Tag Archives: signs

Those “Dissent Is Patriotic” Signs

My Alexandria, Virginia neighbors are fond of simple-minded and obnoxious virtue-signalling signs, as I discussed here.

Another one has started popping up, this one proclaiming “Dissent is Patriotic.” As a general proposition, little of value can be stated in three words, especially those with “is” in the middle. “Dissent is Patriotic” is a gross generality, and a sign like this bolsters the delusions of smug absolutists and the historically ignorant.

The ACLU has been pushing this slogan (to sell T-shirts, it seems), and it had a re-birth thanks to the NFL kneelers, who are in truth a perfect example of when dissent isn’t patriotic. Incoherent dissent isn’t patriotic: it makes all dissent look bad. Dissent based on hate, lies, or a desire to divide isn’t patriotic: it’s hateful, dishonest and divisive, which is to say harmful, and thus unethical.

Speaking of dishonesty, many of these signs use the phrasing you see on the left, which is a fake quote attributed to Thomas Jefferson. Attaching a dubious assertion to a much-admired historical figure is an unethical propaganda tactic employing a dishonest appeal to authority.  (This is a famous example.)

As Ethan Epstein wrote in The Weekly Standard,

Few if any Americans are associated with more apocryphal quotes than Thomas Jefferson, but the false notion that he said, “dissent is the highest form of patriotism” is among the easiest to dispel. Because Jefferson never would have said something so idiotic. Of course dissent can be patriotic, but it isn’t inherently so. What one is dissenting from matters. Were members of the German American Bund, who protested the U.S.’s anti-Nazi policies in the 1930s and ‘40s, enacting the “highest form of patriotism?”

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Filed under Citizenship, Daily Life, Ethics Alarms Award Nominee, Ethics Dunces, Gender and Sex, Government & Politics, History, Quotes, Rights, U.S. Society, War and the Military

Illegal Immigrant Ethics Do’s And Don’ts

DON’T do this:

A customer’s cell phone video caught  a  7-Eleven clerk on Tampa, Florida screaming at a customer and asking about his immigration status after the customer used the Spanish word for ‘green’ to ask the clerk for a specific brand of cigarettes. The clerk demanded Hernandez speak English, and is is heard saying, “Are you here legally? Do you have papers? Do you have papers?”

This isn’t the clerk’s job, and if the company has not directed that all customers should not be treated with dignity, courtesy and respect, no employee should be going free-lance ICE on anyone.

A spokesman for the 7-11 owner  wrote, “Every customer is important. The statements made by the sales associate were inappropriate and offensive. We are investigating the matter and will ensure it is handled appropriately.”

“Appropriately” means firing the clerk. In addition to acting ultra vires, the clerk is also making the store unpleasant and unwelcoming for other customers, risking an escalating confrontation, and being a jerk while representing the enterprise. Wrong, wrong, and wrong.

However…

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Filed under Business & Commercial, Etiquette and manners, Law & Law Enforcement, Rights, Workplace

Comment Of The Day: Why That “We’re Glad You’re Our Neighbor” Sign Is Unethical (As Well As Obnoxious)

Mrs. Q, who is keeping Ethics Alarms current on the oppressive politically correct environment slowly poisoning Portland, Oragon, was moved to issue another report in reponse to the Ethics Alarms post about a virtue-signalling sign popping up live wild-flowers on yards across America here is her Comment of the Day on the post, “Why That “We’re Glad You’re Our Neighbor” Sign Is Unethical (As Well As Obnoxious)”…(I’ll be back at the end.)

This yard sign is just about everywhere in the city including businesses, churches, schools, and city offices.

 

This one is also popular. I love how the “Science is real” part is in green.

Black Lives Matters signs often accompany the 2 above. Also on businesses, schools, etc.

This one is mostly on businesses/community centers but some residents have this sign taped to their living room windows.

What’s most interesting is that all the problems this town suddenly has with “hate” came after the anti-Trumpers started putting these signs up. I told a (former) friend that I thought these signs were virtue signaling and devisive and smug I didn’t appreciate that every day everywhere an average citizen can’t take a walk or go to the gym without knowing the political opinions of the home/business/agency owners.

She promptly quoted Eleanor Roosevelt’s “No one can make you feel inferior” mantra. Funny enough she’s white, I’m not, and instead of actually listening to me, you know as a special downtrodden minority, she dismissed my concerns altogether about how such signs may negatively affect a community (and then she cut me out of her life. Yep, so tolerant). Continue reading

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Why That “We’re Glad You’re Our Neighbor” Sign Is Unethical (As Well As Obnoxious)

NPR claims that people get teary-eyed viewing this supposedly viral sign in front of houses across the country. I’ve only seen two in my neighborhood, thank goodness, and they irritate me no end. Why? The sign is dishonest, unfair and divisive. It is also political, while pretending not to be.

First, the sign is not what it represents itself as being. It is not written for an actual neighbor. If it were, the sign would be remote and rude. I welcome new neighbors personally, not by putting garish signs on my lawn.  The sign is blatant virtue-signalling, telling the neighborhood that this household is in favor of diversity, love, and immigration…as if lots of other people are not. If it is not a public sign designed to rebuke those people, whoever they are, then why the sign? If everyone in the neighborhood welcomes Americans of all colors and origins—and I know of no Klan chapter in Northern Virginia—then the sign is a straw man. I’m sure, however, that Hispanic-Americans or Muslim-Americans who see these signs on lawns might be moved to think: Wait, does this mean that many people in this community DON’T welcome us as neighbors? How are we to recognize them?

That’s not a healthy or welcoming message, but hey, if it makes the homeowner seem enlightened and virtuous, it’s a net win. Continue reading

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Filed under Ethics Alarms Award Nominee, Ethics Train Wrecks, Etiquette and manners, Government & Politics, Race, Religion and Philosophy

An Unreadable Traffic Sign Is A Dangerous Traffic Sign Is An Unethical Traffic Sign

 

Question: What does this speed limit sign tell us about the people who erected it?

Answer: They are reckless. They are negligent. They are lazy. They are careless. They are dim-witted. They are irresponsible. They are incompetent.

As drivers in Oakland County’s White Lake District (outside Detroit) complain that it is literally impossible to figure out what the speed limit is while driving past the sign above, various school officials and others are giving reasons for why the sign is so complicated. There are many schools in the area. An electronic sign is expensive. The devil made them do it.

No.

There is only one reason: they are utter incompetents. If a road sign can’t be read by drivers, than it takes the IQ of a slug to conclude that there is no point in erecting it, and in fact, it is dangerous to put it up. A sign that can’t convey information isn’t a sign, it’s a menace. Or pop art. Or a monument to stupidity, but it isn’t a road sign. That White Lake installed an unreadable road sign that was supposed to protect school children just puts the unethical frosting on the irresponsible cake.

Unbelievable.

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Ethics Quiz: Apologies For A Sandusky Joke?

My uneasy relationship with the TSA continues.

Yes, I've sunk so low that I actually seek this out...

Today I was returning home from Atlanta, and its monster of an airport has one the cattle pen systems for going through security–a long, ling, line to all gates that keeps dividing and dividing, ultimately sending you down one of about 20 chutes to be scanned, stripped and yelled at. It is difficult to pick your chute, but in my case, it is crucial: Atlanta doesn’t have the full-body scanning devices in every line, and without it, I get gated, beeped, and sexually molested, thanks to my artificial hip.

It took ducking under a couple of barriers, but I finally got to an x-ray conveyor belt near a scanner, and had removed my laptop (separate bin) belt, jacket and shoes (not allowed in a bin in some cities, allowed in others) and lined them all up with my bag and brief case when an agent (none too politely) told me that they were closing that line, and directed me to another one, two lanes over. I lugged the three bins, bag and brief case over to that line, only to discover that it didn’t have a scanner.

That did it. I erupted at one of the agents, telling her that I did not care to be felt up at 8 in the morning, thanks, and had made a good faith effort to direct myself to a scanner, being foiled by the agent and by the fact that there are no signs warning people like me where a testicle massage is the only option.

“Why aren’t there signs?” I asked.

“I don’t know. There should be,” she said, as she helped me move my stuff to a scanner accessible line. “You should write the TSA and the airport.”

I laughed bitterly. “I’m sure that will do a lot of good. Do you all jsut like feeling up passengers? Is that the reason?”

A woman behind me laughed and said, “It sure seems like it!”

“Well, you know,” I said to her, “I hear Jerry Sandusky is trying to get a job as a screener!”

Her guffaw was interrupted by 7’8″ TSA agent, who said, loudly, “No he’s not, and I’m offended by that statement.”

My response, after a second’s consideration, was this: “I’m sorry I offended you. But I’m not apologizing.”

Your ethics quiz of the day: Should I have apologized? Continue reading

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