Early Morning Observations On Election 2020. So Far

Fox News Arizona

I got up at 4:30 am to scan the various news sources after going to bed at 1:30 am following a night of checking the incoming results online and on TV. Don’t expect eloquence….

Observations:

1. Chaos. This is why allowing main-in ballots was either galactically stupid or a deliberate effort to cause confusion and seed armed insurrection. The intent was so, so clear that I really don’t know what to make of those who supported it. Mail-in ballots create problems of security and chain of custody, unnecessarily delaying the determination of critical races, notably the Presidential election. The postal service is not reliable, as I can personally attest with all the checks from ProEthics clients that routinely arrive late, not at all, or end up at the wrong address. The fiasco, was, in turn, yet another creation of the politically motivated fearmongering over the Wuhan virus. It is not hard to vote “safely” in person while wearing masks and socially distancing. I never came close to touching or breathing on another person, or they on me, when I voted yesterday. The Left wants, and has always wanted, a less secure, effortless, commitment-free voting system which it believes helps low-information, easily-led voters to participate who couldn’t be bothered otherwise. (Next will be a push for online voting, once mail-in voting proves to be the catastrophe it was always sure to be.)

2. The narrative leading up to the election, that Biden had an insurmountable lead and that the President was certain to lose was false. Again, whether it was intentionally false to suppress pro-Trump votes, or just astounding incompetence, conformation bias and irresponsible reporting and polling at work, I don’t know (but I have my suspicions.) That narrative never made sense with all of the other factors involves…the nature of the Presidency, the behavior of Democrats since 2016, the disgrace of the news media, the pathetic Democratic ticket, the transparent dishonesty of blaming the President for the lock-down and pandemic deaths, the backdrop of the 2016 election, and more.

As I wrote here, over and over again.

That’s as close to “I told you so!” as I’m going to write, but you know, I do know some things. I’m not just sitting here pulling stuff out of the air. Have a little trust and faith. I think I’ve earned it.

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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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Morning Ethics Warm-Up, 10/30/2020: Zoomed Out

Zoom

Why is it that running a Zoom seminar from my office is far more exhausting than standing up and talking for three hours?

On the positive side, I was actually allowed to post an Ethics Alarms link today! I wonder if Sean Lennon reads Ethics Alarms…

1. And this woman was an early participant in the Democratic primary debates, in case you’re wondering how the party ended up with Joe Biden. New Age guru Marianne Williamson tweeted,

Williamson debate

Oopsie! Missed that “Thou shalt not steal” thing. So she came back with, “Actually, ‘Thou shalt not steal’ is of course in there. But my point about priorities remains the same.”

Wait, what point would that be? A) It sounds a lot like Rationalization #22. So because stealing isn’t as bad as murder, stealing is OK? B) Is she making a technical legal point that a man waving a knife around and refusing to drop it is “innocent” because he hasn’t been proven guilty? Or is her point that because the victim in the Philadelphia shooting may have been out of his mind meant that he couldn’t form the “mens rea” to be technically guilty of a crime? By these calculations, nobody who is shot by the police is ever guilty, because they are resisting the arrest that would eventually put them on trial.

2. Actual quote from Joe Biden yesterday: “Spending! We’re gonna roost. And we are gonna reduce prescription drug crisis experts acknowledge.”

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The Ethics Arguments For Voting For President Trump And Joe Biden, Part I

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I’ll start with Biden, because the conclusion is easier, the argument is shorter, and the path is clearer.

There is no ethical argument for voting for Joe Biden, or the Democrats, in the 2020 election. None. Zip.

It’s really as simple as that. He is obviously sliding down the road to dementia: nominating him is the most irresponsible and cynical act by a major political party since the same party nominated Franklin Delano Roosevelt for a fourth term while knowing that he was desperately ill and unlikely to survive two years, much less four. Like today’s Democrats, they didn’t even take care to make certain that they had a Vice President who was up to the job. Indeed, there was no reason to believe that Harry Truman, a career political hack from the Missouri machine, had the character or skills to be President even with the most generous assessment of his record. But at least he wasn’t chosen purely because he had the right skin shade and primary sex characteristics. Yes, the democrats and the nation lucked out with Truman, who was one of the cases in Presidential history where a man has risen to the challenge, surpassing all expectations and past levels of performance. Depending on that to happen again is madness.

Even if he were not too old and cognitively damaged to be President, Joe Biden’s abandonment of so many of his previously held—well, supposedly—principles to maintain the support of the far, anti-American Left would be disqualifying. He should be disqualified because he is a serial sexual harasser running under the cloud of an accusation or workplace sexual assault. After all, his party, and his Vice President, declared such a record intolerable not very long ago. The emerging facts about his evident corruption in dealings with his son’s business interests should be disqualifying.

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Unethical Quote Of The Week: Cher

Cher

“Right now our country’s gloomy
Fear is in the air
But when Joe’s President
Hope is everywhere
Troubles fly away
And life will easy flow
Joe will keep us safe
That’s all we need to know….”

Cher, singing a really bad parody of “Happiness Is a Thing Called Joe” a Harold Arlen-Yip Harburg song from the 1943 all-black film musical “Cabin in the Sky,” at the 2020 “I Will Vote” Concert last night.

The original lyrics were,

“It seems like happiness is just a thing called Joe
He’s got a smile that makes the lilacs want to grow,
He’s got a way that makes the angels heave a sigh
When they see little Joe passing by…”

It’s not fair to hold campaign songs that put new lyrics to popular tunes to too high a standard. They are all pretty dreadful, and since rap and hip-hop took over popular music, the once-common practice has almost become extinct.

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Friday Morning Ethics Warm-Up, 10/23/2020: Oh, Might As Well Talk About The Debate…

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If you are going to have a bad and a good debate performance, is it better to have the better showing in the last debate? That was certainly the case for Barack Obama in 2012, after Romney aced him in the previous one. Allowing early voting makes the calculation uncertain—one more reason it’s a terrible policy that undermines responsible, informed elections.

(The debate transcript is here.)

1. By recent, horrible standards, the moderator, Kristen Welker on NBC, was relatively competent, fair and unbiased. How hard was that? Even so, she interrupted the President repeatedly while mostly letting Biden finish his answers, which was not necessarily in Joe’s best interests. The mains thing was that her questions to both candidates were pointed and tough, and she did not seem hostile to one or the other. Nor did she bail out the Democratic candidate—you know, the one she’s almost certainly voted for already, a la Candy Crowley in 2012.

Welker did not ask Biden about #MeToo and his repeated sexual harassment as VP, never mind the accusation from his former staffer. That topic has been verboten during the campaign, and of course Trump wasn’t going to bring it up. Astounding, really, that Biden sailed through the primaries and this campaign without anyone prominent officially raising the question of how the party of #MeToo could have an open sexual harasser as its standard bearer.

2. Joe Biden’s appeals to trust based on the public knowing good ol’ Joe were either audacious, cynical or stupid, depending on your degree of tolerance. I found them nauseating, and for me they raised the question of whether Biden really thinks the public is that inattentive. Biden has spent his entire run for the White House rejecting the positions and values he promoted during his career; how can he keep saying, “You know me! You know what I stand for!”?

3. As always, the President’s inability to be verbally precise was infuriating, as in the exchange about “catch and release.” The basic fact is that the policy is irresponsible, since there is no reason to trust someone who would illegally enter our country to appear voluntarily in court. Trump said that almost no illegals appear, which is a typical exaggeration; Biden, absurdly, said almost all of them do, which is flat out false.

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Rueful Points, Updates and Observations On The Hunter Biden Emails Scandal, Part 2

Part 1 is here.

Ten Points, updates and observations:

  1. Both the FBI and the Department of Justice agree that Hunter Biden’s laptop and its emails are not some foreign effort at disinformation, which means that the media treatment of the New York Post as lepers for seeking to inform the public was disgusting. The FBI is indeed in possession of the laptop with Hunter’s emails, and they appear genuine. Yesterday, Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) told reporters that his staff has independently verified their authenticity. “Our staff has had conversations that authenticate that the fact that these emails are real, and that as reported I believe by Mike Emmanuel as well, that the Big Guy is a reference [to] the former vice president,” he said.

2. Meanwhile, Biden and his campaign did not and do not have plausible denials for what the evidence appears to show. Instead, the candidate’s response has been to attack the messengers, including the rare reporter who dared to pose the kind of question that must be asked. When a Wisconsin reporter asked Biden this week if there was “any legitimacy” to claims that Hunter Biden “profited off the Biden name,” Joe snapped, ”None whatsoever! This is the same garbage Rudy Giuliani, Trump’s henchman, it’s a last-ditch effort in this desperate campaign to smear me and my family.”

Biden then cited 50 former intelligence officials who, shamefully, signed a purely partisan letter vouching for Biden’s innocence, though they are currently out of the loop and can have no basis to support Biden, other than the fact that they support Biden.

3. Biden continues to insist that he had no involvement in his son’s use of the Biden name as a meal-ticket. Who believes that? Hunter Biden received a high-paid position on the board of a Ukrainian energy company despite having zero experience in the energy sector or in Ukraine! Gee, what a lucky kid. He must have found a genie or something.

4. Recently we learned that Hunter Biden’s signature appeared on documents from “The Mac Shop” in Wilmington, Del., where the laptop was dropped off, and that his name appears in the “bill to” section for a cost of $85. John Paul Mac Isaac, the shop’s owner, has worked with the FBI on the case. Isaac also received a subpoena to testify before a U.S. District Court in Delaware on December 9, 2019. One page on the FBI documents appears to show serial numbers for a laptop and hard drive. Yup, the New York Posy was publishing rumors, all right.

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Rueful Points, Updates and Observations On The Hunter Biden Emails Scandal, Part I

NPR screenshot

It is not as if anyone with integrity and respect for the democratic process should need more reasons to vote against Joe Biden, the party he represents, and the attack on American values and institutions his party represents.

Biden alone, without the implications of the s-l-o-w-l-y emerging scandal, is obviously unfit to be President as a matter of health, character, and history. He is, to begin with, too old to be President (as is Donald Trump); he is also, unlike the President, suffering from obvious cognitive decline. Biden is a proven sexual harasser and accused of sexual assault: by the vigorously stated principles of his own party and the smug Woke and crusading feminists it purports to support, he should be not merely disqualified as the party’s candidate but targeted as its enemy.

Biden’s sole argument for his candidacy once was that he was one of the few non-crazies among the Donkeys, but he has obliterated that excuse by embracing almost every radical position the worst elements of his party have put forth. Biden has shown that he has no integrity, and that his past positions and stated values are now, as they used to say in the Nixon administration, non-operable. The sole argument for Biden personally was, if you were really gullible, that he was a decent man (and obviously Donald Trump isn’t). Now that this fantasy has been stripped away, Biden is revealed almost literally as a human “none of the above” carton past an expiration date. The Democratic Party did not even have the respect for the public and the Republic to nominate someone who could be trusted to do the job.

As spoiled frosting on the cake, it appended to Joe an unqualified and generally despicable understudy chosen solely because of her color—not even her race, since she isn’t African American—and her lady parts. When given the chance to support Kamala Harris for any more substantive reasons, party primary voters held their noses, which unlike their consciences, apparently still work.

We knew, absent denial or stupidity, that Hunter Biden was engaged in influence peddling, and that Joe Biden’s fevered lies were just that. The Democrats even went to the extreme length of contriving an impeachment because the President took steps to investigate the disturbing evidence that a Vice President of the United States had acted against the interests of his country to assist his surviving, addict, loser son. Now the truth is dripping out, and, in what is for me the best reason of all to make certain the Democrats and their corrupt allies lose, the mainstream media and social media is actually , actively, traitorously burying the story.

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Wednesday Ethics Wind-Down / Thursday Ethics Warm-Up, 10/14-15/2020: The Unmasking Of News Media And Social Media Bias Continues…[UPDATED!]

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1. Notes from The Great Stupid. Here is a passage from a New York Times book review of “The Tragedy of Heterosexuality”:

In examining the pressure to partner with the opposite gender we find the extortions of capitalism, the misogyny of violence against women, the racist and xenophobic erasure of nonwhite families, and the homophobic hatreds that pervade so much of everyday life.”

Well, that and the biological imperative to continue the species. This brilliance is the work of Haley Mlotek,  a senior editor for SSENSE. Imagine: this is the quality of thought among our intellectual class.

No wonder the political class is so idiotic.

2. So this is a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist, is it? Nikole  Hannah-Jones, faced with a careful and accurate fisking of her fraudulent “1619 project” by Times columnist Bret Stephens (covered by Ethics Alarms here) did not try to rebut him, or make a civil, reasoned argument. She did what her entire generation of prominent African Americans have been conditioned to do, because it works so well. She accused Stephens and the Times of racism, with a dash of sexism for flavor. Hannah-Jones tweeted,

“In 1894, the NYT called Ida B. Wells a ‘slanderous and nasty-minded mulattress’ for daring to tell the truth about lynching. 100 years later she earned the Pulitzer Prize. These efforts to discredit my work simply put me in a long tradition of [black women] who failed to know their places.”

(It is satisfying to watch the Washington Post pounce on the Times over this fiasco. The rivalry between the papers is one of the few factors that ever pushed one of them into practicing actual journalism these days.)

As for Nikole Hannah-Jones, she is a child. Her tantrum was irresponsible and an embarrassment to the Times, and she should, by rights, be fired. She won’t be, because of black privilege, now enhanced in the wake of the George Floyd Ethics Train Wreck. The embarrassment for the Times, however, will linger. This woman was given leave by the paper to create and promote a false historical narrative that was not designed to enlighten but to further a political agenda. In truth, the Times deserves the embarrassment even more than Hannah-Jones deserves to be fired.

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Ethics Quote Of The Month: Sohrab Ahmari, New York Post Op-Ed Editor

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This episode should alarm ­every American. A very few people can unaccountably shape what you read. This is how freedom dies.

—–Sohrab Ahmar, New York Post op-ed editor, regarding the mainstream media’ and social media attempting to embargo the Post’s story today suggesting Joe Biden’s participation in his son’s Ukrainian influence peddling.

Ahmar was writing about the events described in this Ethics Alarms post.

You should read his entire column here.

Particularly striking is his list, though far from complete, of instances in which the mainstream media didn’t hesitate to report what Twitter termed in this case “the lack of authoritative reporting on the origins of the materials included” in the report. The Post editor begins by echoing what Ethics Alarms has been emphasizing regrading the news media’s descent into unprincipled partisan propaganda over journalism: “This is what totalitarianism looks like in our century…”

“Enemy of the people”? The President was correct, if impolitic, with his blunt assessment, and each succeeding month has made that more evident.