now it appears that Kate was falsely smeared, misrepresented, misunderstood and mistreated.  Continue reading