I had become thoroughly sick of ESPN’s race-obsessed loud-mouth Stephen A. Smith long before I stopped watching the channel. Eventually I even eliminated it from our satellite package: ESPN, like everything Disney touches lately (except the Beatles), is unwatchable, and Smith is Exhibit A. His latest bit of gratuitous race-baiting would get him canned from any respectable network, but then there are no respectable networks. Naturally, he had to endorse Houston manager Dusty Baker’s biased and brain-dead assertion that Major League Baseball had some kind of vendetta against or racist avoidance of American-born black players (because foreign-born black players aren’t really black, or something). Just ponder this :
The Amy Coney Barrett Hysteria, PART I
We knew that whenever it was that Ruth Bader Ginsburg had to be replaced (and those of us who have not completely forgotten the immutable rules of mortaliy were not shocked when this occurred sooner rather than later) we knew that the Left would freak OUT. That they—by “they” I mean Democrats, “the resistance,” the Trump Deranged, pro-abortion fanatics, feminist ideologues and the substantial segment of social media that can be counted upon to react like the cattle in “City Slickers” when Billy Crystal turns in his battery-powered coffee grinder—would freak out quite this embarrassingly, however, I did not foresee.
This is only because I am an idiot, of course. The way the left has reacted and is reacting to Donald Trump’s election should have prepared me. Surely the despicable way they treated Brett Kavanaugh should have prepared me. It’s just that I find it hard—maybe I should say “painful”— to believe that one whole side of the political spectrum is capable of it all.
Need I mention that metaphorically running around screaming nonsense with one’s hair on fire is unethical? It is irresponsible citizenship, it is neither competent nor prudent, and it upsets the less-intelligent members of the herd, and it is wildly unfair to Judge Barrett.
Let’s just stick with that proposition, and concentrate primarily on examples that are res ipsa loquitur, meaning in this case that if you have to be told why some things are nuts, then you’re nuts too.
- Senator Gillibrand’s tweet:
The fact that this outrageous statement is not out of character for the Junior Senator from New York doesn’t make it any more tolerable. The statement itself is another iteration of The Big Lie. Of course Barrett is qualified for the Court. Her former colleagues say so, the ABA says so, and and the current membership of the Court itself says so, since there are more than one Justice whose qualifications upon being confirmed were considerably less impressive.
Gillibrand represents the dangerous brand of anti-democratic thought her party is now peddling, albeit more openly and flagrantly than most of her compatriots, who are smarter than she is. That false principle is that only those who bow to Leftist cant are “qualified” to have any influence, legitimacy or power at all. Continue reading
Big Lie #4 Has Never Looked So Desperate…
As noted here more than once last week, Democrat/”resistance”/mainstream news media (The AUC) attacks on President Trump are becoming more shrill and desperate, and I expect them to keep getting more so as November approaches. They really appear to be going with the “The riots that have taken place overwhelmingly in Democrat-run cities having been organized by Black Lives Matter (a Democratic party endorsed group) and inflamed by the antifa (an anti-Trump domestic terrorist group) after being provoked by police-involved incidents in those Democratic Party-run cities are President Trump’s fault!” They really are. Well, good luck with that! It’s an all-in bet that the American public is made up of morons.
I’ll take that bet, and so will Abe Lincoln.
The panic and hysteria—it turns out that those polls showing Joe Biden winning by a lap despite his many problems weren’t so solid after all! ARGHHHHHH!—has caused, naturally, a stamped to the Big Lie store, the inventory of which is listed here.
Portland’s Mayor Ted Wheeler grabbed himself an armful of Big Lie #4: “Trump Is A Racist/White Supremacist,” the first and one of the most popular, unconscionable and predictable of the Big Lies (and it is a lie, as explained in detail at the link above). Then he revealed just how ridiculous he is yesterday, saying in part as he attempted to blame his own city’s riots on the President,
“President Trump, for four years, we’ve had to live with you and your racist attacks on black people, we learned early about your sexist attitudes towards women,We’ve had to endure clips of you mocking a disabled man. We’ve had to listen to your anti-democratic attacks on journalists. We’ve read your tweets slamming private citizens to the point of receiving death threats. And we’ve listened to your attacks on immigrants. We’ve listened to you label Mexicans — rapists. We’ve heard you say that John McCain wasn’t a hero because he was a prisoner of war. And now you’re attacking Democratic mayors and the very institutions of democracy that have served this nation well since its founding. Do you seriously wonder, Mr. President, why this is the first time in decades that America has seen this level of violence? It’s you who have created the hate and the division. President Trump, you bring no peace. You bring no respect to our democracy. You, Mr. President, need to do your job as the leader of this nation. I, Mr. President, will do my job as the mayor of this city. We will both be held accountable as we should. I’m calling out every other elected official in Oregon to join me. Not only in defeating racism but helping me to stop the violence as we are and will continue to be held accountable by all of our residents.”
I hate being blunt and vulgar, but what an asshole! Continue reading
Sunday Ethics Round-Up, 1/5/2020: “Day After Cosmic Justice Eliminates The Patriots From The NFL Play-Offs” Edition
Last night the New England Patriots and their habitually unethical coach and star quarterback were eliminated from the NFL play-offs in the first round by the Tennessee Titans. Good. I say this despite being from Boston, where my Dad and I once routed for the AFL Pats of Gino Capelletti, Babe Parilli, Nick Buoniconti and Jim Nance. The modern day Patriots made me embarrassed to be a New Englander, even before I realized what a sociopathic organization the NFL was.
1. Noted with amusement: A while back there was a kerfuffle over some conservative publication using a photo of Rep Elijah Cummings (D-Md) when the story was about Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga), or vice-versa. This was, of course, attributed to racism of the “all those people look the same” variety.
I pointed out that while it was of course the kind of mistake that a publication shouldn’t make, the two House members were about eh same age, both heavy-set, both African-Americans, and both hyper-partisan Democrat race-baiters whose careers rested on civil rights protest creds many decades old. Thus it was satisfying to see that “CBS Evening News” accidentally used a picture of the now deceased Rep. Elijah Cummings while reporting on Lewis’ recent cancer diagnosis.
2. Signature significance. If you want definitive proof that an elected official or a pundit is untrustworthy pond scum, mark those who claim that President Trump ordered the hit against Iranian terror master Qasem Soleimani in order to distract from Trump’s impeachment trial. The latest self-identified hack: Elizabeth Warren, who today said on CNN’s “State of the Union,”
“Next week, the President of the United States could be facing an impeachment trial in the Senate. We know he’s deeply upset about that, and I think people are reasonably asking why this moment…Why does he pick now to pick this highly inflammatory and highly dangerous action that moves us closer to war? I think people are reasonably asking about the timing, and why it is that the administration seems to have all kinds of different answers.”
This “Wag the Dog” theory made some sense when it was first applied to Bill Clinton, who launched a failed strike against Osama bin Laden in the middle of his impeachment drama, since Clinton was guilty and knew it. Trump’s impeachment has raised his poll numbers and further exposed Democrats as abusing the impeachment process: there is no reason for him to try to distract from it.
Warren’s question about timing is also absurd. Why now? Gee, do you think it might be that the murderer of many Americans who had just engineered an attack on our embassy and who was planning more deadly attacks happened to be in Iraq, where the U.S. has an approved military presence, and was virtually asking to be brought down?
Warren’s poll numbers and fundraising are sinking fast (Good!), so her demagoguery is shifting into high gear. Once again, her likely fate proves Lincoln right: you can’t fool all of the people all of the time. Or enough of them. Continue reading
Sunday Ethics Warm-Up, 12/08/2019: Bulletin! The New York Times Reports Pro-Trump News Straight!
You wouldn’t believe what I am dealing with right now, so I’m not even going to tell you.
Let’s just say that in this case, writing ethics stories is a welcome respite..
1. Let’s give credit to the New York Times. On its front page Saturday, the Times highlighted three large graphs, one showing that “monthly job gains under President Trump have shown strong, consistent increases “even after a decade of economic expansion”; one showing that wage growth has “picked up momentum,” and the other showing that unemployment has dipped below “full employment.”
All of this, plus a record high stock market, are just as candidate Trump promised and predicted.
The Times then says,
“With 11 months to go before the 2020 election, a polarized electorate is dividing itself by which story line it views as more pertinent — the president’s potential abuse of power, or the comfort of a steady paycheck credited to his leadership.”
Gee, let’s see…. “potential abuse of power” that was not an abuse of power at all, or jobs, higher wages, and rock bottom low unemployment. Tough choice. What a dilemma.
Give the Times credit for making it ridiculously clear what a big lie Big Lie #5 (“Everything is Terrible!”) is.
2. But let’s not get carried away! Here’s another Times headline from the same edition: Continue reading
Ethics Quote Of The Month: Andrew Sullivan
“To put it bluntly: They were 16-year-olds subjected to verbal racist assault by grown men; and then the kids were accused of being bigots. It just beggars belief that the same liberals who fret about “micro-aggressions” for 20-somethings were able to see 16-year-olds absorbing the worst racist garbage from religious bigots … and then express the desire to punch the kids in the face. How did this grotesque inversion of the truth become the central narrative for what seemed to be the entire class of elite journalists on Twitter? That’s the somewhat terrifying question.”
—Andrew Sullivan, in “The Abyss of Hate Versus Hate” in New York Magazine.
He goes on…
Ruth Graham on Slate saw a 16-year-old she’d seen on a tape for a couple of minutes and immediately knew that he was indistinguishable from the “white young men crowding around a single black man at a lunch counter sit-in in Virginia in the 1960s” or other white “high school boys flashing Nazi salutes.” Even after the full context was clear, Graham refused to apologize to the kid, or retract her condemnation: The context didn’t “change the larger story” which, she explained, was bigotry toward Native Americans. She cited Trump’s use of the name “Pocahontas” for Elizabeth Warren as evidence. But using a bullhorn to call Native Americans “savages” and “drunkards at the casino” to their faces a few minutes earlier on the same tape was not worth a mention?
Graham was just one media voice among countless others, and I don’t mean to single her out. The reason I do is because her argument about the fuller context is now the norm in elite media, and it’s the underlying reason for the instant judgment. “Racism” now only means “prejudice plus power,” so what the adult Black Israelites yelled was nowhere near as bad as what a white teenager didn’t say. No empirical evidence could ever deny that underlying truth, as a piece at Deadspin insisted, after admitting that, well yes, there were “four black men who seem to belong to the Black Israelites … yelling insults.” No mention of the content of those insults, of course.
Across most of the national media, led by the New York Times and the Washington Post, the narrative had been set. “I’m willing to bet that fifty years from now, a defining image of this political era will be that smug white MAGA teen disrespecting a Native elder and veteran. It just captures so much,” Jessica Valenti tweeted. “And let’s please not forget that this group of teens … were there for the March for Life: There is an inextricable link between control over women’s bodies, white supremacy & young white male entitlement.” This is the orthodoxy of elite media, and it is increasingly the job of journalists to fit the facts to the narrative and to avoid any facts that undermine it.
There’s a reason why, in the crucial battle for the legitimacy of a free press, Trump is still on the offensive. Our mainstream press has been poisoned by tribalism. My own trust in it is eroding. I’m far from the only one.
Sunday Ethics Round-Up, 1/20/2019: Blogging Angry
I’ve been angry all day about the absolute perfidy and vicious dishonesty of the news media, magnified by the hate-fed gullibility of my friends on social media. I wanted to wait until my fury subsided before composing the warm-up. No luck.
1. The most egregious example of incompetent, biased, mob journalism yet? Meh. That story of how online left-wing gossip site BuzzFeed concocted a fake report that suggested impeachable conduct by Donald Trump, and how it was accepted without question by the mainstream media which spent all day feeding a buzz about imminent impeachment until the Mueller investigation had to make a public announcement that the story was crap? The New York Times had it on page 11. The original false story, of course, was on the front page, above the fold. Just for giggles, I checked to see what Rachel Maddow was saying at MSNBC, since she is supposed to be the Best of the Worst, and MSNBC had been reveling in a virtual impeachment orgy. I guess she has been learning at the knee of Al Sharpton; maybe his office is next to hers. She went full Tawana Brawley. Rachel’s spin was that just because this didn’t happen doesn’t mean it couldnt have happened, because we all know that Trump should be impeached and thus this doesn’t really change anything. Then she brought on the editor of BuzzFeed who told her audience that he stands by his story.
I’ve been feeling a lot like Cassandra lately. Long ago I concluded that Maddow was a charismatic fraud, smug and pursuing an agenda, and completely untrustworthy. “Oh no!” protested several of my moderate and progressive friends in the ethics field. She’s wonderful! Funny! Fair! Never biased!
One reason I’m angry is that so many of my friends have allowed themselves and their integrity to be corrupted. I expected better of them. Maddow is an ethics corrupter.
2. Then there was the Catholic schoolboy in the MAGA hat. This was a flash Ethics Train wreck I stumbled upon it on Facebook: one of my friends there posted a CNN link with a video about an ugly episode after the March for Life in which a group of Catholic school teens wearing MAGA hats harassed and mocked an elderly Native American man who was engaged in some kind of religious ritual. In response to a comment, my friend wrote that this was one more ugly example of what the current “racist environment” had created—in other words, it’s all Trump’s fault. Since the guy is in a profession in which integrity as well as objective and unbiased consideration of facts is part of the job description, I felt this cheap shot was not only unwarranted but misleading to others who might regard him as more than just the usual Facebook goof, and so I noted that a) wearing a Trump campaign cap doesn’t make you racist and b) because someone misbehaves wearing a Trump hat no more implicates him than wearing a Boston Red Sox cap implicated Alex Cora. His response was to write me a terse note demanding that I not comment on his edicts, and then he blocked me.
That turned out to be just the beginning. I hadn’t followed it, but the story turned out to be yet another manufactured fake news story in support of an anti-Trump narrative. The video was deceptively edited. The Native American Man confronted the kids, not the other way around, and a couple of them smirked at the old wacko beating a drum in their faces. He turned out to be a serial activist who had pulled such stunts before, trying to provoke confrontations. He, it turned out, was mocking the boys, not the other way around. Meanwhile, a radical Black Nationalist group was also shouting at the kids. Continue reading
The 8th Annual Ethics Alarms Awards: The Worst of Ethics 2016: The Last Of The Worst
Ethics Alarms wraps up the Worst in 2016 Ethics with the usual education and journalism breaches, Ethics Dunce of the Year, and more delights for the sadistic…
Unethical Government Fiasco Of The Year
The Flint, Michigan water crisis. A failure of competence, diligence, responsibility and honesty, compounded by bureaucrats, elected officials, the city of Detroit, Michigan Governor Rick Snyder and the EPA made people sick and cost billions.
Good job, everybody!
Scam of the Year
Sen.Ted Cruz’s fake “official” mailer before the Iowa Caucus. Cruz’s campaign sent out mailers labeled in all capital letters, “ELECTION ALERT,” “VOTER VIOLATION,” “PUBLIC RECORD,” and “FURTHER ACTION NEEDED.” On the other side, the mailer said, in red letters at the top, “VOTING VIOLATION.” The text read:
You are receiving this election notice because of low expected voter turnout in your area. Your individual voting history as well as your neighbors’ are public record. Their scores are published below, and many of them will see your score as well. CAUCUS ON MONDAY TO IMPROVE YOUR SCORE and please encourage your neighbors to caucus as well. A follow-up notice may be issued following Monday’s caucuses.
This is why Trump’s nickname for Cruz, “Lyin’ Ted,” was crude but accurate.
Ethics Dunces Of The Year
All the social media users and others who ended Facebook friendships, genuine friendships and relationship over the 2016 election. Haven’t they ever seen “It’s A Wonderful Life”? Morons. Shame on all of them.
Weenies of the Year
The college students who demanded that exams be cancelled, therapists be available, safe spaces be found, puppies be summoned and cry-ins be organized because the awful candidate they supported in the Presidential election lost, as candidates often do.
Unethical University Of The Year
Liberty University. This is the most competitive of categories, with all the schools that railroaded male students based on questionable sexual assault claims while quailing in fear of the Dept. of Education’s “Dear Colleague Letter,” and all the schools that signaled that the results of a simple election justified PTSD treatment for their shattered charges, as well as making it clear to any students who dared to tilt Republican that they were persona non grata. Nonetheless, Liberty University takes the prize with its unique combination of greed, hypocrisy, and warped values. From the Ethics Alarms post:
Last week, with great fanfare, Liberty hired Ian McCaw as its new athletic director. “My vision for Liberty is to position it as a pre-eminent Christian athletic program in America,” McCaw said during a news conference.
This is his first paying assignment since May, when he left his job as the athletic director at Baylor, also a Christian university. His departure was made essential after a thorough investigation that found that those overseeing Baylor’s football team as well as the management of the athletic department—that is, McCaw— had been informed of multiple gang rapes and sexual assault by team members and had ignored it, as any good football-loving Christian would….especially when a star was involved.
Unethical Quote of the Month: Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-WV)
“It’s very important to take a long view at what’s going on here. And I’ll be able to dig up some emails that make part of the Affordable Care Act that doesn’t look good, especially from people who have made up their mind that they don’t want it to work. Because they don’t like the president, maybe he’s of the wrong color. Something of that sort.I’ve seen a lot of that and I know a lot of that to be true. It’s not something you’re meant to talk about in public, but it’s something I’m talking about in public because that is very true.”
—- Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-WV), once again playing the race-card (he’s done it before) to impugn the motives of opponents of the Affordable Care Act and other Obama policy initiatives.
How low, lazy, irresponsible, despicable, and cowardly. Continue reading
As The Obamacare Ethics Train Wreck Accelerates, A Plea To The Bitter-enders: “Stop It. You’re Disgracing Yourself.”
[I’m back from Colorado Springs, and as usual after that trip, momentarily cheered, encouraged and inspired by my experience discussing ethics with sheep farmer-legislators from Montana, surfer-legislators from Hawaii and other ordinary, diverse, dedicated, honest and smart Americans of all political persuasions who just want to do good things for their neighbors, communities, state and nation. This is, I think, what Mr. Jefferson and his friends had in mind. The annual training program for recently-elected state legislators run by the Council of State Governments is just marvelous—if only every legislator starting out could go through it (especially this really neat half-day ethics seminar a bald guy teaches). In case you are wondering, the ACA despair, disgust and mockery was coming from both sides of the aisle—I did mention they were honest, right? And, obviously, not from Washington, DC. If we’re lucky, a lot of them will be here in a few years.]
Now I’m trying to catch up—those few posts from Colorado Springs were by necessity early in the morning and late at night, and on less than earth-shattering topics. Sadly, the current Ethics Train Wreck involving the roll-out of Obamacare—-a rare example of one that could have and should have been seen coming years ago, and that some of us did see, and clearly—has only become worse. The integrity test that I announced three weeks ago also continues to produce dispiriting results. I hope to do a summary of both the wreckage and the test eventually, but in the meantime, the Obamacare Ethics Trainwreck continues to pick up passengers who are flunking the Ethics Alarms Integrity Test in the process. Continue reading