Eureka! Some Enlightenment Out Of The Orlando Terrorist Ethics Train Wreck! Presenting Rationalization #40 B, The Lone Inspiration Excuse, or “Do YOU Have A Better Idea?”

Eureka

The human mind’s infinite ability to devise rationalizations to justify unethical or irresponsible conduct apparently has no bounds. One way that I have discovered many of the nearly 60 excuses, fallacies, deceits, and ethical distortions that make up the Rationalizations List is to argue with intelligent people who are determined to justify conduct that is simply unjustifiable using such legitimate tools as logic, analysis, common sense and traditional ethics. Lacking good arguments and being unwilling to do that hardest thing—give up and admit they are wrong—they pin their position on a rationalization…sometimes one I had never heard before.

The public debate over the various proposals to “do something!” about mass shootings is as depressing as any discussion I have ever participated in. The willingness of gun opponents, Democrats, journalists, pundits and otherwise intelligent people to not only defy the Bill of Rights guarantee of due process but to literally ignore its existence shows how close the stinking breath of totalitarianism is to the neck on our nation, and that it is much hotter than I realized. This isn’t an exception or an anomaly. This is a result of carefully bred contempt for American values.

The intense ignorance crossed with malice toward our Constitution reached a climax of sorts today on social media, as people who should know better (and people who do know better, like erstwhile Harvard Law professor Elizabeth Warren) applauded the cynical and hypocritical “sit-in” by House Democrats, who said they would hold their breath until they turned blue unless the Congress of the United States voted to allow the government to take away the rights of citizens based on “suspicion.” Only rationalizations can defend this position, primarily among them “The Saint’s Excuse,” or “It’s for a good cause,” “It” is this case meaning..

  • Accepting the ethically and morally bankrupt principle that “the ends justify the means”
  • Setting a precedent for allowing the government to abridge any rights it chooses once by some standard it finds a law-abiding citizen “unworthy”
  • Enacting a provision that the ACLU has pronounced unconstitutional
  • Establishing the principle that the Congress can and will abandon the rule of law as long as enough members of the public and media let emotion overcome reality
  • Lay the groundwork for a President, like say, just to pick a crazy, impossible example out of the air, President Trump, who is as ignorant of the rule of law as the position’s supporters, to really start ripping up the Bill of Rights, beginning with Freedom of the Press, Freedom of Religion and Freedom of Association.

To put it another way, it’s a really, really stupid and indefensible position.

[ The House sit-in just ended, by the way, after about a day. Nah, it wasn’t a publicity stunt! ] Continue reading

House Democrats Sit-In To Ignore The Fifth Amendment (Thereby Disgracing Themselves)

Sit in

When is it not a partisan act to condemn an entire political party and the followers who applaud it no matter what it does?

One example is unfolding before us: the Republican Party’s absence of sufficient integrity, principle and will to deny Donald Trump the party’s endorsement and nomination for President. It’s not a partisan act to condemn this. It is objective, rational, and responsible.

It is similarly objective, rational and fair to condemn the Democratic Party and its blind, knee-jerk followers for engaging in one of the most cynical, hypocritical and pandering displays in memory: the current “sit-in” to force the House to vote on anti-gun bills that unambiguously bypass the Fifth Amendment of the Constitution, denying American citizens their civil rights by government edict.

House Democrats, symbolically led by Rep. John Lewis, the elderly civil rights icon who seems now bent on making an ass of himself, have vowed to “occupy” the House Chamber until the no-fly list ban on gun purchasing is voted on, essentially shutting down that side of Congress.  For those whose brains are functioning, this is about as naked a display of political cynicism as we have seen, even topping Ted Cruz’s destructive government shut-downs.

Two days ago, it was Senate Democrats not Republicans, who voted down a bill that would have given the Justice Department power to block gun purchases by anyone on a terror watch list, provided that the government fulfilled its duty of  due process but going to court and satisfying to a judge  that the person on the list was there was a compelling reason to regard the citizen as a public threat. actually dangerous. That was the bill put forth by Senator Cornyn, a Republican. But Democrats could have the gun control provision they were screaming for be the work of that evil, NRA supported party, so it died in the Senate, 53/47, when enough Democrats voted against it to deny the 60 votes it needed for cloture.

Now the House Democrats are grandstanding and acting like children. Yesterday,  the House Democrats chanted from the floor: “I’m sick and tired of being sick and tired!” and “No bill, no break!” while the House remained in recess.

It is unconstitutional to allow the  federal government power to strip the rights from citizens who have been convicted of nothing without the protection og judicial safeguards.If there is any significant controversy about this, I can’t find it. The theory seems to be that because Democrats don’t like Second Amendment rights, they don’t count, somehow. You know, Democrats aren’t crazy about First Amendment rights either.  Perhaps this is why that liberal champion of long standing, the American Civil Liberties Union, opposes the no-fly bills as vehemently as the NRA. They opposed the Cornyn bill, the closest to one that acknowledges the Fifth Amendment, as well as the Democratic, “Due process? What is this due process of which you speak?” capitulations to hysteria, writing in a letter to Senators:
Continue reading

The New! Improved! Bipartisan! Gun Bill Is ALSO Unconstitutional…And The Statements Of The Senators About It Are Nauseating

Collins et al

The New York Times, which apparently only respects that part of the Constitution that protects biased and dishonest newspapers, cheers a newly  proposed anti-gun measure as one that “puts new muscle and momentum behind what would be one of the few restrictions placed on gun ownership in the past 20 years.”

It also takes away the rights of citizens without due process of law.

The compromise bill, proposed by Senator Susan Collins (R-Maine) and backed by Senator Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND), was cooked up a day after the Senate, in the words of the Times, “refused to advance any of four measures intended to make it harder for suspected terrorists to buy guns.”

No, that’s U.S. citizens who have not been convicted of any crime, not “suspected terrorists.” It is not a crime to be suspected of anything. The government cannot take away your rights because it suspects something, or fears you might do something in the future.

Is that really such a difficult concept from elected officials and journalists? Why is that?

“Surely the terrorist attacks in San Bernardino and Orlando that took so many lives are a call for compromise, a plea for bipartisan action…Essentially, we believe if you are too dangerous to fly on an airplane, you are too dangerous to buy a gun,” Collins said in a news conference.

I call on my fellow citizens in Maine to remove this incompetent woman from her high office, for she is unfit to serve: Continue reading

Ethics Hero: Mother Jones Pundit Kevin Drum

Impalings-of-Vlad-the-Impaler

It is sad and yet somehow comforting to watch the members of the crypto-totalitarian left writhe like Vlad the Impaler’s staked victims (above) as they try to deny, accuse, spin and otherwise humiliate themselves arguing against the factual assertion that the  anti-gun “no-fly list” = no gun rights ploy is blatantly unconstitutional, a breach of due process, and “pre-crime” legislation. It is sad, because it shows how far liberal ideology has fallen from its traditional aspirations, and how hypocritical it has become, embracing the “by any means necessary” approach to political power rather than actually respecting the civil rights it claims to worship. It is comforting, because it is signature significance. I thought much of the progressive movement  had become this corrupt and intellectually dishonest; now I know I wasn’t being unfair. This single episode proves it.

There is an ethical response to be adopted by someone previously cheering on the foolish Senator Murphy, or the smugly ignorant Ashleigh Banfield, once they are forced to think a bit about what these secret list tactics really mean in Constitutional terms. They don’t have to attack the messenger, often me, or make non sequitur statements about the Second Amendment is about muskets and militias. That ethical response is, “Oh. You know, I was so upset, I never thought about it that way, but you’re right. Wow. Thank-you.”

Most of them just can’t do it. It may be a lack of character, it may be a case of emotion killing brain cells, it may just be that an individual isn’t very bright, or that he just doesn’t want to be educated. That is, however, the ethical response.

If my floundering, foundering progressive friends want some inspiration to get them over the hump, I may have it for them, ironically from, of all places, Mother Jones, whose due process -mocking headline I recently dissected. That far left publications’ most prominent journalist is Kevin Drum, a progressive to his core. He is, however, also well-informed, intelligent, and true to his principles, and thus, while reporting on the various anti-gun measures being proposed as part of the cynical Democratic “DO SOMETHING!” initiative regarding guns, Kevin Drum wrote, Continue reading

Unethical Headline Of A Week Of Unethical Headlines: Mother Jones

Senate vote

Almost Every GOP Senator Just Voted to Keep Letting Terror Suspects Buy Guns

You know, I just had an astounding and depressing exchange with a knee-jerk Democrat friend, who reacted to my Facebook post pointing out that CNN’s fake legal expert Ashleigh Banfield—who hosts a show called “Legal Views” and not only isn’t a lawyer, but can barely spell “Constitution”—displayed her rank ignorance once again by expressing amazement that anyone could possibly object to a law banning those placed without due process on a secret list, based on mere suspicion, from buying a gun. It’s called the Fifth Amendment, Ashleigh, you smug incompetent fool–read it. My friend’s response to this utterly factual post was the non sequitur that SCOTUS refused to review a lower court decision upholding a Connecticut law banning semi-automatic rifles. “The Supreme Court disagrees with you,” he wrote.

Huh?

You see, the left is deranged and incoherent on this issue. Totally bats, with principles draining out their ears. Because I object to breaching the core Constitutional principle of due process for any purpose–like every American should; it’s not a partisan issue—he “reasoned” that I must therefore believe that there is a right to own semi-automatic weapons. In fact, I have no position on that and didn’t mention it anywhere in the post. But, you see, good little gun-hating zealots like him believe that if you understand that Guns BAD, you must naturally approve of gutting the rule of law and the Constitution to restrict the sale of guns.  If you won’t happily gut the Fifth Amendment, you must be a gun nut.

The ends justify the means for these people. Constitutional principles only apply to good progressives and their favorite rights. Continue reading

Ethics Quote Of The Week: Popehat Lawyer/Blogger/Individual Rights Defender Ken White, Saving My Head

Duct tape doesn't work. Ken White's candor does.

Duct tape doesn’t work. Ken White’s candor does.

“What the Democrats are really saying is, ‘Because this restricts gun rights, we don’t give a shit. And before, to be honest, the Republicans and most of the Democrats would say, ‘Because this is related to terrorism, we don’t give a shit.’ I’m disgusted with them all.”

California lawyer and former federal prosecutor Ken White, the erudite, occasionally vulgar, clear-eyed and courageous head blogger at Popehat, sparing no venom in describing the current push by Democrats to allow the government to remove a citizen’s Second Amendment rights based on suspicion only.

Thank heaven, not for the first time, for the great Ken White. I had just turned off CNN this morning in an effort (successful!) to keep my head from exploding after watching CNN’s Alisyn Camerota, David Gregory and others disgrace themselves; they were all calling the unconstitutional bill allowing the Feds to take away the right to purchase a gun of those the FBI has placed on the “no-fly list,” now being supported by Democratic Senators Diane Feinstein of California, Chris Murphy of Connecticut and Joe Manchin of West Virginia, “mild,” and “reasonable,” while noting that “some conservatives” had raised “due process concerns.” Really? Those bloodthirsty, gay-hating, child-hating, gun-worshiping conservatives think that allowing the government to remove Constitutional right unilaterally based on their suspicion alone violates the Fifth Amendment? What’s the matter with them?

Then, just in time, as I felt a deep ominous, rumbling inside my skull that reminded me of Sensurround, I read Ken’s bullseye of a quote, which came in an interview and not in a Popehat blog post, here. Continue reading

Ethics Observations On The Karl-Murphy Exchange On Gun Regulations And Orlando

Murphy

Here is the interview ABC interview with Senator Chris Murphy (D-Ct)as it transpired on today’s This Week on ABC. The interviewer and substitute host was one of the few journalists, Jonathan Karl (Jake Tapper and Ed Henry also qualify; there are a few others) who at least strive for objectivity and don’t see themselves as Democratic party allies….

KARL: That’s Connecticut senator Chris Murphy. He spent 15 straight hours on the Senate floor this week demanding that Republicans hold votes on gun control measures and Senator Murphy joins us here right now. So, Senator Murphy, you are getting those votes on Monday. Tomorrow. But are you going to have to look those families in the eye once again and tell them that you have failed? Because those bills are not going to pass. None of them.

CHRIS MURPHY: Well, we’re going to work hard, over the weekend, on the bill that stops people on the terrorist watch list to from getting guns. I admit the background checks bill will be tough to get 60 votes on. But, we have hope we can get Republicans to support the bill stopping terrorists from getting weapons.But listen, I think something important happened last week. It wasn’t just 40 Senators came to the floor and supported my effort to get these votes. There were millions of people all across the country who rose up and who joined our effort. And what we know is, ultimately, the only way to win the issue is by building a political infrastructure around the country that rivals that of the gun lobby. And so, I’m still hopeful we’re going to be able to get votes. I know there are also some compromise negotiations happening that may bear fruit. But, in the final analysis what many be most important is that our filibuster helped galvanize an entire country around this issue.

KARL: But you’re specifically pushing a bill and have been pushing the bill, and it will be voted on on Monday, to close the so-called “gun show loophole.” Would that have done anything to stop the massacre in Orlando?

MURPHY: So, it may have in the sense that if you partner with a bill that stops terrorists from getting guns.—

KARL: But wait a minute. He didn’t buy those guns at a gun show. And he would have passed the background check. He did pass a background check.

MURPHY: He did pass a background check. But, if the Feinstein bill was in effect, the FBI could have put him on the list of those prohibited from getting guns. What if he went into the gun store and got denied, he could have gone online, or to a gun show, and bought another weapon.

KARL: Okay, but what I’m trying to get at is, we hear every time there’s one of these terrible tragedies there are proposals. Your proposal would have done nothing in the case of Orlando, it would have done nothing to stop the killing in San Bernardino. And in fact, it was unrelated to the killing in Newtown. So why — why are we focusing on things that have nothing to do with the massacres we’re responding to?

MURPHY: So first of all, we can’t get into that trap. I disagree, I think if this proposal had been into effect it may have stopped the shooting. But we can’t get into the trap in which we are forced to defend our proposal simply because it didn’t stop the last tragedy. We should be making our gun laws less full of Swiss cheese holes, so that future killings don’t happen. That trap in an impossible one. The Sandy Hook families lobby for background checks. You know why? Because they are just as concerned with the young men and women who are dying in our cities because of the flow of illegal guns, as they are about a ban of assault weapons, or high magazines clips that might have prevented the Newtown killings. So, this has to be broader that just responding to the tragedy that happened three days ago.

KARL: But, why can’t Congress pass things there is obvious agreement on. For instance, the question of the terrorist watch list. There is opposition to banning gun sales for people on that list. People have constitutional concerns. But why can’t you simply pass a provision that says that, “anybody who’s on a terrorist watch list or has been on a terrorist watch list for the last five years, tries to buy a gun, the FBI is automatically notified?” I mean at, at least they can follow the person, track the person. Why can’t Congress at least do that?

MURPHY: Well first of all, does the FBI have the resources, I mean that’s a question, to take those notifications, especially if the individual walks out of the store with the gun, and stop the killing before it happens? It would be much more effective to make sure the individual [doesn’t] get the gun, rather than to make the FBI go find him after he gets it.

Ethics Observations:

1. Bravo, Jon Karl. I don’t think Murphy was prepared for these questions, which were as necessary as they were obvious, but not something a good, compliant, Democrat, anti-gun lackey is supposed to ask. The news media is biased, but it isn’t always biased, and not all journalists are partisan, at least not all the time. I can’t call Karl an Ethics Hero for just doing his job the way journalism schools say it should be done, but he certainly is an exemplar.

2. The cheers and accolades sent Senator Murphy’s way because of his filibuster were sad. He was grandstanding; I kept trying to explain that to people as they called him a hero. A more cynical, misleading stunt would be hard to imagine. It was a direct appeal to the emotional “Do something, anything!” crowd, with the intention of being able to blame Republicans when none of his ineffective or unconstitutional measures were passed. This make any accord on gun regulations less likely, not more.

Some hero. Continue reading