Flunking Responsibility, Honesty, Common Sense and Ethics: Gov. Deval Patrick, Sen. Patrick Leahy, Daily Kos, and Anyone Else Who Repeats This Idiotic Analogy

Deval Patrick

I thought I might run an ethics quiz asking whether this current and mind-bogglingly stupid argument that keeps popping up from my sentiment-addled Facebook friends is more unethical than the pro-Hamas hashtags being appended to twitter comments by the “Think of the children!” saps led by celebrities like Jon Stewart, Selena Gomez, and John Cusack. Pondering on it, however, I realized that as ethically misguided as Stewart at al. are, the above quote and its ilk are worse….especially since state governors and U.S. Senators have more credibility than comedians and Disney pop tarts. Not that they should, mind you.

If I really have to make a detailed argument explaining why Deval’s quote and  Leahy’s ( “Think of all those Jews that went to the ovens because we forgot our principles. Let’s not turn our backs now.”) are unforgivably irresponsible, we are just as dim-witted as those demagogues (or, more likely, as dim-witted as they hope and think we are.) The statements are no more nor less than an invitation to every parent of every child in every poor, war-torn, politically foul, culturally poisoned, dangerous, corrupt nation in the world to somehow get them to the U.S. border, paying shady and often treacherous agents to do so, because the United States will not “turn its back,” and turn them back. The question isn’t whether this is a legitimate, responsible or sane position worthy of debate and serious consideration: of course it isn’t. The question is how anyone can think it is. Continue reading

Ethics Quiz: How Do We React Ethically To THIS?

"Oh, Naaaaancy! Naaaancy!

“Oh, Naaaaancy! Naaaancy!

Today,the Congressional Budget Office made this announcement, as reported by The Hill:

“The new healthcare law will cost the nation the equivalent of 2.5 million workers in the next decade, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimated in a report released Tuesday. The nonpartisan agency found the healthcare law’s negative effects on the economy would be “substantially larger” than what it had previously anticipated. It said the equivalent of 2.3 million workers would be lost by 2021, compared to its previous estimate of 800,000. It also projected that labor force compensation would be reduced by 1 percent from 2017 to 2024 — twice its previous estimate — and that declining economic growth would add $1 trillion more to deficits.”

Well, of course. We, and by we I mean intelligent, objective people who pay attention to history and know how government programs work, knew this revelation, or some version of it, was coming along sooner or later. And yet, when the Affordable Care Act was being debated and railroaded through Congress–and that is a fair description of the strong-arm, gimmick-driven, dishonest and anti-Democratic manner in which  it was passed—critics who said the law would increase the deficit and the debt, not reduce them; that it would lose jobs, not create them, and that it would retard economic growth, not boost it were savaged by the media, commentators and Democrats, called obstructionists, cruel, liars and worse.

I particularly remember MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow, arguably the most credible of her far left colleagues, furiously railing, while serving as a reporter at the Republican National Convention, about the utter dishonesty of GOP speakers who kept saying—in defiance of the CBO projections, mind you!—that the AFA would increase the deficit, not reduce it. Chris Matthews, to give credit where it’s due, intervened and said, in essence, ‘Well, now Rachel, you have to admit that the record of big federal programs has not been good in this respect.’ No, she wouldn’t admit it. Continue reading

Unethical Quote Of The Week: Comedy Central’s Jon Stewart

“Actually, I think that’s the official slogan of oppression.”

—-Comedy Central’s Daily Show host Jon Stewart, mocking Megyn Kelly’s statement that “just because it makes you feel uncomfortable, doesn’t mean it has to change.”

Motto Kelly, because she appears on Fox News, is presumed to be an idiot by Stewart, who manages to reserve a disproportionate supply of his barbs for that network as opposed to the even more barbable MSNBC. Her statement, however, was completely correct and responsible, unlike Stewart’s “motto” quip.. In fact, “‘Just because it makes you feel uncomfortable, doesn’t mean it has to change’ is the official slogan of oppression” could be the official slogan of smug, censorious and hypocritical political correctness peddling wise-asses.

This is why nobody should take Jon Stewart seriously, and also why he needs to take pains to discourage anyone from taking him seriously. As an off the cuff comic’s retort to Kelly’s silly defense of racial purity for Santa Claus portrayers, the motto comment is fine—snappy, pointed, properly dismissive. Unfortunately, as Stewart well knows, lots of young, otherwise unread and politically ignorant viewers (and web columnists) view him as a substantive political commentator, and from that perspective, his statement is irresponsible and reckless. Gays make Phil Robertson uncomfortable—should they have to change? Are they oppressing him? Student criticism of President Obama makes some college professors uncomfortable—should the students be muzzled? Stewart’s statement, if it is taken as more than a momentary quip to tweak Kelly, is an endorsement of tyranny of the conveniently offended, which is another form of oppression. There is too much of that going on already, as the current Duck Dynasty flap is demonstrating. Continue reading

Jon Stewart’s Lesson On Trust

I am teaching this morning, so a more substantial post will be appearing later. In the interim, those who haven’t seen Jon Stewart’s meltdown over the scandal avalanche exposing the ineptitude and ethics blindness in the Obama Administration should go here. I suspect much of the mainstream media that has been abdicating its role of objective reporter for the pat four years is reacting in much the same way; in fact, I know it is, based on the sudden confluence of op-eds, columns, and on-screen rants about the President’s disinterest in management, oversight, and, you know, governing, as if this was a new phenomenon.

Stewart expresses his horror that after the revelations of the last couple of weeks, the burden of proof will now be on the government to show it is worthy of being trusted to impose ourselves on our lives, and the concerns of those who distrust the expansion of government power can no longer be dismissed as paranoia and conspiracy theories. In truth, nothing has changed, for this always has been the case. That is why our nation’s founding documents are both written from the perspective of those who are wary of the inherent corruption and abuse that government power always risks, based on the tragic lessons of history.

The remarkable thing isn’t that these most recent examples occurred, but that otherwise intelligent people like Jon Stewart seem to be genuinely surprised by it.

Double Standard Ethics: What the “Occupy Wall Street” Demonstrations Have Revealed So Far

1. When well-behaved middle-class Americans held rallies protesting specific U.S. policies, notably excessive spending, a CNN  reporter challenged them on camera and accused the effort of being a creation of Fox News. When incoherently chanting anarchists, radicals and unemployed youths hold rallies advocating nothing constructive whatsoever, reporters are invariably respectful.

2. Thanks to the efforts of snickering CNN and MSNBC hosts, the emerging Tea Party was immediately referred to using a crude term for a gay sexual act. No such denigrating term has been employed to describe “Occupy Wall Street.” Continue reading

To Jon Stewart, Ethics Hero: I’m Sorry I Doubted You.

Impossible conflict of interest? No problem!

I’m also glad that I waited before posting my article labeling Stewart, the much-revered cultural force who chairs Comedy Central’s satirical news hour, “The Daily Show,” an Ethics Dunce for wimping out in his initial tepid take on the Rep. Weiner scandal.

Stewart is a good friend of the sexting, lying New York Congressman, and for most comedians, leaving a high-profile friend in trouble off of their comic hit-list would not only be acceptable, but admirable. A comedian only has the obligation to be funny, and if he  chooses to be funny without slicing up a close friend in crisis, that just makes him a kind and loyal friend. Stewart, however, can no longer claim to be just a comedian. He has built a reputation as a truth-teller, leaning to the left, perhaps, but still willing to skewer idiocy, corruption, hypocrisy and dishonesty whenever and wherever they surface in current events. This means he is trusted, and that he has a duty to make  his audience laugh while displaying integrity, fairness, wisdom and good judgment. It’s a high standards to meet, but it is also the one Stewart set for himself by reaching it again and again. Continue reading

Ethics Hero: Jon Stewart

When Jon Stewart announced his “Rally to Restore Sanity on the Mall” in support of a return to civility and moderation in politics, many, if not most, assumed that he would be hosting a boisterous, funny, pointedly partisan rally in favor of progressive policies, with the secondary objective of putting the Tea Party movement in its place—sitting in a corner wearing a dunce cap. Continue reading


I cringed when Larry King, jacketless, as always, despite being a guest in the White House, ended an interview with President Clinton and Vice President Gore in 1993 with “Thanks, guys!” So I choked when Jon Stewart called the President of the United States “dude” in his appearance on “The Daily Show.”

I blame KIng for blatant disrespect to the office of the President. (I would like to think that Clinton privately told King that the next time, if there was one, it would be “Mr. President,” thanks.) I blame Stewart, too; I think it was a gaffe, and I think he should have apologized. Mostly, however, I blame Barack Obama. Continue reading