Comment Of The Day on “Comment Of The Day: ‘Morning Ethics Warm-Up, 11/27/18: …And Slanted History’ [Item #5]”

This concise but useful comment of the day takes the baton from the previous one, which discussed the reasons for the increasing politicizing of American history, often with the objective of vilifying the American experience.

Here is JutGory‘s Comment of the Day on the post, Comment Of The Day: Morning Ethics Warm-Up. 11/27/18: … And Slanted History” [Item #5]

Tempted to write several times, but never felt I would have the time to do my thoughts (or the topic) justice. Not that I consider myself a good student of history, but even big idiots can usually crack the 90th percentile (and I am a bigger idiot than most).

Progressives are undoing a grand bargain. Grant won; Lee lost; Grant let the defeated army walk home; and Lee agreed the cause was lost. Both sides saved face; they agreed to bury the hatchet. The South had formal and substantive arguments that formed the basis for secession (or war). That issue was put to rest and both sides were able, through the wisdom of the generals on both sides, to put an end to the fight.

The hatchet has been dug up by the progressives. The honest differences cannot be entertained. There cannot be honor on both sides, which was the deal struck (even for the losing side). The implicit agreement to let the past be the past has been ripped open by those lacking the wisdom of the Founders, who kicked the can down the road, or Grant and Lee, who decided to stop kicking it. Continue reading

Comment Of The Day: Morning Ethics Warm-Up. 11/27/18: “Unethical Perry Mason, Icky Science, Race Card-Playing Democrats, Intrusive Bosses And Slanted History” [Item #5]

I was searching for lost Comments of the Day, and rediscovered this, from Michael West. His commentary of a week ago struck a new chord because of this story, which ruined today for me. Apparently last year a fraternity that had run into trouble for various infractions was told  by a Stanford University administrator  that it could improve its image on campus by taking down the American flag it flew from the house. The Stanford administrator allegedly said “that the American flag, as a symbol, could be intimidating, aggressive or alienating.” 

Why are elite American institutions teaching students to regard the symbol of the United States as an offensive one? Who is responsible for this culturally suicidal trend? Why wasn’t it nipped in the bud long ago?

[Tangential observation: Anyone who talks about the border conflict while using the phrase “tear-gassed women and children” deserves to be rhetorically crushed in the toughest possible terms.  It is signature significance for an ignorant jerk. At this point in history, any progressive who defaults to the 20th Century concept they have relentless mocked and derided, that women are a tender gender that deserves special delicacy in all things, is a fraud and a hypocrite. If the men trying to rush our border and stone our agents are justly tear-gassed, and they were and are, so are the women who support them.  As for the children, they are not being tear-gassed; the adults who disgracefully and cynically use them as human shields are, and the children, due to the cruelty of those who should be keeping them out of danger rather than thrusting them into it,, are the victims of criminal activity.

The alternative is to create a mad precedent that law-breakers can ensure special immunity from law enforcement if they carry children as talismans.]

Last month a survey reported that “Younger Americans are turning on the country and forgetting its ideals, with nearly half believing that it isn’t ‘great’ and many eyeing the U.S. flag as ‘a sign of intolerance and hatred,’ according to a new and disturbing survey.” If this is accurate, then, in order, parents, the education system, irresponsible politicians and the new media are my first candidates for the accusing finger. The fact that someone like Donald Trump is the most visible and prominent advocate for patriotism is certainly not helpful either.

This is an existential development. American values are linked to the nation itself. If people reject the nation, those core values are also at risk. No wonder attacks on our institutions, efforts to unravel the Bill of Rights, minimizing American contributions to world civilization,  and other efforts to erase the essence of our culture are suddenly finding more success than ever before. Once, the Stanford story would be dismissed as an outlier, “News of the Weird.” No more. In fact, we have been dangerously blase about such stories. It’s time to take them seriously.

Oh—that Stanford fraternity responded to the anti-flag tip by buying, and flying, a bigger flag. That’s the America I know and love. Let’s fight for it, shall we?

Here’s Michael West’s Comment of the Day on item #5 in the post, Morning Ethics Warm-Up. 11/27/18: Unethical Perry Mason, Icky Science, Race Card-Playing Democrats, Intrusive Bosses And Slanted History: Continue reading

Morning Ethics Warm-Up: 7/10/17

Morning, All!

(That’s a Flat Earth sunrise! I couldn’t resist...)

1. I’m encountering Ethics Alarms ethics alarms. For example, is it unethical for me to choose not to fix the typos in a comment from an obnoxious commenter? I generally fix mistakes when they turn up in comments from regulars here, or missing words and letters in first posts by newcomers. But the other day an annoying commenter of recent vintage registered a comment that seemed as careless as it was badly reasoned, and had several typos.Yeah, I fixed them. But I didn’t want to.

Then, after a long period without any blog banishments, I banished a commenter yesterday whose first post was really poor, and whose last was insulting in response to my pointing out just how poor it was. As I told him in the exit response, he had triggered The Stupidity Rule. I really don’t allow stupid people to comment here once I determine that they are hopeless. Is that wrong? Elitist? Mean?

I don’t want to keep explaining things to people whose comments indicate that they have preconceived notions, unshakeable biases, inadequate education and training in critical thinking, and are under the impression that an uninformed opinion is worthy of publication because it’s theirs. Yesterday’s exile also made the fatal error of criticizing the blog because it was “judgemental.” Yes, it’s a blog in which we analyze whether conduct is right or wrong, or something else. That demands judgment, and being judgmental. The fact that the matter at issue was a lawsuit—you know, before a judge?—and the commenter still made that observation anyway sealed his fate, even before he wrote that I was bald and presumably “repulsive to women.”

Wait…I’m bald???

2.  The University of Missouri, aka Mizzou, is in crisis as a direct result of its administrators craven capitulation to race-based extortion triggered by general angst and the Ferguson Ethics Train Wreck in 2015. Before the protests (which were based on nothing specific at the University that was ever demonstrated by the protesters, other than the President refusing to bow to demands that he condemn random reported racial incidents that didn’t involve students), Mizzou was thriving, growing, and building new dormitories. Now, in response to the nationally publicized meltdown of common sense and adult supervision (climaxed by a  protester-allied communications professor, Melissa Click, being caught on video calling for “some muscle” to prevent a student reporter from recording an ugly campus confrontation), enrollment is down 30%. The university is  closing seven dormitories and cutting more than 400 positions, including  faculty members.

Good.  But from the comments of students and remaining faculty members, it doesn’t sound as if the right lessons have penetrated the campus culture’s race-addled skull. Continue reading

The Ethics Of Refusing To Help Wikileaks

Do private corporations have an ethical obligation to allow Wikileaks to use their services? MasterCard, Visa and PayPal stopped processing Wikileaks donations. Amazon kicked the site off its server. Twitter stopped its tweets; Facebook stopped its interfacing.

Columbia University Professor Tim Wu rhetorically asked them:

“Since when are you in the business of deciding who is and who isn’t a good civil disobedience movement?”

Before I address the Professor’s question, let’s make some distinctions. Continue reading

What Was Right and Wrong With Glenn Beck’s “Restoring Honor” Rally

The pundits of the airwaves, newsprint and blogosphere have issued their assessments of the Glenn Beck rally at the Lincoln Memorial with predictable results: those who admired Beck before the rally liked it, and those who detest him ridiculed it. The New York Times, in its inimitable fashion, showed contempt for the proceedings by relegating its account to page 15, even though every past D.C. rally and march of equivalent or lesser size (especially those advocating social or political positions popular with the Times staff) received more prominent coverage. To Times columnist Frank Rich, Beck’s rally was part of a racist conspiracy hatched by billionaires—yes, Frank, sure it was. John Avlon, who long ago branded Beck as a wingnut, reasonably pointed out that it was a wee bit hypocritical for Beck to preach against divisiveness when his own cable show is one of the most polarizing, even by Fox news standards. And John Batchelor, who may be the most serious, erudite, and balanced public affairs radio talk show host in captivity, dismissed the rally as harmless and Beck as a clown:

“I think of him now and again as Quasimodo Lite, a deaf bell-ringer swinging from the Notre Dame of Fox, a man who is eager to confess his own unsightly warts—“I’ve screwed up most of my life”—and who is also heroically delighted to be our slightly stooped “Pope of Fools,” because this accidental role, in this Festival of Fools called 2010, wins the cheers of the crowd.”

Even less charitable was the Baltimore Sun’s TV critic, who accused Beck of “stealing Martin Luther King’s moral authority.” Less charitable still was MSNBC’s Chris Matthews, who seems to have been driven a little mad—or at least a little unprofessional, perhaps— by the fact that Beck had the audacity to hold his rally on the anniversary of King’s iconic “I have a dream” speech. Matthews’s hyperbole was, well, Beck-like:

“Can we imagine if King were physically here tomorrow, today, were he to reappear tomorrow on the very steps of the Lincoln Memorial? “I have a nightmare that one day a right wing talk show host will come to this spot, his people`s lips dripping with the words ‘interposition’ and ‘nullification.’ Little right wing boys and little right wing girls joining hands and singing their praise for Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin. I have a nightmare!”

Was Beck’s bash really a nightmare? Political biases aside (Chris), the question for Ethics Alarms is what was right and wrong about the “Restoring Honor” rally. Continue reading