Few read Ethics Alarms on weekends (I guess I should write, “even fewer”), and I may start Mondays with more comment highlights from the Dead Zone past. This weekend was unusually lively. This Comment of the Day by Null Pointer took off from item number #2 of yesterday’s warm-up, regarding the GOP’s Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene and Rep. Paul Gosar speaking at white nationalist event, in which I quoted The National Review’s David Harsanyi:
“ On social media, conservatives grouse that there’s a double standard. Democrats, they say, never condemn their extremists, they celebrate them. That’s a double standard worth living with. After all, any denunciation of Omar, Tlaib, or any other Squad member lacks credibility if House Republicans can’t publicly take the position that hanging out with (actual) white supremacists is deplorable.”
White supremacy is bad. All forms of racial supremacy are bad. All forms of supremacy are bad.
Republicans need to jump on the “all forms of supremacy are bad” principle, hard. Otherwise you will see white supremacy taking off again.
No, you cannot have a double standard. If you have a double standard, you do not have a fair principle that addresses the problem equally across the entire spectrum of the problem. If you don’t have a fair principle, no one is going to listen to you. People will not agree to operate by unfair principles. Continue reading →
It’s like one of those monster vs. monster movies, such as “Godzilla vs. King Kong”: who do you root for? In the case of extreme right-wing, irresponsible and uncivil GOP fire-breather Lauren Boebert battling extreme leftist House Democrat Illhan Omar, the only ethical position is to hope they fight each other right out of Congress, where they both do immeasurable harm.
Omar is, I hope I do not have to explain in much detail, horrible. She would be the worst of “The Squad,” but, incredibly, the other members are so irredeemably awful that this is a tough call. Her background is full of scandals that would guarantee the end of the career of any non-black, non-Muslim representative in a sane party, which the Democratic Party is no longer. She repeatedly makes anti-Semitic, anti-Israel comments. Her infamous characterization of 9-11 (a comment barely reported by the mainstream media) was that “some people did something.” She has advocated defunding the police in Minnesota.
None of this justifies any member of Congress attacking her with ad hominem rhetoric, but Colorado’s Lauren Boebert is special, even by far right Republican standards. She has used Omar’s religion against her, calling her part of a “Jihad Squad” and told an audience before Thanksgiving that a Capitol Police officer was concerned about Omar boarding an elevator until Boebert reassured him by saying, “Well, she doesn’t have a backpack. We should be fine.”
This latest opus by Steve-O-in NJ probably qualifies as a rant; I picture him furiously scribbling on paper in a trance, as in “automatic writing” when a medium is channeling Jean Dixon from the beyond. But it’s very good and thoughtful rant. I hope I edited it properly. Oh…I should mention that the tweets above echoing the meme Steve mentions at the start surprised me. I really didn’t think those celebrities could possibly be that stupid.
I saw a meme yesterday that kind of says everything about where the mainstream media and the left (but I repeat myself) are coming from now. It had no picture, it simply said “I want to live in a country where Colin Kaepernick is regarded as a hero and Kyle Rittenhouse is regarded as a terrorist.” I bit my tongue and didn’t say what I was thinking: that ostentatious disloyalty doesn’t make you even close to a hero and let’s let a jury decide what Rittenhouse is, because 1. I wasn’t changing the poster’s mind; and 2. The problem was bigger than those specific examples. Anyone who writes or reposts something like that is in effect saying “I want everyone to think like me and agree with me.” The left and the media have been thinking like that since probably the Clinton days. There’s a reason CNN was then called “the Clinton News Network.”
I have to ask, though, why is Andrew Sullivan just getting this now? Oh, that’s right, the right was opposed to a sudden and seismic cultural shift involving one of the basic building blocks of society, and nothing else mattered, it was all about the belief that heterosexual and homosexual couples were exactly the same and should be treated exactly the same. Single-issue voting is short-sighted, single-issue partisanship is just stupid. Like any other bias, it makes the objective inobjective, the wise foolish, the smart stupid, and the truthful liars.
Dutch missionary Andrew van der Bilj, aka “Brother Andrew” and “God’s Smuggler” used to pray “God, you have made blind eyes see, please make seeing eyes blind,” when he crossed the borders into Communist countries, carrying Bibles and other religious literature that would be considered contraband. Bias seems to do a far better job than God ever did blinding people to a lot more than a few Bibles being brought into an atheistic country.
This is even more depressing than the number of people who think Joe Biden is doing a just dandy job as President.
43% of those asked in a Morning Consult- Politico poll responded that the 2020 election should definitely not be overturned. That means that 57% are not certain that the election shouldn’t be overturned. Some think it probably shouldn’t be overturned—12%. 35% responded that the election results should definitely or probably be overturned. Morons. Since the election can’t possibly be overturned under any law imaginable or any sequence of events, and since even attempting such a thing would cause total chaos, the only answer that indicates that a respondent was taught civics by a fully functioning primate is: “Of course the 2020 election shouldn’t be overturned. What are you, nuts? Why are we wasting time even discussing this? Why don’t you ask if “Imagine” should come true?”
Welcome to the first Russian doll Ethics Alarms post, in which a series of essentially identical essays are nested to shout out a truth that hasn’t changed in decades. That truth is that the infrastructure of the United States is getting progressively worse.
Sub-truths nested in that one include these:
This was an urgent crisis 40 years ago, and has only been getting worse since.
Both parties and all Presidents since—Nixon? Johnson?—are equally responsible, because they all participated in “kicking the can” down the rotting road for political gain. This was and is political cowardice. Maintaining the infrastructure is one basic function of government, like national defense and law enforcement, that both Big Government and limited government advocates can agree on. However, since infrastructure rot is only a headline matter when bridges collapse, airliners crash or sewer pipes burst spreading disease and death, it’s a long term expense with benefits that the public won’t see immediately, if at all. Their grandchildren, however, will have better lives.
Politicians prefer short-term benefits, like sending checks directly to potential voters (and favored interest groups) under the fantasy of “economic stimulus.” This is a bi-partisan breach of duty and ethics.
As with everything else, the news media is stunningly incompetent in explaining the facts. I just heard two Fox News talking empty-heads arguing about whether sewer and water pipes were “infrastructure.” This is because much of the partisan attacks on Biden’s proposal has focused on the relatively small proportion of the financial requirements that will pay for “roads and bridges.'” Of course sewer and water pipes are infrastructure, and indeed among the most dangerous parts of a nation’s infrastructure to let deteriorate, as ours have in too many major cities to count. You people (Dana Perino and Bill Hemmer in this case) are incompetent idiots, and should be working at a 7-11. Also included in the “infrastructure,” in case you care: canals, airports, railways, public transportation, barges, ferries, waterways, traffic signals, the power grid, and more. You are making the public even more ignorant than they already are. You’re a disgrace. I hate you.
Jobs are not infrastructure, but to listen to the advocates of renewal, you would think that creating jobs is the main reason to undertake the effort. This is disinformation, and also unforgivable.
A rotting infrastructure hurts the economy in thousands of incremental, sinister, unavoidable ways, making goods more expensive, people poorer, limiting economic growth, and yes, costing jobs, with all of these effects getting worse over time.
No, the nation can’t afford to do what needs to be done–which is what will lead to national disaster if it is not done. That is because we have allowed the national debt to reach the red zone, and again, both parties are to blame, Republicans for irresponsible tax cuts, and Democrats for creating out-of-control social programs. However, whether we can afford it or not, we have to do it, spend the money, raise the taxes, be responsible…or we are dooming the nation. That is the situation cowardly, incompetent, venal and dishonest leadership has created.
I see little hope that President Biden’s efforts are any more serious or that they will be any more successful than the proposals that have gone before. It is true that even some infrastructure repair is better than none, but Democrats and progressives have painted themselves, and the nation, into a corner.
For example, the Biden administration has blocked a major highway expansion in Houston, Texas, claiming that the project is racially discriminatory and harmful to the environment. The state was about to begin a proposed widening of certain sections of Interstate 45 that has been years in planning when the Department of Transportation invoked the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to temporarily shut it down pending further review, Politico reported.
The department’s intervention is supposedly a “test case” for Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, has claimed “racial injustice” in highway construction and vowed to make “righting these wrongs an imperative” under his leadership. Local activists say that the highway expansion would disproportionately harm black and Hispanic communities by displacing more than 1,000 homes, hundreds of businesses, five houses of worship, and two schools along the stretch of highway.
If race, class and the environment are going to be the priorities, then essential infrastructure maintenance is impossible. It is that simple.
I will not accept this, and if you do, have your prison jump-suit measured.
You’ll be needing it.
Last week, Democrats in the House passed a new rule requiring members to pass through a metal detector before they entered the House floor. After all several Democrats said they were all scared and stuff of those scary GOP members who support the Second Amendment. Some of them even own those evil guns! ,
Some House members tried evading the metal detectors and entered through what’s known as “the speaker’s lobby,” so Speaker Pelosi began issuing fines for that. Rep. Louis Gohmert was fined $5,000 after briefly leaving the floor to go to the bathroom. Then Rep. Rodney Davis (R-Il) —if it had been a Democrat, we never would have heard about it—caught Pelosi herself entering through the speaker’s lobby and avoiding the detectors. Because metal detectors are for the little people. The beaten people. The submissive or soon to be. Sort of like electric collars.
Fox News (of course Fox News-–you don’t think any of the regime supporting media sources would dare report this, do you?) said:
House Democrats moved yesterday to strip GOP Georgia rep Marjorie Taylor Greene of her committee assignments if Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy refuses to do so. Mark this moment: House Democrats are right, and their demand is responsible. Greene is on the House education and budget committees, and she has amply demonstrated that she does not possess the judgment to serve om a PTA rummage sale committee.
If House Democrats being reasonable blows your mind, imagine: Mitch McConnell is also making sense. Calling Greene a “cancer for the Republican Party,” the GOP Senate leader said,
“Somebody who’s suggested that perhaps no airplane hit the Pentagon on 9/11, that horrifying school shootings were pre-staged, and that the Clintons crashed JFK Jr.’s airplane is not living in reality.This has nothing to do with the challenges facing American families or the robust debates on substance that can strengthen our party.”
Gee, I hadn’t heard about the “Clintons killed John-John” plot! But the Greene theory that came out this week is even better. Eric Hananoki is an investigative reporter at “Media Matters,” which means he’s a partisan hack, but in this case he has found juicy evidence. In a November 17, 2018 Facebook post, since removed, Greene expressed support for the so-called Campfire Conspiracy, which holds that the deadly California wildfires were deliberately set by a cabal seeking to clear land for the high-speed railway, led by PG&E. Here is the whole post that Hananoki unearthed:
Nancy Pelosi came right out and said that her objective in impeaching Trump this time was to stop him from running again. That’s not what the Founders designed impeachment for. She’s admitting that this Congress and her party regard impeachment as just one more political stunt, like ripping up the State of the Union message, boycotting the inauguration, or nominating Kamala Harris. Worse, unless the Senate agrees to rush through a trial the way Pelosi rushed through the impeachment, Trump will already be out of office and a private citizen before he can be convicted—which he wouldn’t be anyway. The Constitution speaks of impeachment and the Senate trial as a means of removing a President, not as a device to say “I hate you! Ooooh, I hate you to pieces!” to an ex-President.
Thus it’s a joke. The first impeachment was a dud. Trump hasn’t been embarrassed, but Congress and the news media have been embarrassed and exposed as fools.
Not that they hadn’t been exposed as fools already.
But “Wait!”—as they say on infomercials–“There’s more!” And it only gets worse:
1. Since the impeachment vote in the House, further investigation of the attack on the Capitol and its time-line has shown that many of the participants had planned to storm the building in advance, in fact had begun preparations before the President addressed the protesters, and had begun to take action while the President was speaking on January 6. Thus the House’s impeachment theory that the President had incited a riot by providing a lit match to an obvious powder-keg is unsustainable n the facts: the powder had already been lit. Nor do the facts support the argument that the President intended to spark a riot, since the words of his speech never suggested violence or alluded to it.
I assumed today’s post about Republican revenge would generate some interesting comments. There aren’t many readers of the blog over Christmas week—odd, because one would think this would be a time to think about ethics—but to quote Spencer Tracy in “Pat and Mike,” “what there is, is cherce.”
Jack wrote…”The second most ethical course is now the only ethical course available, and that means that Republicans should give no quarter to Joe Biden, his agenda, and his allies. Not as revenge, mind you, but as the kind of tit-for-tat response that game theory teaches is sometimes the only way to enforce ethical norms.“
In my opinion it’s not tit-for-tat, it’s a new precedence. Back on December the 4th, I wrote…
“I think it’s really “interesting” how, after the political left didn’t get their way in the 2016 Presidential election, the political left started a new precedence on how a President of the United States and anyone that supports the President should be treated by the opposition and their lapdog media and they continued that precedence for four years straight and now the political left wants them and their President to be treated in a different way than the new precedence that they set? Transparent double standards and open hypocrisy are prominent character flaws of the political left in the 21st century.I’m not much for using a tit-for-tat rationalization myself; however, I’m not going to fault the political right too much for continuing the same Presidential treatment precedence that the political left started. The modern Democratic Party led by extremist progressives and the irrational and violent social justice henchmen they empowered, implemented an unending scorched earth policy against a President of the United States and his supporters for four straight years and those choices are coming back to roost on their pompous-ass heads and dig their talons straight into the foreheads of the political left; choices have consequences. As the rhetorical blood drips down the political left’s forehead they should be forced at every turn to remember that the political left made their bed and is now estopped* from complaining about being treated badly.”