Valentine’s Day Ethics Warm-Up: “Ya Gotta Love Ethics!”


I’m going to see if I can get through this entire post without mentioning yesterday’s acquittal of Donald Trump. There’s a whole other post around the corner for that. Let’s see.

I was sorely tempted to post the simple word “Good!” to my Facebook feed, but resisted the temptation. All it would have accomplished was to trigger some genuinely, or at least formerly, nice and reasonable people….who have nonetheless been smug, abusive, irrational, nasty, obsessed, hateful and harmful to the culture and society since November 2016. And as much as the Duke in “McClintock!” is an inspiration…

…I won’t. At least, not right now.

1, And the audacious hypocrisy continues! To a ridiculous and childish extent, too. Here’s Dr. Jill Biden’s kindergarten-style, “do as we say not as we do,” signaling-virtue-while-not-actually-engaging-in-it White House lawn display.

Biden diaplay

How nauseating.

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Further Observations On The Jill Biden “Dr.” Kerfuffle

Biden Dr

It’s been five days since I wrote about it here, and a week since Joseph Epstein made the point in a Wall Street Journal op-ed, thus getting him “cancelled” at the institution where he had been a lecturer for two decades. Nevertheless, the arguments over the appropriateness of the First Lady insisting that she be called “Dr.” are still roiling, with several essays hitting the web yesterday. Adding to the noise is Jill Biden’s—she won’t call me “doctor,” and I’ll be damned if I’ll call her that on my own site. Now, if we meet, that’s different. I call people what they want to be called, because it’s a Golden Rule thing—-dissertation, which is now widely linked so anyone can see how truly Dr.-worthy it is.

Ethics Alarms has been going through another one of those periods where readers irritate me by carping, “Why did you write about that? Why don’t you write about what I want you to write about?” (This is even covered in the comment guide, which I can summarize on this point in two words: “Bite me.”) Thus I will (again, as I did in the initial post) explain what interest this trivial matter has to an ethicist. THAT can be summed up in eleven words “So this is the way it’s going to be, is it?”

After never giving the Trumps any credit, praise, sympathy, gratitude, generosity, respect or a break for four years, the mainstream media is now going to defend every bit of criticism of the Bidens like Travis, Bowie and Crockett battled the Alamo. Wow. They aren’t even pretending to be objective and fair any more, and why should they? They pulled it off; they abused their role sufficiently to warp public perception and manipulate the election.

But we all know, even if the students being educated in our current excuses for public schools don’t and won’t, what happened to Travis,Bowie and Davy. This extreme partisanship and dedication to propaganda will not end well. The public trust of the media is already near rock bottom, with more than 50% of the population permanently alienated. We need a strong and trustworthy journalistic presence to survive as a democracy, and foolish choices of when to spin will only doom it and us.

Further observations:

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Of COURSE Jill Biden Calling Herself “Dr.” Is Pompous And Misleading, But The Mainstream Media Will Defend Her Anyway


Let me stipulate that I detest titles, and I distrust people who insist on using titles. My father was particularly contemptuous of non-medical doctors who used the appellation “Dr”. I had a history professor in high school who made us call him “Dr. Arthur,” because he had a PhD in history. My father was so annoyed when he heard that that my mother wouldn’t let him go to the parent-teacher meeting with the “Dr.” for fear Dad would say something. I have a number of friends with PhDs, and none call themselves “doctors.” Who would they be trying to impress? Who would they be trying to fool?

I guess I could call myself “doctor”; I have a juris doctor degree, after all. As arrogant and smug as so many lawyers are, I have never known any who dared put “Dr.” before their name. It’s bad enough that so many put “Esquire” after it. The incoming First Lady, however, feels compelled to call herself “Dr.” and have others do so, and she isn’t a PhD: at most, she’s as much of a doctor as I am. Her degree is an Ed.D., a doctor of education, earned at the University of Delaware. I’m so impressed.

Actually, I couldn’t care less. If someone is so determined to put on airs or be deferred to that they insist on being called “Dr.,” I’ll accommodate them, though they might not like what I’m thinking. I even called “Judge Napolitano” “judge” when I met him, though he’s not a judge.

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Afternoon Ethics Points, 4/30/2019: New Developments In Old Stories

Pardon if I sound distracted—I’m still giggling about Kate Smith.

1. Kate, Robert E. Lee and the King of Pop. It’s ironic that this comes up as I am debating on Facebook with rabid Robert E. Lee statue-topplers, because this episode perfectly illustrates why they are wrong, and not just wrong, but stupidly and obnoxiously wrong. No historical figure is honored for everything in his or her life. They are honored for their importance, influence, good deeds, finest moments and best traits. The growing totalitarian mob on the Left wants to erase the memory of anyone who failed to meet their current standards of virtue decades or even centuries before those standards existed, when many of the standards  are unreasonable even now.

Great achievers are, with the tiniest sliver of exceptions, flawed, strange, obsessed and abnormal people, and those who would hold them to impossible levels of perfection guarantee a hollow culture, a sanitized and boring history, and a shallow society.

Thus I found myself surprising myself by sympathizing with the decision of an elementary school in Hollywood to keep Michael Jackson’s name on its auditorium, despite the growing likelihood that he was a child molester, as the Los Angeles Times reported. The majority of parents and staff of Gardner Street Elementary School, which Jackson briefly attended, voted to keep his name above the auditorium. Ick, but maybe that was the right decision. Jackson was a great and influential performer, and that’s what he’s honored for. Continue reading