Morning Ethics Warm-Up, 8/8/2019: Hating Hate By Hating The Hateful Haters

Good morning.

Are you nuts? I’m not. Yet.

1. You want deranged? This is deranged. MSNBC put analyst Frank Figliuzzi on the air to explain the Nazi symbolism at the White House.  Figliuzzi is a former FBI assistant—think about that as you read this—and he has been given media credibility of late because he had  predicted that white supremacist violence was potentially imminent due to President Trump’s rhetoric. Of course, I predicted months ago that the relentless divisive rhetoric from “the resistance” would get someone killed soon, and nobody’s calling me to blather on TV…and I’m not insane, like this guy.

Figliuzzi alerted MSNBC World about the sinister numerical connection between neo-Naziism and the Trump administration’s decision to fly flags at half-mast until August 8 in honor of the victims of the Dayton and El Paso shootings.

“If we don’t understand how they think, we’ll never understand how to counter them,” he said. “The President said that we will fly our flags at half mast, until August 8. That’s 8/8. Now, I’m not going to imply that he did this deliberately, but I am using it as an example of the ignorance of the adversary that’s being demonstrated by the White House. The numbers 88 are very significant in neo-Nazi and white supremacy movement. Why? Because the letter ‘H’ is the eighth letter of the alphabet, and to them the numbers 8-8 together stand for ‘Heil Hitler.’ So we’re going to be raising the flag back up at dusk on 8/8. No one is thinking about this.”

Once again, this calls for Sidney Wang...

The reason that nobody is thinking about this, you idiot, is that it is deranged. How crazy can “the resistance” get and not start a stampede to the President, in reflex revulsion to the lies, the disrespect, the paranoia, the smears and the hysteria? The Times this week was musing about why Trump’s approval ratings are rising even as the mainstream media has been proclaiming that he’s a Nazi racist and responsible for every shooting in America.

To ask the question is to answer it.

(I just realized my piano is a Nazi…) Continue reading

Policing Ethics, Part One: Firing The Faint Of Heart

The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department this week fired Officer Cordell Hendrex for “freezing” (it’s all on video) as a deranged sniper  fired hundreds of rounds into a crowd of county music fans below the Mandalay Bay hotel in Las Vegas in 2017. “I’m inside the Mandalay Bay on the 31st floor,” Hendrex said into his radio as he hid behind a wall. “I can hear the automatic fire coming from one floor ahead, one floor above us.”

As Hendrex stayed there in terror (by his own testimony), the gunman continued to fire, eventually killing 58 people and wounding more than 800 in the deadliest mass shooting in modern American history.  His lawyers are  appealing the decision. His defense? He was scared, that’s all. It’s unreasonable for the public to expect  police officers to rise to heroic standards and place their lives in jeopardy in a public safety crisis. The Las Vegas department’s training didn’t prepare Hendrex for storming the hotel room. He’s been a terrific cop, as long as he didn’t have to put his life on the line.

Oh. Continue reading

Comment Of The Day: “Unethical Times Op-ed Of The Week?”

Timothy Egan’s spectacularly dishonest op-ed for the Times, The Founders Would Gag at Today’s Republicans: The cult of Trump has embraced values and beliefs that Jefferson, Washington and Lincoln abhorred,” was one more conservative- and Trump-bashing exercise disguised as a history lesson, albeit for Americans who know little about history and foolishly assume that they can trust pundits like Egan to enlighten them. Of course, all such exercises in time-traveling appeals to authority are inherently dishonest. 18th century minds, even those as sharp and creative as the Founders possessed, would go into shock at most of what they saw today if somehow provided the opportunity, and would take a while to understand why things have evolved as they have.

Frequent commenter JutGory sat down and treated Ethics Alarms readers with an analysis of developments the Founders would have had trouble with without indulging in the sort of cherry-picking and distortion Egan did to pander to the Times’ progressive readership. The result of what Jut called his “retro-prognostications” is a genuinely educational post, and a distinguished Comment of the Day.

Here it is:

If we are doing retro-prognostications, I bet I could do better:

Disclaimer: the Founders would probably be a bit mystified at the technological advances in general.

They would not be surprised by the abolition of slavery. They would be half-surprised that it took a war to do it (“We put in an amendment process for pretty much this reason, people!”)

They would probably be surprised at how much power the Supreme Court (the weakest branch) wields. Of course it only wields that much power because the other branches have gotten more powerful. To wit:

They would be surprised by the 16th Amendment (income tax), as it is a direct tax of the individual by the Federal Government, but okay (“Yay, Amendment process).

Of course, money is power, so, with more tax money comes more power.

They would be completely baffled by the 17th Amendment (direct election of Senators). That opens the Senate up to national influences, instead of influence from a small group of state legislators. That was kind of the whole point of the Senate: to represent the States, not its citizens.

But, you can’t pass a farm subsidy bill if Senators answer to their legislatures.

Can’t get universal healthcare if Senators stand in the way.

But, you change the Senate selection process, you get popular candidates, supported by national appeal and no specific understanding of the needs of the State (Hello, Al Franken!)

The power grab of the Commerce Clause would puzzle them. Continue reading

Instagram Shows Us Once Again That Social Media Is Dedicated To Rigging Public Debate And Discourse To Ensure Progressive Policies

But conservatives are the autocrats and fascists.

This thoughtful and provocative cartoon by Adam Ford, the founder of the  conservative satire site, The Babylon Bee, was banned as “hate speech” by Instagram:

Observations:

1. Blaming this on a flawed algorithm won’t wash. Yes, it is difficult to write programs to identify genuine non-substantive speech designed only to insult denigrate or defend, and this means that a fair and competent social media platform must lean toward being over-permissive rather than unjustly and illogically censorious.

2. Obviously, the cartoon doesn’t qualify as hate speech even under the vaguest and most sweeping definition of a term that is too flexible anyway. The comparison between slavery and abortion isn’t new, and it keeps arising because abortion advocates have yet to rebut it. Both issues involve what one side believes is a human rights violation that is defended by denying the humanity of the victims, or arguing that the abuse of the victims is justified by the benefits to those abusing them. The analogy has been raised in films (such as “The Island”) and television (as on a memorable episode of “Star Trek: The Next Generation.” The cartoon could be and should be used in classroom discussions on the question of abortion.

3. For that to happen, however, people have to see it, and be allowed to think. Social media, when it censors speech and opinion that offend the sensibilities of the “woke” simply because such speech challenge progressive ideology and cant, isn’t “protecting its users.” It is protecting its allies from having to prevail in policy debates with facts, logic and ethics by bluntly silencing dissent. This is becoming a bad and frightening habit. In his new book “”A Thousand Small Sanities,” liberal commentator David Gropnik writes, “The contemporary left can sometimes seem to have an insufficient respect for the fragility of the very same liberal institutions that allow its views to be broadcast without impediments.” Ya think??

4. Meanwhile, the controversy isn’t being covered by the mainstream media at all, at least not yet. Thus other institutions are enabling social media’s content-based ideological censorship by not publicizing it. All the better to have the metaphorical frog of the American public boiled slowly in progressive censorship before they know what’s going on. (Yes, you pedants out there, I know that you can’t really boil a frog to death slowly, but that’s the old myth.)

5. One overly kind Christian website tried to come up with ways Instagram might have legitimately concluded that the cartoon was hate speech:

There is another possible reason Instagram flagged Ford’s post in question. Throughout the comic, which equivocates old hypothetical pro-slavery arguments with modern pro-choice rhetoric, Ford refers to black people as “blacks” — a term often flagged as offensive, though some style guides do permit “black” to be used as a noun as well as an adjective. While Instagram does not specifically forbid the use of “black” as a noun in their community guidelines, it does require users to only “post photos and videos that are appropriate for a diverse audience.”

Even accepting this theory, the censorship is unethical and ominous. So if “some people” find a term that is generally accepted elsewhere as “offensive,” that justifies banning a substantive message? It is still oppressive speech policing no matter how one looks at it.

Afternoon Ethics Warm-Up, 7/5/2019: Assholes, An Idiot, Morons, And Hating America

Good afternoon!

Did you burn your flag yesterday? Lots of people did, and the news media was full of enabling pieces proclaiming the act to be noble free speech. It certainly isn’t noble, but it is free speech, , just like Bill Maher calling Republican women “cunts.” Free speech,  abuse of the right, and signature significance for assholes.

1. Yes, Joe Biden is really an idiot. Who will point that out in the mainstream media? This quote is the kind of thing that President Trump gets routinely mocked for..and Joe?

BIDEN: “Look at what’s happening with Putin. While Putin is trying to undo our elections, he is undoing elections in Europe. Look at what’s happening in Hungary, look what’s happening in Poland, look what’s happening. You think that would happen on my watch or Barack’s watch? You can’t answer that, but I promise it wouldn’t have, and it didn’t.”

Psst! JOE! The Russian interference with the 2016 election DID happen on Barack’s watch, and yours. Or is this just another Big Lie? I have never in my life seen so many Orwellian assertions of the exact opposite of reality put forth by a political party on the assumption that the news media won’t flag it for what it is, and the certainty that the public will swallow it whole.

2. Please let me know which anti-President Trump media types admit that they were 100% wrong about the President planning on giving a partisan campaign speech yesterday. Because he didn’t. At least the Washington Post published conservative columnist Mark Thiessen’ s accurate delivery of the bad news (for the “resistance”) that the Trump Deranged had made fools of themselves, and that the Chief Troll in the White House had managed to get Democrats and progressives to align themselves against the Fourth of July.

Morons. Continue reading

Comment Of The Day: “Ethics Quiz: The Insensitive Exam Question”

 

I am hopping slickwilly’s answer to the ethics quiz about “Above the Law” editor and social justice warrior taking offense at a Georgetown Law Center prof’s exam question over several other languishing but equally deserving Comment of the Day. The main reason is that it’s witty and mordantly funny, and it made me laugh out loud.

Yes, it qualifies as a rant, and I know there’s a line of long-standing in the Comment policies that says “political rants are not welcome.” However, as readers here know, every rule has exceptions, and several apply to slickwilly’s work. To begin with, any literary form, if executed well, is worthy of respect. Second, Ethics Alarms bestows special privileges on regular commenters here, who add so much to the content and quality of the blog. Finally, I have to concede that sometimes only a rant will do.

The astounding hypocrisy, dishonesty and Orwellian tactics of the “resistance” appear to be immune from rational, traditional analysis. When, for example, Mr Trump’s enraged and hateful foes accuse him of being a fascist while they encourage their supporters to physically intimidate anyone who supports the President, or say that Trump endangers democracy as they attempt to undermine public trust in the President and the nation’s institutions, dispassionate arguments fail to have much impact—it is, as I have said at various times, like arguing with lunatics or toddlers. Rants can provide special clarity by crystallizing the frustration and anger created by trying to engage ethically with a shamelessly unethical adversary. I don’t want rants to become the currency of the realm here, but this one is timely and skillful.

Here is slickwilly’s Comment of the Day on the post, “Ethics Quiz: The Insensitive Exam Question”:

“Was the professor’s exam question unethical, as in irresponsible and uncaring?

Hell, no!

Color me surprised that a progressive hack found something to be offended by.

What, President Trump not taken to Twitter lately? Was this a slow news day in Mystal’s neck of the woods? Weren’t there pygmies in Africa with acne to write about? No pictures of swimming polar bears denoting some perceived deficiency with their habitat, undoubtedly caused by evil man?

‘Snowflake’ is an apt term for what academia and progressives are indoctrinating students into becoming.

If you cannot stand up to the adversity of life, cannot even hear a point of view not dictated by your progressive masters;

If you cannot stand to be reminded that the thing you are outraged about TODAY was the thing you endorsed YESTERDAY;

If the mere presence of a designated ‘deplorable’ on campus sends you fleeing to a room with coloring books and puppies;

If the term ‘safe’ implies a space and not a condition of a runner in Baseball;

If you believe in violence against those who disagree with progressive cant, yet self defense by those attacked is not a natural and correct response;

If you believe that everyone should pay ‘their fair share’ yet complain when YOU have to pony up;

If you believe that Roe-v-Wade is written in stone, yet Heller-v-District of Columbia should be reversed upon a whim; Continue reading

Please Shake This Story In The Faces Of All Those Who Say That Islam Is A Religion Of Peace And Poses No Special Problems For A Democratic Nation And Culture

Muslim leaders in Philadelphia apologized Wednesday after video emerged of children speaking in Arabic about beheading Jews at an event at a Philadelphia Islamic center last month.

The Muslim American Society’s Philadelphia chapter acknowledged ownership of the “mistake” in a statement, Israel Hayom reports.

“Over the last decade our members have poured their soul and resources to create a harmonious, peaceful and engaged community,” the statement said. “We are very sad that within minutes all of this work was tarnished and we realize the mistake is ours to own. … We are deeply saddened to have hurt our partners in the Jewish community and beyond.”

The Muslim American Society initially called the incident “an unintended mistake and an oversight” after the video was published.

In the video, one girl says “we will chop off their heads” to “liberate the sorrowful and exalted Al-Aqsa Mosque” in Jerusalem.

“We will defend the land of divine guidance with our bodies, and we will sacrifice our souls without hesitation. We will lead the army of Allah fulfilling his promise, and we will subject them to eternal torture,” a girl reads.

Children also sang about the “blood of martyrs” and “Rebels, rebels, rebels.”

Officials said a volunteer aide selected the songs to represent Palestinian people, but added she “feels terrible she made a mistake” and has stepped down.

This is not a “mistake.” This is the mask slipping. No place of worship makes a “mistake” like this, and if the Philadelphia “Let’s kill Jews” song slipped out. then it is a fair assumption that similar indoctrination has occurred here and elsewhere that has not slipped out.

I will not pretend to have a coherent, Constitutional solution to the problem of Islam and Muslim immigrants, legal or otherwise. The U.S. must always oppose officially and culturally, discrimination and oppression based on membership in any group, be it Muslims, Communists, Scientologists, or Republicans. On the other hand, Justice Jackson’s over-quoted statement that the Constitution is not a suicide pact has never been more applicable.

Islam is a problem. It is as unethical to deny that as to react rashly and unjustly to it.

In a related development, what national news outlets other than Fox reported this story? I haven’t found any. After all, how can the Left maintain that Islam is benign and that its followers are no more dangerous than the Care Bears, the Cub Scouts and Golden Retriever puppies if people learn about Muslim children being taught songs about beheading Jews? Can’t have that! The story isn’t news, because it undermines the Greater Good, or perhaps because it undermines progressive mythology.

_____________________

Pointer and Source: Washington Free Beacon