What Do You Call Those Who Deliberately Encourage Hate And Division?

A much-esteemed member of the Ethics Alarms commentariate alerted me yesterday that he would be eschewing the blog indefinitely because it was making him anxious and depressed. I’m glad he won’t be reading this post. It made me anxious and depressed.

Fresh off of yesterday’s note about the woman who asked “The Ethicist” whether she was ethically obligated to “out” a friend at work who harbored horrible conservative opinions—you know, like not believing that there is a Constitutional right to kill human fetuses—and news of another study showing that Democrats increasingly don’t want to associate with anyone not buying into their progressive, crypt-totalitarian world view (I can’t locate the recent one right now; a similar study from last December found that “5% of Republicans said they wouldn’t be friends with someone from the opposite party, compared to 37% of Democrats,” and “71% of Democrats wouldn’t go on a date with someone with opposing views, versus 31% of Republicans.”), comes more evidence that hate-mongering and Big Lies are working for the Left. They will destroy the democracy in order to save it, and promoting incurable divisiveness and distrust is just the way to do it.

The tough conservative blogger who writes The New Neo reported on a Washington Post opinion piece from last week headlined, “No, Trump voters aren’t incapable of changing their minds about him.” I confess: I saw the article and jettisoned it after this section in the third paragraph:

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Cognitive Dissonance Also Makes You Stupid: Now NeverTrump Conservatives Are Offended By “1776”

Anti-Trump madness, aka. Trump Derangement, is causing some Republicans and conservatives to support Democrats, progressives and anti-American totalitarians on the rise in their gradual rejection of all traditional American institutions, heroes, symbols and images. On the Left, the reason for the push to kick them into the dustbin of history is a basic dislike of the nation and its values generally: it’s always been racist, sexist, and imperial, you see, essentially bad, so it needs to be torn down. Everything American became unbearable once slavery was strategically accorded a position so deep and low on the cognitive dissonance scale that the United States’ historical connection to it drags literally everything American below the center line.

Here’s Dr. Festinger’s essential scale again:

The idea is that what we associate with something or someone inevitably affects how we feel about them. If, for example, I am positively inclined toward a character on a TV show—let’s say that character has a plus 4 score on my scale—and that character states admiration for someone whom I detest, say Megan Rapinoe (at least a minus 20 in my estimation), that obnoxious opinion would pull the once-admired character well below zero, which indicates neutral regard. Dr. Festinger’s theories argue that Megan would also improve her ranking by being connected to that character. Continue reading

And THIS Is Why I Do Not Trust “Philosophers”: Sam Harris, Ethics Villain

lf you are not familiar with Sam Harris, who has gained a fair amount of visibility (hear-ability?) as a result of his podcast, you might want to listen to the first 35 minute or so of the interview with him above, but the important part comes afterwards. As soon as your hear that, assuming you’re not Liz Cheney, Adam Schiff or George Conway, you will realize that you wasted your time, because the man is not worth taking seriously.

He is completely, thoroughly, through-and-through ruined by the hatred of Donald Trump, and so biased that his reasoning cannot be relied upon for anything. It doesn’t matter that he’s a neuroscientist, New York Times best-selling author, a genuine philosopher, and credentialed public intellectual. He’s useless. He’s a fraud. Trustworthy people simply don’t hold such opinions—not only hold them, but eagerly broadcast them. It’s a signature significance orgy!

The interview is outright scary, and should make people seek psychiatric attention when they sense they are nearing the point that Harris has, tragically, reached. Harris is honest and clear-eyed enough to recognize the (still running) 2016 Post Election Ethics Train Wreck for what it is [“Taking down the New York Post’s [laptop article]? That’s a Left-wing conspiracy to deny the presidency to Donald Trump. Absolutely it was. But I think it was warranted.”] but not ethical enough to realize that as an authority and scholar lesser mortals rely upon for enlightenment, he has an obligation not to sink into mob mentality just because he is surrounded by peers and friends who are consumed with unthinking fear, anger and hate.

After expressing his approval of Liz Cheney’s announced determination to use any means necessary to prevent Donald Trump from running for President, Harris is asked “You’re content with a conspiracy to prevent somebody being democratically elected President?” He responds with a flaming rationalization stew (and a terrible analogy) that belongs in the “Bias makes you stupid” Hall of Fame: “If there was an asteroid hurtling toward earth and we got in a room together with all of our friends and had a conversation of what we could do to deflect its course, is that a conspiracy?”

Ah! See, if Trump is the same as an extinction-threatening asteroid, so “Ethics is a luxury we can’t afford,” “It can’t make things any worse,” “It’s for a good cause,” “These are not ordinary times” and more rationalizations all apply. But Trump is just a politician and a human being, and even our politicized scientists cannot declare him an extinction event. Nor is planning a conspiracy: there are no laws declaring that blocking the path of an asteroid is wrongful. When someone as intelligent as Harris once was hears something that stupid leaping from his mouth, he must be able to recognize it, or something is seriously amiss.

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Unethical Quote Of The Month: Liz Cheney [Supplemented]

“I will do whatever it takes to make sure Donald Trump is never again anywhere near the Oval Office.”

—Rep. Liz Cheney (NeverTrump-MT) in her head-exploding, self-glorifying, beyond satire concessions speech after being crushed in the GOP state primary.

And there you have it: candor and saying the secret part out loud, though the anti-democratic motives of  the “the resistance”/Democrats/ mainstream media cabal (the “Axis of Unethical Conduct”)is hardly a secret at this point, and was stated on Ethics Alarms, beginning, oh, nearly six years ago.

This is a woman (a Republican official who is aping Democratic Party talking points) who claims to be trying to save democracy by interfering with democratic processes and institutions. Does “anything it takes” set off an ethics alarm? If you’re Trump Deranged, it probably doesn’t. Cheney’s mad logic is that Donald Trump is an exception to the laws, rules and principles of democracy: he doesn’t get the benefit of them because he’s bad….mostly because he’s not in lock-step with the entrenched elite political class like the Bidens, Cheneys, Bushes and Clintons, and also a bit because he’s an unmannerly boor. Another crazed Trump hater, the Washington Post’s self-parodying Jennifer Rubin, writes in today’s Post that “Taking the Fifth should disqualify a politician from taking office.” Continue reading

7 Observations On The Unethical Tweet Of The Week By Rob Reiner

Observations:

1. What happened to Rob Reiner? How did he get that way? I’ve asked my wife to swear that if I ever start writing or saying things this stupid and ignorant, she will hit me over the head with a brick.

2. Declaring Trump a criminal is on the cusp of libel, and capitalizing “criminal” is unethically illiterate for someone with so many followers.

3. The tweet deceitfully implies that using the platform to spread misinformation is unique to Donald Trump. What is significant is that virtually only conservatives and Republicans (and the Babylon Bee) get punished it. Chris Cuomo, to name one of many examples from the news media, tweeted that “hate speech” wasn’t protected by the Bill of Rights, and that it would be illegal for anyone but journalists to read Wikileaks leaks of classified documents. He’s a lawyer (how did THAT happen?), and the public assumes he knows what he’s talking about.

4. Nothing Trump tweeted ever threatened to overthrow the government by any definition: Reiner’s tweet is disinformation!

5. Nothing Trump ever tweeted was “Criminal activity” either. Also disinformation, and yet on Twitter Carl’s deranged son remains.

6. It is clear from Reiner’s tweet that he believes that political opponents’ criticism of his party and political allies should be stifled and blocked if possible. That marks him as hostile to democracy…like increasing numbers of Americans and politicians of his political persuasion.

7. Deft and funny take-down, John Rich!

A Musical Ethics Quiz: D.C.’s Biased Jailer

Landerkin fuck

There’s really nothing special about this tweet from a woman named Kathleen Landerkin. I have friends and relatives who might tweet the same sentiments, if they were, you know, vulgar, uncivil clods. They aren’t, fortunately: I don’t consort with vulgar, uncivil clods. However, the tweet above is significant, because Ms. Landerkin is the current Correctional Training Facility (CTF) Deputy Warden at the Department of Corrections in the District of Columbia, and thus assists in overseeing day to day operations, inmate transportation, and case management at the D.C. Jail. The D.C. Jail is where Donald Trump supporting participants in the January 6, 2021 riot at the Capitol are being kept.

Landerkin has been wildly vocal abut her hatred of al things related to Donald Trump, especially his supporters, and has been tweeting rants and nasty messages about those she creatively calls “deplorables” for years. One of the more provocative comments was this one, from 2018:

landerkin-white-people-extinct

Why should anyone care? Well, she has power over the January 6 inmates, and this degree of hostility, which could be fairly called demented, calls into legitimate question her ability to do her job fairly. Or does it? Literally dozens of over-heated tweets were uncovered by an enterprising social media sleuth, so Landerkin took down her account…but not before he reduced them to a video.

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Democratic Party Trump Derangement Actually Does Some Good, Including A Tacit Confession

Trump Derangement

The House last week passed the so-called “Protecting Our Democracy Act” by a near strict party-line margin of 220 to 208. The bill seeks to impose new limits on Presidential power, many of which bi-partisan critics of “the Imperial Presidency” have advocated in the past (including me). Amazingly for anything coming out of the House of Pelosi, it’s a mostly good and reasonable bill….but there’s a catch.

“Disturbingly, the last administration saw our democracy in crisis with a rogue president who trampled over the guardrails protecting our Republic,” Speaker Nancy Pelosi said, framing the proposed law as one more partisan slap at the previous President. “Now, Congress has the solemn responsibility and opportunity to safeguard our democracy, ensuring that past abuses can never be perpetrated by any president of any party.”

Uh, but laws are the “guardrails of democracy,” not “norms,” which are merely what most Presidents have done but didn’t have to. The “norms” trope was one of the most transparently false of the Democratic Party phony Big Lies, and frankly I’m sick of explaining why. Here was one exposition on the topic (Big Lie #6), in which I quoted an earlier EA discussion of the topic:

This deliberately misleading talking point comes from the quieter Siamese Twin of Fake News, Fake History. Every President defies previous norms, or makes up new ones, and the stronger the Presidents involved are, the more norms they shatter. This doesn’t automatically threaten democracy…What threatens democracy is efforts to de-legitimize presidential power as an alternative to winning elections…

The bill passed by the Democrats includes,

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“The Bulwark’s” Contorted, Self-Indicting Defense Of The Mainstream Media

One reason Ethics Alarms highlighted Andrew Sullivan’s late-to-the-party sounding of his own alarm against the near total corruption of the mainstream media with Left-leaning bias—it was a bit like shouting “Fire!” in a theater that was already burned to the ground—was that I was curious to see if the mainstream media’s defenders would try to counter it. It can’t be countered honestly, you see. At this point, it’s like denying that the Earth moves around the Sun, yet denials are still the reflex norm both among journalists and those who appreciate news reporting working so hard to accomplish their obviously virtuous political agendas.

I did not expect “The Bulwark,” of all places, to defend the mainstream media against Sullivan’s statement of the obvious, but upon reflection, I should have. The Bulwark is the retreat site of poor Bill Kristol after he snapped like a a dry twig in a harsh wind and blew up his credibility, reputation and “The Weekly Standard” in a tantrum over am unmannerly and crude commoner like Donald Trump daring to get elected to the Presidency. Supposedly a man of principle and a true believer in conservative principles, neocom Bill declared that he would rather see those who oppose and would liquidate all of those principles to gain power than to tolerate someone so unworthy accomplishing policy objectives that Kristol would have endorsed a short time ago.

This elitist bit of bigotry (duplicated by other NeverTrumpers like George Will) deserves an eventual clinical analysis. Something similar to one was just focused on one-time conservative pundit for the Washington Post Jennifer Rubin over at “The American Thinker,” where Thomas Lifson writes that Rubin “stands out as possibly the most extreme case of Trump Derangement Syndrome among the former conservatives…Her hatred of Trump and the party that now is dominated by him and his supporters is so extreme that she wants the media to stop treating it as a legitimate representative of the roughly half the populace that votes for it.” Kristol’s agents’ at “The Bulwark” hatred is so extreme that it will defend the mainstream media’s constantly distorting the news to make conservatives and Republicans seem illegitimate. Which is worse? A Leftist media deliberately deceiving the public to warp the democratic process, or a conservative publication enabling it because they share a fanatic hatred? It’s a tough call.

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Well What Do You Know! Andrew Sullivan Finally Sees Clearly That The News Media Is Completely Corrupt And Untrustworthy

It sure took a while, Andrew, but it’s good to have you on board. Every little bit helps.

Andrew Sullivan is writing at substack now, the place where disillusioned former henchmen (and henchwomen, like Bari Weiss) of the biased and partisan mainstream news media have retreated after they sensed that somehow the people they were working for were doing more harm than good. Some, like independent journalist/muckraker Green Greenwald, flipped loyalties completely and declared his disgust with fury, even pointing out the news media’s campaign of lies against Donald Trump. Sullivan has, in contrast and until now, been unwilling to admit what has been obvious for a very long time: American journalism has really become “the enemy of the people.”

Oh, he has gradually picked off other and related examples of progressive ethics rot in our societyof many : check out the first 12 Ethics Alarms essays here, going back to 2014. These all must have been hard for him, for Sullivan is a moderate conservative turned progressive (by the gay marriage issue), and he doubtlessly would like to support his newfound companions. Yet he couldn’t quite bring himself to accept what I, to name just one objective analysts, figured out and have been documenting for more than a decade.

Now he has. Whew! I thought it would never happen.

In “Denial,” the film about the lawsuit by British Holocaust denier and fake historian Richard Irving’s defamation lawsuit against American Deborah Lipstadt, Tom Wilkerson as Lipstadt’s barrister Richard Rampton, in the process of excoriating Irving to the court where the case is being tried, says in a memorable speech,

My lord, during this trial, we have heard from Professor Evans and others of at least 25 major falsifications of history. Well, says Mr. Irving, “all historians make mistakes.” But there is a difference between negligence, which is random in its effect, and a deliberateness, which is far more one-sided. All Mr. Irving’s little fictions, all his tweaks of the evidence all tend in the same direction: the exculpation of Adolf Hitler. He is, to use an analogy, like the waiter who always gives the wrong change. If he is honest, we may expect sometimes his mistakes to favor the customers, sometimes himself. But Mr. Irving is the dishonest waiter. All his mistakes work in his favor. How far, if at all, Mr. Irving’s Antisemitism is the cause of his Hitler apology, or vice versa, is unimportant. Whether they are taken together or individually, it is clear that they have led him to prostitute his reputation as a serious historian in favor of a bogus rehabilitation of Adolf Hitler and the dissemination of virulent Antisemitic propaganda.

Note the parallels with Sullivan’s description of the mainstream media in his latest newsletter:

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Not Helping: Houston Texans Owner Cal McNair Grovels An Apology For Telling The Truth

A while back I asked readers if I should start a “Weenie of the Week” category or its equivalent. The feedback was mostlynegative, but I still have to shine a sickly green light on those who are eroding my free speech rights by refusing to fight for their own.

Back in May, the owner of the NFL’s Houston Texans owner Cal McNair commented during the team’s Charity Golf Classic at River Oaks Country Club, “I’m sorry that we couldn’t get together last year, because of the China virus.”

For some reason, a muckraking political correctness-fomenting sports journalist named Michael Silver decided that this was a scandal, or a scoop, or something, now, months later. “Said one unnamed witness,” Silver writes, ‘Everyone gasped, especially the people directly across from him.'” Gasped! My god, the man called a virus that unquestionable began in China the “China virus”! This was “racially insensitive” says NBC Sports, echoing Silver.

No, it wasn’t.

Never mind: McNair, showing himself to have the spine of an annelid worm, quickly grovelled an apology:

“My comments at the event last May included an inappropriate choice of words. I immediately apologized to people who approached me then and I apologize again now. I know how important it is to choose my words carefully. I would never want to offend anyone.”

Even as forced apologies go, this one is especially cringe-worthy. No, the words were not “inappropriate,” they were accurate. Ooh, better choose your words carefully so as not to trigger those who will try to ruin anyone who doesn’t obey the political correctness edicts from the Left! The only way not to “offend anyone” is to avoid speaking and writing.

I hereby move that people who prove they have been thoroughly weenie-ized save us time by skipping these sickening, virtue-signaling apology by simply stating, “I love Big Brother,” and get it over with. That’s what this kind of grovel means. Maybe they should sign a registry or something that gets them discounts on Coca-Cola products.

But…but…TRUUUUUMP! “The term used by McNair was used multiple times by the former president in the early months of the pandemic, and many still use the term (and similar ones) when referring to COVID-19 without apologizing or even flinching,” writes good little censorship soldier, NBC’s Mike Florio. Bite me, Mike: I’m one of those many, though I prefer the more specific “Wuhan virus.” You tell me why a completely accurate name is “racially insensitive.” I’ve asked many lock-step woke friends and relatives to explain what racially insensitive, and the answer basically comes down to “Trump used it, and he’s a racist” or “Because that’s what the directive from The Ministry Of Truth” says. Then there are wimpers about all the Asian Americans being attacked when there is scant evidence that what we call the virus has anything to do with such incidents, and since when did we let the actions of idiots determine what information has to be de facto censored?

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