“Systemic,” A Four Part Ethics Alarms Depression, Part I: Systemic Propaganda And Facebook

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I know who Bret Weinstein is; maybe you don’t. He’s a biologist, evolutionary theorist, and, of late, a free speech activist. The fact that you may not remember him is my fault: he was the hero in the Evergreen State College (in Washington State) racist fiasco in 2017, where the school decided it should order all whites off campus for a day. He was the sole professor on campus with the guts and principles to refuse to leave, resulting in his vilification, harassment, and ultimately, his resignation. Why I didn’t highlight his courage in an “Ethics Hero” post, I don’t know: I didn’t even give his name a tag in the sole post where he was mentioned.

Fast-forward to 2020, and Weinstein found his Facebook account suspended because he wrote something that the Thought Police there felt was inappropriate—you know, like all of Ethics Alarms is inappropriate on Facebook for daring to explain that performers who have worn dark make-up are not all racists or advancing racism

“I have been evicted from Facebook,” he tweeted to his 400,000 followers. “No explanation. No appeal. I have downloaded “my information” and see nothing that explains it. We are governed now in private, by entities that make their own rules and are answerable to no process. Disaster is inevitable. We are living it.”

Later,Weinstein revealed, Facebook told him it had “already reviewed” the suspension and the decision “can’t be reversed.”

Ah, but among his 400,000 followers is John Lennon’s articulate, contrarian and often conservative-sounding younger son, Sean. He tweeted to his friend’s rescue, writing,

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Weekend Ethics Update, 10/18/20: As The Election Nears…Seeking Contrast And Perspective

  1. Ethics movie alert. Its heart is true blue—this is an Aaron Sorkin film, after all—but “The Trial of the Chicago Seven,” now on Netflix, is excellent, as well as must-watching for the astounding number of Americans under 40—50? 60?—who know almost nothing about the previous period of liberal arrogance, political incompetence and institutional failure, the late Sixties. The cast is excellent and star-studded; whoever came up with the idea of casting Sasha Baron Cohen as Abbie Hoffman should win a casting Oscar, for example. For me, the movie brought back memories sharp and grim: what a shitstorm that trial was. Frank Langella, whom I just watched in his remarkable performance as Richard Nixon more more than a decade ago in “Frost/Nixon,” is a memorable if unsympathetic Judge Julian Hoffman. Hoffman, I think, deserves better: like Judge Ito, Hoffman never had a chance to avoid judicial infamy once that trial became a circus, and that bwas something no judge on Earth could have stopped.

Then there is the frightening reality that the Chicago Seven (and Bobby Seale made Eight), who seemed like fringe-y, juvenile extremists at the time, look moderate and reasonable in comparison to today’s antifa, Black Lives Matter followers, and…dare I say it? … a nearly critical mass of Democrats.

2. Speaking of which…Senator Diane Feinstein is under attack from that nearly critical mass for indulging in traditional professional civility and bi-partisan responsibility by not pushing the recently completed hearings on the nomination of Amy Coney Barrett nomination to turn into a hyper-partisan fiasco, like the Kavanaugh hearings. She even praised her Republican counterpart, Senator Graham, for doing a good job (it wasn’t that good a job) in chairing the hearings, unlike, to just pick an example out of the murky past, the job Senator Joe Biden did during the infamous Clarence Thomas hearings. Feinstein is nearly 90, and should not be in the Senate at that age just as the unjustly sainted Justice Ginsburg should not have been on the Supreme Court long enough to die in office. Nonetheless, she is trying to hold the line against forces in her own party that would make peaceful and functioning Democracy impossible.

Continue reading

Today’s Featured Media Anti-Trump Smear [Corrected]

During a violent storm here in Alexandra, with the internet going in and out, my wife and I gave up and watched “Spotlight” again, an ethics movie, and a genuinely heroic story about journalists doing their jobs, informing the public, exposing popular institutions. Those were the days. The ending speech, where the Boston Globe’s editor talks in high-minded terms about the reason journalism is worth the effort, made me physically nauseous. The profession he described is virtually unrecognizable from what I see on CNN, Fox News, NPR, the Washington Post and the New York Times.

Almost immediately after, I read a column in the Times from two days ago, in the Arts section. It’s a periodic feature by John Williams where he interviews an author, “5 Things About Your Book.” This time he was talking to Larry Tye, whose biography of Joe McCarthy has just been published. The cut line read that Larry Tye “discusses his biography of that American bully, and an eerie echo.”

Having read the Times for the last four years and watched with admiration how it can toss gratuitous insults and sinister innuendoes about President Trump in any context no matter how remote, from book reviews to cooking columns to fashion essays.  I was certain what the “eerie echo” would be. Joe McCarthy was a bad guy, so the article would show how much Donald Trump is like Joe McCarthy.

For the nonce, I will ignore that salient fact that it is “the resistance,” the Democrats and the anti-Trump media, which is to say, the media, that have been using relentless McCarthyite tactics against the President from before he was elected.

So where was this eerie echo of Trump in the life of “Tail-gunner Joe”? Here’s Tye’s  shocking illumination of that question:

I knew there was a general link between Senator McCarthy and President Trump, but I didn’t realize how eerily echoing it was.

Huh? What “general connection”? The Senator died in 1957, when Trump was 10. How can you have a “general connection” with someone who isn’t in your family, you never met, and whom you didn’t know anything about at all until well after he died?

That’s smear #1. Here’s smear #2: Continue reading

Comment Of The Day (#3): KABOOM! Anti-White Stereotyping At The Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture”

Not all Comments of the Day have to be epics. Sometimes a spare, eloquent, short comment makes a crucial point as well as it can be made.

Here is Isaac’s Comment of the Day on the Comment of the Day bonanza that is “KABOOM! Anti-White Stereotyping At The Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture”:

It wasn’t meant to make sense. These are not unique European or White values. Europeans didn’t invent nuclear families or hard work. These values are not absent in Africa or any other continent. They are just found in varying proportions.

Most of them are just plain “good” values. That they are more uniquely tied to Europe is solely because Europe happened to fully embrace Christianity (specifically Protestantism and the written Bible) before the rest of the world.

What we’re seeing is just the devil’s mask slipping. It’s a thinly veiled attempt by Marxists to hollow out the African American subculture and wear it like a skin. And Marxism is itself a thinly veiled attempt to erase Christianity and kill its adherents.

Comment Of The Day: “KABOOM! Anti-White Stereotyping At The Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture”

This is a historic moment for Ethics Alarms. Glenn Logan has scored three (3) Comments of the Day in a row, and has a fourth that will not be consecutive idling on the runway.  Today is is particularly well-timed, as it prepares us for the horrors to come today on this space. Be warned.

The “plaint above” that he refers to at the outset is this, Glenn’s earlier COTD on the same post.

Here is the follow-up to that comment, and Glenn Logan’s Comment of the Day on the post, “KABOOM! Anti-White Stereotyping At The Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture”:

You know, after I wrote the plaint above, I forgot once again to consider the ethics of this matter. As this is an ethics blog and not a political site or repository for polemics against … whatever insult heaped upon our collective sensibilities today (and cranial detonations are certainly polemic-worthy), I guess I need to offer whatever my meager brain can conjure regarding the subject matter of Jack’s home on the Internet.

I wonder what ethical principle allows non-whites to hold the descendants of this country’s founders in contempt for the practices, language, and culture they adopted and adapted for their own? I know the New York Times wants to argue that black people founded and built this country under the whips of white masters, but the objective, historical truth is far different from their bizarre, revisionist perspective.

When did it become the ethical duty of white people to learn other languages, change their culture to fit the sensibilities of minority immigrants and former slaves, reject the founding principles of the country founded by majority white Anglo-Saxon descendants? Is this true of just the USA, or are all former slave-holding countries bound to do this? Or does this apply only to majority white countries. What guiding ethical principle provides for this self-immolation? Continue reading

Ethics Observations On The National Museum of African American History and Culture’s Retreat

The Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC) endured only a day of searing criticism before it removed its racist chart on “whiteness” from  its website. The site replaced the graphic, which Ethics Alarms reproduced here and here and never wants to see again, with this statement:

At the National Museum of African American History and Culture, we believe that any productive conversation on race must start with honesty, respect for others, and an openness to ideas and information that provide new perspectives. In that context, we recently unveiled “Talking About Race,” an online portal providing research, studies, and other academic materials from the fields of history, education, psychology, and human development.Our goal in doing so was to contribute to a discussion on this vitally important subject that millions of Americans are grappling with. Since yesterday, certain content in the “Talking About Race” portal has been the subject of questions that we have taken seriously. We have listened to public sentiment and have removed a chart that does not contribute to the productive discussion we had intended. The site’s intent and purpose are to foster and cultivate conversations that are respectful and constructive and provide increased understanding. As an educational institution, we value meaningful dialogue and believe that we are stronger when we can pause, listen, and reflect—even when it challenges us to reconsider our approach. We hope that this portal will be an ever-evolving place that will continue to grow, develop, and ensure that we listen to one another in a spirit of civility and common cause.

Observations: Continue reading

Comment Of The Day: “KABOOM! Anti-White Stereotyping At The Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture”

After a brief pause in eligible Comments of the Day, I am suddenly inundated with candidates, with blogging veteran Glenn Logan at the fore with two more to follow on his recent post. These, and another non-Logan COTD on the runway, were sparked by the Ethics Alarms post about the above content on a Smithsonian website, which threatens all records for “well-intentioned “racial stereotyping.

Here’s Glenn’s Comment of the Day #2 of three, (with the next coming up later today. Three is a row is a record!) on the post, “KABOOM! Anti-White Stereotyping At The Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture”: Continue reading

KABOOM! Anti-White Stereotyping At The Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture

Now this  is res ipsa loquitur.

My head exploded when I saw what you will see below, so you are warned. The racist chart  is from the anti-white section of  the  Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture’s  web page.

The page and its agitprop are also anti-black: hard work, punctuality, believing in cause and effect, “rational thinking,” respect for authority, and civility  are all manifestations of “whiteness”, according to the museum. Writes Rod Dreher, obviously post head-explosion…

Did David Duke write this stuff? It’s crazy! If a white man said that black people are lazy, can’t keep to a schedule, have no respect for authority, can’t think straight, are rude, etc. — he would be rightly criticized as racist. But there it is, at the taxpayer-funded National Museum of African American History and Culture. Why? Why do we pay for this racist propaganda? …

The museum teaches black people that being on time for work is racist oppression. Don’t believe me? Look. … I can’t get over this. If you assume that everything these curators say below is true, then you can explain a great deal of the chronic problems within black America. What kind of neighborhood would you expect to have if most of the people in it devalued hard work, rejected the idea that they needed to be on time, refused to defer gratification, did not respect authority, sought out conflict, laughed at politeness, rejected the traditional family model, and so forth? You’d have communities that were beset by crime and generational poverty, without the cultural tools to overcome the chaos. There are plenty of white people in this country who live by similar rules — and they’re chronically poor too.

Hold on to your skull! Here is the chart: Continue reading

Monday Morning Ethics Warm-Up, 4/20/2020: Phantom Patriots Day Edition

The Battle of Menotomy, April 19, 2020.

“One if by land, and two if by sea
And I on the opposite shore will be
Ready to ride and spread the alarm
To every Middlesex village and farm
For the country folk to be up and to arm!”

Today, the third Monday in April,  is supposed to be Patriots Day in Massachusetts (and  few other states.) It absolutely should be a national holiday, as it celebrates the battles of Concord and Lexington as well as the rides of Paul Revere and his fellow messengers the night before. I typed the excerpt above from Longfellow’s “Paul Revere’s Ride” from memory; I wonder how many students today  have even heard of the poem, or Concord and Lexington, for that matter.

The original holiday was on April 19, the date of both battles, but Arlington, Massachusetts, where I hail from, was actually the site of a bigger battle than either on the same day. On their way back from Concord after being soundly beaten at the bridge, the Redcoats marched through the town of Menotomy (Arlington now), where 5,100 militia men from surrounding towns had gathered after, unfortunately, the British had marched through the Menotomy on the way to Lexington Green with little resistance.  The volunteers, stationed around houses, stone walls, fields and barns, did considerable damage to the already limping British in the fighting that followed, but Arlington residents have always been a bit sheepish about the timing of the fight, and historians regard it as  anti-climactic following the tragedy at Lexington and the surprise victory at Concord.

Patriots Day is a big  deal in Boston, where the Boston Marathon is run annually on that date. The Red Sox also play a unique 11 am game, so spectators can leave the park and watch the finish of the race. All gone this year, of course.

That doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t remember, and honor, the heroes, victims and events of 1775 that made the United States of America possible.

1. This is the kind of thing that will lead to serious back-lash against the pandemic dictators. The city of San Clemente was alarmed that some teens, bored with pplaying video games all day, every day, continued to skateboard in a local skate park despite orders that all parks be closed. Its solution?  Fill the park, at taxpayer expense, with 37 tons of sand. The money to build the park was raised by a nonprofit coalition of local families who wanted a place for their kids to be able to skate safely, and they were not even notified that the park would be filled with sand, according to KCAL-TV. Continue reading

The “Nah, There’s No Mainstream Media Bias!” AND “Bias Makes You Stupid” Smoking Guns Of The Day [UPDATED: Smoking Gun Tweet Added]

Tom Friedman is a long-time regular in the New York Times left-wing op-ed writer stable. (Ironically enough, he is also the paper’s most enthusiastic booster of Communist China.)

It’s nice of the Times to provide such a handy example of multiple features of fake news discussed in the last post.

To be fair, Friedman’s piece is flagged as opinion, but Times editors are intentionally fear-mongering by permitting the hysterical Russian Roulette comparison. In Russian Roulette, there is a 1 in 6 chance of dying. That would mean that Trump is risking a U.S. death toll of 54.7 million deaths. Actually, the risk of causing a depression by being overly cautious about re-opening the economy is a lot closer to one in six, and maybe much higher.

But wait! As Al Jolson used to say, “You ain’t seen nothing yet!” Continue reading