Comment Of The Day: “More From The Bulging ‘It Isn’t What It Is’ File! Unethical Quote Of The Week: Washington Post Deputy Editorial Page Editor Ruth Marcus

With today’s Comment of the Day, Jim Hodgson weighs in on bad analogies as well as related matters. Bad analogies are a frequent topic here, and The Great Stupid may represent the zenith of bad analogies in our culture—at least I hope and pray it is.

My father, who, like me, was a lawyer who seldom practiced law, maintained that “everyone” should get a law degree, because the kind of critical thinking that law school teaches is no longer available in most colleges. (Once it was taught in grade school). One concept legal arguments rely on constantly are analogies. This is why I found Ruth Marcus employing such a wretched and irredeemable one in the Washington Post so depressing and infuriating. Striking down a vaccine mandate not supported by the law is inconsistent with the Court running its own operations with requirements that those who come into contact with the mostly high-risk Justices have to take very precaution is hypocritical? How? Why? Marcus is a Harvard Law School grad: she was taught better reasoning than that.

I see terrible analogies everywhere. Comparing Donald Trump to Hitler was ridiculous, but comparing the January 6 riot ( when “our government was almost overthrown last year by a guy wearing a Viking hat and speedos,” as Marco Rubio deftly put it) to Pearl Harbor was more ridiculous still, and the Vice President did that, more than once. Was making that idiotic analogy worse than the President calling limits on mail-in balloting the equivalent of Jim Crow laws? Or worse than claiming that enforcing the nation’s borders is “racism”? Actually, this might be a fun parlor game: “The Worst Analogy.”

Here is Jim Hodgson’s Comment of the Day on the post, “More From The Bulging “It Isn’t What It Is” File! Unethical Quote Of The Week: Washington Post Deputy Editorial Page Editor Ruth Marcus”…

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Misleading analogies and false equivalencies are among the favored tools of today’s “journalists.” The Progressive Left and the media (but I repeat myself) have a clear agenda and it isn’t good for the republic. Forty years ago, I railed against the (comparatively mild) bias of news anchors; nowadays they look almost Fox News-ish by comparison.

Marcus and her ilk aren’t really trying to convince “searchers for the truth,” they are merely reinforcing the beliefs and attitudes of those in the “woke bubble” and reaching out only to the easily swayed. I spend a few hours most days reading a variety of news sources online, trying to get an accurate and more complete view of national and world events and issues than I find from any single source. I know not everyone makes this effort, and I regularly refer friends and family to articles and sources (including E.A.) that I think will improve their understanding of issues and events. Continue reading

P.M. Ethics Dispatches, 1/11/2022

We have to keep baseball ethics alive even if baseball itself is in a state of suspension: the owner and players are, for the first time in decades, arguing about how to divide up their billions, everything from roster size to minimum salaries are on the table, and as of now, the two sides aren’t even talking with the season just a couple of months away. One of the issues to be settled is whether the National League will finally capitulate and adopt the designated hitter rule, which was accepted in the American League on this date in 1973, a day which many traditionalist fans then and now regard as an unforgivable scar on the integrity of the game. Baseball has always been celebrated for its equity and balance: as it was envisioned, every player on the field had to both hit and play defense. The DH, which is a batter who never uses a glove, also allowed the pitcher to be a defense-only specialist, never picking up a bat which, advocates of the new rule argued, was a result much to be wished, since the vast majority of hurlers are only slightly better at hitting the ball than your fat old uncle Curt who played semi-pro ball in his twenties. All these decades years later, the National League and its fans have stubbornly maintained that the DH was a vile, utilitarian gimmick spurred by non-ethical considerations, mainly greed. When the rule was adopted, American League attendance lagged behind the NL, which also was winning most of the All Star games, in part because that league had embraced black stars far more rapidly than “the junior league.” The DH, the theory went, would make games more exciting, with more offense, while eliminating all the .168 batters in the ninth spot in every line-up.

I had a letter published in Sports Illustrated in 1973 explaining why I opposed the DH as a Boston Red Sox fan. Since then, I have grudgingly come to accept the benefits of the rule: it gave the Sox David Ortiz, allowed Carl Yastrzemski to play a few more years, and let American League fans see such all-time greats as Hank Aaron at the plate after they could no longer play the field. It was a breach of the game’s integrity, but it worked.

1. At least that’s fixed. The Supreme Court issued a corrected transcript of the oral arguments in the Biden vaccine mandate case, and it now accurately records Justice Gorsuch as saying he believes the seasonal flu kills “hundreds…thousands of people every year.” The original version wrongly quoted him as saying hundreds of thousands, which allowed those desperately trying to defend the outrageously wrong assertions by Justice Sotomayor regarding the Wuhan virus to point to Gorsuch and claim, “See? Conservatives are just as bad!” Prime among these was the steadily deteriorating Elie Mystal at “The Nation,” who, typically for him, refused to accept the correction. Sotomayor is one of the all-time worst Supreme Court justices, though she will be valuable as a constant reminder of the perils of affirmative action. Her jurisprudence makes the much maligned Clarence Thomas look like Louis Brandeis by comparison. Continue reading

Ugh. The Great Stupid Snags “The Ethicist”

Not only is Kwame Anthony Appiah the most trustworthy and competent of all those who have authored the New York Times Magazine’s “The Ethicist” advice column, he’s also the only one who could be called a true ethicist, as he teaches philosophy at N.Y.U. Thus it is with great disappointment and sadness that I must report that “The Ethicist” has fallen victim to the dreaded Woke Virus, which, has, in the Times’ own lexicon, been “raging” through the paper for quite some time, poisoning its judgment, and as bias does, making its employees stupid.

Given Appiah’s assignment, which is to hand out ethical advice regarding various dilemmas and conflicts posed by correspondents, I would have thought that both he and the Times would have insisted that he practice social distancing and wear a Hazmat suit when visiting the office—maybe even eschew reading the paper. I guess not.

In this week’s column, a reader presented her problem thusly:

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Comment Of The Day: “Council Rock Elementary School, ‘Jingle Bells,’ And When Something Trivial Demands A Strong Response (Part One)”

The infuriating/ridiculous/frightening saga of an elementary school in Brighton, New York deciding to ban “Jingle Bells” inspired several superb posts, none better than the Comment of the Day by Charles Abbott. Mr. Abbott lives in Brighton, and provided much insight regarding this weird episode, which I wrote about here and here. And here is Charles’ Comment of the Day:

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Brighton is a suburb of Rochester NY. Rochester NY is about half way between Buffalo and Syracuse in the western part of New York State.

Brighton is a prosperous suburb, mostly inhabited by households in the upper middle class or professional classes. The suburb of Brighton is contiguous to the City of Rochester. The Brighton Central School District student performance consistently ranks among the 10 best school districts in all of New York State. This has a lot to do with the characteristics of the households who live there, as well as the quality of the teachers and the curriculum.

It’s worth mentioning that a Brighton zip code, 14618, is possibly the “most Jewish” zip code in New York State west of the Hudson River Valley. I live in 14618–offhand I can think of 5 synagogues within a 2 miles of my rhouse–two of them are pretty large by local standards. A Jewish friend of mine pointed out to me that I actually live within an “eruv” (look it up–it was news to me!). I mention this because observers have long noted the tendency of Jewish Americans to lean liberal or Left. The most conservative suburb of Rochester is probably Greece, NY to the NW of Rochester. Brighton tends to be a liberal suburb–upper middle class and liberal–perhaps smugly liberal. Continue reading

What Is The Appropriate Response To These Companies?

Target puppy

With crime rates soaring in many cities and “smash and garb” raids disrupting large retailers, companies like Home Depot, Nordstom’s and Target are calling on communities to increase policing. By “like,” I mean companies that previously hailed Black Lives Matter and other anti-policing organizations,, festooned their stores, ads and websites with endorsements of BLM as it vilified law enforcement and called for “defunding” the police, and gave large grants to it and other “social justice” movements seeking to reduce police protection of communities across the nation.

It was all part of “The Big Pander” sub-division of The Great Stupid, itself fueled by the George Floyd Freakout, because it makes perfect sense to decide that a single brutal police incident proves that all police are racist menaces. The fake history “1619 Project” and offshoots of Critical Race Theory also were bolstered by these corporations’ cynical virtue-signaling, at a time when catering to criminals is seen as a virtue.

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Casting Ethics And The Great Stupid: So William F. Buckley Was Black…I Did Not Know That!

Buckley Vidal play

“The Best of Enemies” is a stage adaptation of the film about the 1968 TV face-offs between arch-conservative pundit William F. Buckley and acerbic liberal author and wit Gore Vidal that climaxed with Buckley threatening to punch Vidal is the face. I haven’t seen it (which is now playing in London’s West End) or the film: I was lucky enough to see the original, live. Buckley was fascinating (and often hilarious); Vidal was the perfect iconoclast (I even had a correspondence with him briefly!), so I assume both play and film are at least entertaining. That’s not the issue at hand, however.

The issue is casting ethics. My position as a director and also from the ethics perspective is that a production’s obligations are to the audience and the work being presented, and everything else is subordinate at best. That does not mean that I am opposed to so-called “non-traditional casting;” indeed, I support it (and have done a lot of it as a director) when it benefits the play or musical. When funky casting accomplishes nothing but making activists happy or ticking off woke boxes at the expense of the show’s effectiveness, that’s unethical, plain and simple.

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Weird Tales Of The Great Stupid! Tonight’s Episode: “The Apologetic Gynecologist”

Weird Tales

Gynecologist Ryan Stewart announced that he is redesigning his office, and inquired on Twitter, “I’m asking women. How would you design/optimize a visit to the gynecologist’s office?” Terrified, he realized soon after that he had uttered the unwoke, offensive, excluding word…wait for it…”women.” My God, who in this enlightened age would trust a gynecologist who says “women”? So after being properly chastened on social media, Dr. Steward grovelled in a tweet, 

“Folks have [correctly] pointed out that I [incorrectly] said ‘women’ when what I should have said was ‘folks who may need gynecologic care,’ Stewart tweeted. “I named the practice with this in mind @midwestpelvis, but I find that I still have a lot of internalized/implicit bias.”

He needs to read his own website.  Ryanstewart.com,  informs readers,”Dr. Ryan Stewart is a fellowship trained pelvic surgeon specializing in treatment of women with pelvic organ prolapse, urinary incontinence, and pelvic floor dysfunction.” 

As the Crystals might sing,

“He’s a weenie and he’ll never ever be any good
He’s a weenie ’cause he has to talk like woke people would
And even though it makes no sense and he looks like a jackass
He’ll say anything to grovel for all their love…”
 
Seriously, when will normal Americab with self respect and functioning cerebrums wake up, slap themselves in the forehead, and say, “What? I can’t associate myself with these terrified, pathetic, weak-minded people! They’re nuts! They’re creating a police state of the self-deluded! I don’t want to live in a country that’s so sensitive and frightened of words that a gynocologist has to apologize for saying “women”! Have I encouraged this insanity by tolerating it? WHAT HAVE I DONE???
 
Cue Major Clipton:

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Source: The Blaze

EARLY Morning Ethics Warm-Up. 12/6/2021: Christmas, The Great Stupid, Virtue-Signaling And A Fake Olympics Boycott

Contrary to all predictions, we got our 8 ft, real, live Christmas tree, and it didn’t cost any more than last year. The hero was 40-year neighbor Ted West, who grabbed what we needed at his annual church Christmas tree sale which sold out in less than two days.

It was between Bing and Johnny Mathis for the Christmas season musical kick-off. It had to be Bing.

1. When taste alarms don’t work…Here’s a mall Christmas display.

Crappy Tree

How do these kind of things slip by?

2. Speaking of slipping by… The Tennessee Court of Appeals ruled that a jury room in Giles County named after the United Daughters of the Confederacy and decorated with a Confederate flag as well as a portrait of Jefferson Davis mandated the reversal of a jury conviction of a black defendant for aggravated assault. The defendant objected on the grounds that the jury could not hold fair deliberations in such a room. Though the the trial court disagreed, but the appellate court threw out the verdict, concluding that …[b]ecause the defendant established that the jury was exposed to extraneous information or improper outside influence and because the State failed to sufficiently rebut the presumption of prejudice, the defendant is entitled to a new trial.”

I guess they have really suggestible juries in Tennessee. I cannot imagine my deliberation on a a jury or on anything being influenced by the name of the room I was in or what was hanging on the walls. Prof. Volokh notes,

Juries have deliberated in this room for more than four decades. Presumably, every black defendant convicted in that courtroom can now object and secure a new trial. The Court did not address this issue. And other courts in the state, and probably throughout the south, may have similar deliberation rooms, or even courtrooms. If these opinions catch on, countless convictions will be vacated.

The Ethics Alarms verdicts are that a) it is ridiculous that the jury room wasn’t purged of Lost Cause propaganda decades ago, and b) the court’s ruling is irresponsible virtue-signaling. Continue reading

The Great Stupid And “The Postman Always Rings Twice” Meet NPR!

Abbott-costello-meet-frankenstein-1

Like the classic film starring my favorite comedy team, this is more funny than scary. And it couldn’t happen to a more deserving news organization.

An online NPR article and a tweet promoting the story reported that Michelle Wu, just elected as Boston’s  first woman and first person of color mayor, had disappointed some activists with her victory. 

boston-mayor-npr-03

“While many are hailing it as a major turning point, others see it as more of a disappointment that the three Black candidates in the race couldn’t even come close,” the story, like the tweet, read.  This being The Great Stupid, NPR was quickly accused of being racist. Trapped like a rat, NPR’s Boston affiliate apologized and said it had deleted the tweet which was “causing harm”, though all it had done is report, and accurately, the reaction of others in the city, notably the black community. “We realize we don’t always get things right the first time,” it groveled, saying that the  “tweet/headline misrepresented the story.” No, what NPR was really apologizing for is reporting the story, which exposes the fact that black race-activists only care about one race, their own. They did see Wu’s victory as a disappointment. NPR’s sin was telling the truth, instead of being a reliable propaganda organ and spinning the story to the satisfaction of those who want to avoid letting on that the conservative criticism of the Left’s race obsession is legitimate. What “harm” had the tweet done? The harm was not following the approved script and hiding the ugly hypocrisy at the core of progressivism.

Bad progressive lapdog! BAD!

“The story is still Asians vs. Blacks for some unknown reason. The ‘tweet/headline’ was hardly the issue,” one outraged Bostonian tweeted. Unknown reason? Harvard and other elite colleges are rejecting better qualified Asian-American applicants to admit Blacks with lesser credentials. A disproportionate number of the attacks on Asian-Americans hyped by the media was at the hands of Blacks.

Now the  updated tweet says that “many were hopeful Boston would finally elect its first Black mayor,” with “Black activists and political strategists” left having to “reflect on what they can learn from the 2021 campaign season.” But they weren’t disappointed that Boston didn’t elect a black mayor, you see? 

No, I don’t either. What NPR correctly noted is that “many” in Boston and elsewhere in Progressiveland care about color more than character and ability. Continue reading

Comment Of The Day: “…Andrew Sullivan Finally Sees Clearly That The News Media Is Completely Corrupt And Untrustworthy”

idiot meme

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.

This is Steve-O-in NJ’s Comment of the Day on the post, “Well What Do You Know! Andrew Sullivan Finally Sees Clearly That The News Media Is Completely Corrupt And Untrustworthy.”

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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.

I wrote three years ago,

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