I don’t know about you, but I sure wonder why the United States continues to prop up the United Nations, which, among its many other recent failures, did nothing to stop Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The United States is still by far the largest donor to the U.N., contributing more than $12 billion in 2021, almost one-fifth of the generally anti-American organization’s budget. President Trump, you may recall, tried to cut funding, but that’s because he was a bigot and a xenophobe in Putin’s pocket.
No, that’s not a digression: the United Nations is so incompetent that it allowed a fake nation to attend two of its meetings recently. Above is Vijayapriya Nithyananda, who said she was representing Kailasa as its “permanent ambassador” to the UN at one of those meetings. There is no “Kailasa,” though it has a website. Does that make it a “virtual nation”? I don’t know and don’t care. The site claims that Kailasa includes “two billion practicing Hindus” among its population, and that it has a flag, a constitution, a central bank, and passports.
Come to think of it, Kailasa would probably be a better U.N. member than Iran, among others.
In case you missed it, ” Nearly200 countries concluded two weeks of talks early Sunday in which their main achievement was agreeing to establish a fund that would help poor, vulnerable countries cope with climate disasters made worse by the pollution spewed by wealthy nations that is dangerously heating the planet,” according to the New York Times.
The United States has reportedly “agreed” to contribute a billion dollars to the fund. Well…
1. The U.S. diplomats can’t “agree” to give away a billion dollars. Only Congress can do that. If you want a single reason to be glad the Republicans won a majority in the House of Representatives while falling on their collective, incompetent faces during the “pink ripple,” this is it. If…and it’s a big if…the new Speaker of the House can keep his troops in line, the U.N.’s Robin Hood Fund should be DOA.
2. The Biden Administration has exploded the National Debt like no other peacetime administration in history, and seems to be under the mistaken belief that taxpayer funds are just cryptocurrency—you, know funny money. The bigger the debt the more interest the U.S. pays on it, and the same regime that has exploded the debt has also created inflation that makes the debt more expensive. In fiscal 2022 alone, the federal government made $475 billion in net interest payments. It was “only” $352 billion the prior year, according to the US Treasury Department. That is more than the government spent on veterans’ benefits and transportation combined. But hey, why not just give away a billion dollars that will be mostly used to line the pockets of the corrupt and incompetent leaders of those “poor, vulnerable countries.”
The United Nations’ Department of Global Communications sent an email instructing its staff not to the war currently raging in Ukraine as the result of Putin’s illegal and murderous armed invasion as either a war or an invasion.
Instead, they were told to use the descriptions “big misunderstanding” or “rod trip gone horribly wrong.” Okay, that’s not true. But the first part is.
Like Jimmy Durante in the Broadway musical “Jumbo,” whose answer to a sheriff confronting him trying to sneak out of a circus with biggest elephant in the world on the end of his rope with the question, “Where do you think you’re going with that elephant?” and replied, “Elephant? What elephant?,” the United Nations has scaled the heights of audacious dishonesty. Jimmy’s line, however, was a joke. The U.N.’s version is a self-indictment. Continue reading →
On October 24, 1945, the United Nations Charter became effective, marking this date as the international organization’s official birthday. What a disappointment the U.N. has been! The idea of a body made up of representatives of the nations of the world dedicated to promoting peace and mutual cooperation for the good of humanity was always a quixotic and probably doomed mission, one shared by the U.N.’s ill-conceived predecessor, Woodrow Wilson’s League of Nations.
I am old enough, however, to remember when the American public believed in and respected the U.N. Its meetings were broadcast regularly by PBS; the U.N’s second Secretary-General Dag Hammarskjöld was one of the world’s most admired men, and the U.S. ambassador to the U.N., Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr. (ironically, since his father had effectively killed the League of Nations by blocking the U.S.’s membership in the new body in the Senate), was immensely popular. The U.N. has had its moments, notably during the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962, but it squandered the public’s trust with outrageous committee appointments, placing brazen human rights violators on its Human Rights Council for example (currently Russia, China and Cuba are members), persistent efforts at world government, which is and should always be an offense to the U.S. Constitution, and corruption at the highest levels that have become impossible to excuse. Today the United Nations’ existence is largely symbolic. Maybe that’s enough to justify the expense, but we once thought the United Nations would be so much more.
Drudge has been abandoned by many conservatives over the site’s decision to spin anti-Trump, but continuing to call the January 6 riot an “insurrection” after the FBI’s report conclusively showed it wasn’t one is signature significance for a propaganda site. Over at the aggregator that has snatched away Drudge’s Trump-supporting audience, Citizen Free Press, the coverage of the unfolding Alec Baldwin gunfire accident includes this headline: “PHOTOS — This is the woman Alec Baldwin put in charge of firearms for his low budget film…” and this image of the film’s armorist:
Oh, I see! Based on her looks, we know she must have been incompetent! This is nothing but bigotry, and it is why so many people detest conservatives.
2. Until more people show some courage and principles, this kind of thing will only become more frequent and get worse. Witness the revolting development from Coastal Carolina University. The College Fix reports:
“On September 16, students filed into a classroom, and some students noted the names of several students of color were written on a whiteboard at the front of the class. Thinking this was some sort of list singling out minority students, the offended students planned a campus protest on September 21 instead of going to class.But the names were actually part of a list of students who may want to hang out together, drawn up by a visiting artist who had been counseling two students of color after the previous class. One of the students had said she felt isolated and wanted to get to know other minority students in the theater department, so the group brainstormed a list of potential friends. The school later admitted the list was “a resource for newer students who are looking to be in community with other BIPOC students.”
Never mind; Facts Don’t Matter! The school apologized to the mistakenly offended students with a statement that “faculty and students involved as well as the Theatre Department as a whole are deeply sorry to anyone who was affected by this incident.” That’s right: the school apologized to the students for the students leaping to conclusions and protesting before they knew what they were protesting about. Not only that, the visiting artist who created the list to help the minority students also apologized, calling her actions “thoughtless and careless.” Yes, it is certainly careless to assume that students in the era of The Great Stupid will be capable of being fair, responsible, and reasonable when they have unlimited power to make administrators and instructors lick their metaphorical boots on a whim.
1. Ben Carson doesn’t think women’s shelters should admit men identifying as women. Obviously, he must be destroyed. Has there ever been a tiny minority that has triggered so many gotchas and excessive controversies like trans citizens?
Let me stipulate that Ben Carson has no business being Secretary of HUD, as he is completely unqualified and possessed of narrow brilliance in an unrelated area and crippling dufus-ness in all others, so this goes in the “Stop Making Me Defend Ben Carson” files.
Nonetheless, the current outrage over remarks he made in a closed-door meeting with roughly 50 HUD staffers at the agency’s San Francisco office are contrived, and blatant virtue-signaling to the hyper-sensitive Democratic base.
Let me also stipulate that Carson is an idiot for not being able to figure out that in any group of San Francisco residents there would be several just looking for a “Ben Carson is an anti-trans bigot” smoking gun.
“…made reference to the fact that I had heard from many women’s groups about the difficulty they were having with women’s shelters because sometimes men would claim to be women, and that HUD’s policy required the shelter to accept—without question—the word of whoever came in, regardless of what their manifested physical characteristics appeared to be.This made many of the women feel unsafe, and one of the groups described a situation to me in which ‘big hairy men’ would come in and have to be accepted into the women’s shelter even though it made the women in the facility very uncomfortable,. My point was that we have to permit policies that take into consideration the rights of everybody, including those women.”
This was relayed to the media by a few enraged staffers as Carson referring to trans individuals as “big hairy men,” as well as representing insufficiently supportive sentiments towards the transgender community. “The sentiment conveyed was these were not women, and they should not be housed in single-sex shelters — like we shouldn’t force people to accept transgender people in this context because it makes other people uncomfortable,” one staffer told the Washington Post.
To the contrary, what Carson was referencing is a legitimate concern. Having recently been served at McDonalds by someone who certainly appeared to be a big hairy man wearing a beard, a woman’s wig and a bra, I understand the problem, and it is a problem—not at McDonalds, but surely in a women’s shelter. Because Carson acknowledged reality, Julián Castro, a former HUD secretary and a 2020 Democratic candidate for President, said Carson’s comments “normalize violence” against transgender people. Elizabeth Warren and other Democrats piled on.
2. Immunity again, bad judges again, KABOOM! again. Where do these judges come from?
The Fresno Police Department carried out a raid on Micah Jessop and Brittan Ashjian, who were suspected of operating illegal gambling machines, though no charges were ever brought. After the search, officers provided both men with a ledger stating that the police had seized $50,000. Jessop and Ashjian allege that the officers really took $151,380 in cash and $125,000 in rare coins, pocketing $226,380 in what was outright robbery.
I nearly mentioned Marc Lamont Hill’s anti-Israel speech at the U.N. yesterday into this afternoon’s pot pouri, but ran out of space. It’s a good thing, because the story wasn’t over. CNN reacted to the speech late today by firing him as a regular contributor.
While condemning Israel and calling for strong international support of Palestinians and a new Palestine, he said in part,
“Contrary to western mythology, black resistance to American apartheid did not come purely through Ghandi and nonviolence. Rather, slave revolts and self-defense and tactics otherwise divergent from Dr. King or Mahatma Gandhi were equally important to preserving safety and attaining freedom. If we are to operate in true solidarity with the Palestinian people, we must allow the Palestinian people the same range of opportunity and political possibility. If we are standing in solidarity with the Palestinian people, we must recognize the right of an occupied people to defend itself. We must prioritize peace, but we must not romanticize or fetishize it. We must advocate and promote nonviolence at every opportunity, but we cannot endorse a narrow politics of respectability that shames Palestinians for resisting, for refusing to do nothing in the face of state violence and ethnic cleansing….We have an opportunity to not just offer solidarity in words but to commit to political action, grass-roots action, local action and international action that will give us what justice requires and that is a free Palestine from the river to the sea.
The last part was the tipping point, it seems: the phrase “from the river to the sea” has long been used by those who advocate wiping Israel off the map. The Anti-Defamation League and the Simon Wiesenthal Center responded to Hill’s comments by calling them open support for the elimination of Israel. From Jewish Journal:
Sharon Nazarian, the Anti-Defamation League’s (ADL) senior vice president for international affairs, told the Journal in an email, “Those calling for ‘from the river to the sea’ are calling for an end to the State of Israel.”
“It is a shame that once again, this annual event at the United Nations does not promote constructive pathways to ‘Palestinian solidarity’ and a future of peace, but instead divisive and destructive action against Israel,” Nazarian said.
Similarly, Simon Wiesenthal Center Associate Dean Rabbi Abraham Cooper told the Journal in an email, “Justice requires a ‘Free Palestine from the River to the Sea’? Marc Lamont Hill is a confirmed anti-Zionist ideologue. His extremist, anti-peace views merit coverage on CNN, not as a paid pundit but as a supreme propagandist unfettered by facts.”
Hill furiously argued on Twitter that he was being misinterpreted, but to no avail. He is a Professor of Media Studies and Urban Education at Temple University in Philadelphia.
Hill would have had a stronger defense if he was not an open admirer of anti-Semite and routine Jew-hater Louis Farrakhan. I would have fired him years ago for being an outrageous race-baiter who sells anti-white bigotry and racial division on CNN using his academic credentials as false authority. A typical moment: when a Baltimore Court correctly threw out the politically and racially motivated indictment against one of the officers involved in the Freddie Gray death, Hill tweeted, in defiance of the evidence and law, “The acquittal of the Baltimore Officer is yet another reminder that Black life isn’t worth much in this nation.”
Let’s ignore all of the many other good and long-standing reasons to fire Hill however, and pretend he had previously been responsible, fair, and professional. Or we could pretend he was a mongoose. No, let’s just stick with responsible, fair, and professional to keep it simple…
Your Ethics Alarms Ethics Quiz of the Day:
Should Marc Lamont Hill have been fired for his speech at the United Nations?
I see that the October jobs report this morning is spectacularly good, with 250,000 jobs added. It is amazing that so many Americans are going to vote against Republicans in the midst of such a strong economic surge following the end of Obama’s recovery-strangling policies. The lesson for future leaders, perhaps, is that the public cares more about a President constantly acting like an asshole than they do about what he accomplishes. From an ethics point of view, I would see that as a positive development, if I didn’t strongly suspect that the real reasons for apparent votes against self-interest are 1) that the news media isn’t reporting the economic news with anything like the enthusiasm it would if this were a Democratic administration, 2) that people really believe the ridiculous spin that this is somehow an Obama recovery, and 3) that so many young Americans have been indoctrinated into socialism that even as Venezuela crumbles, they are still buying the fantasy.
1. Next try: The Oprah-Jennifer Lawrence Dinner. This is pretty funny. Following the lead of other Democratic state organizations, The New Hampshire Democrats insulted the party’s two founders, Presidents Thomas Jefferson and Andrew Jackson, also two of the nation’s greatest leaders, by removing their names from the annual party dinner. For 2017, the event was renamed…wait for it!…the Kennedy-Clinton Dinner! Yup, two serial sexual assaulting misogynists, assuming it’s Jack and not Teddy being honored, in which case it’s a negligent killer, for the Party of Women. What a brilliant choice! How can anyone not vote for a party capable of a decision like that? But for some reason, as the Harvey Weinstein Train Wreck rolled along, the new name came under criticism. Who could have foreseen that? So the dinner has been renamed again; now it’s called the Eleanor Roosevelt Dinner, after the cruelly-treated wife of another Democratic icon.
2. Who makes these rules? Why, Al Roker, that’s who! After he was called a hypocrite on social media for dressing up as “Doc Brown,” the Christopher Lloyd character in the “Back to the Future” films—Al, you will recall, helped get Megyn Kelly fired for saying that a white person could impersonate a black character using dark make-up without engaging in racially offensive conduct—tweeted,
“I’m going to say this one last time, but the folks who get it, understand and the ones who DON’T, won’t. I can be Doc Brown, and I wear the outfit and wig and not change my skin color if you’re white , you can be President Obama if you want. Just don’t color your skin!”
Wait: what about hair, Al? I’ve read that it’s racially offensive for a white person to wear a black-hair wig, like an Afro or Bob Marley hair. But it’s okay for you to wear a crazy old white guy wig?
Why, Al? For that matter, why isn’t wearing make-up that allows someone to actually look like the person or character he or she is portraying acceptable? Who makes these rules? Oh! Right! You do!
When I first saw that picture, I didn’t know who the hell Al was playing. I thought it might be Michael Jackson if he had lived, let himself go, and grew his nose back. Continue reading →
It’s the last day of the regular season for baseball, or should be: there could be two tie-breakers tomorrow, and they are officially considered part of the season. There were more baseball ethics posts this year than ever before. You can review them here.
1. And now for something completely stupid. I was temped to make this a free-standing post, but it triggered my stupid alarm, and doesn’t deserve it.
In Los Angeles, Boguslaw Matlak and Laura Quijano decided to stage a “social experiment” to determine whether bystanders would act to protect an endangered child. As their hidden cameras ran, they stuffed their 3-year-old son Leo into the trunk of their car. In truth, the back of the trunk had been rigged so Leo could climb into the back seat. He was in no danger.
“I was thinking maybe I should do a video to show people that they should do something about it when they see something wrong, to get involved,” Matlak said. They got involved, all right. Witnesses called the cops, who arrested the couple and took Leo into protective custody. The Illinois Department of Children and Family Services placed the child with a relative. For the last three weeks, the couple has been trying to get him back.
“They are hurting my son emotionally at this point,” Quijano told reporters. “He’s not home with his parents who love him very much and what else do they want from us? I just don’t understand at this point.”
The agency recently informed the parents that it would would be returning Leo to their custody. Matlak now faces one count of misdemeanor child endangerment.
Ethics lesson #1: Don’t use human beings as props.
Ethics lesson #2: Three-year-olds can’t consent to such treatment.
Ethics lesson #3: Police have enough to do dealing with real crimes. Staging fake ones to see what will happen should be illegal, if it isn’t already.
What’s there to complain about? The social experiment was a success!
Is proof that parents of a small child are idiots sufficient to remove him? No, I suppose not.
The problem with this episode is that the child, who was innocent of wrong doing, is the primary one being punished.
1. If “there are no coincidences,” then what the hell does THIS mean? The ethics category, if there is one, would be “Nature Incompetence,” or perhaps “deity abuse of power.” Look at minor league baseball pitcher Brady Feigl:
2. Over-blown conservative news media controversy of the week: In “First Man,” Ryan Gosling plays Neil Armstrong. For some reason, director Damien Chazelle decided to omit the iconic moment when Armstrong planted the American flag on the Moon. The Horror. Fox News can’t stop talking about it. President Trump has declared that he’ll boycott the film. Morons. Continue reading →
It just feels like a gliddy glup gloopy nibby nabby noopy kind of day…
1. Musings on the illness of George H.W. Bush. Perhaps I am over-sensitive, but I found the long segments and speculation on cable news this morning about George H.W. Bush suffering from “broken heart syndrome” sensational, intrusive, and wrong. The man is 93, and he’s suffering from a blood infection. As my Dad said often after his 80th birthday, and eventually proved, when one is 80 or more. you can drop dead at any moment, for any reason. Yes, we all know of long-time married couples of advanced years who perish in close proximity. However, the “broken heart syndrome” is anecdotal, without clinical proof, and, essentially, fake news with a romantic tinge.
If vile people like Professor Jarrar will attack Barbara Bush when she dies, imagine what George H.W. Bush has in store. The elder Bush is near the bottom of my Presidential ranking, in the general vicinity of his son, Jimmy Carter and Barack Obama but The Ethics Alarms position is that every single President of the United States is owed respect and a debt of gratitude for accepting the overwhelming challenges of the job, and doing, in every case, what he felt was in the best interests of the nation. Before Harry Truman, even taking away the assassinations from the mix, the Presidency was regarded, accurately, as a killing job, with more Presidents than not dying soon after leaving office. That’s not true any more, but the job is still a terrible physical, emotional and mental burden. The first words out of any American’s mouth when a former President is ailing should be “You have the best wishes of the nation,” and the first words when any former President dies should be “Thank you.”
2. And this has to do with “collusion” how? The raid on President Trump’s fixer Michael Cohen revealed that Fox News host Sean Hannity owns millions of dollars worth of real estate across several states, with links to several shell companies that bought $90 million on 877 residential properties. This is all confidential information, and should never have been jeopardized by the Special Counsel’s effort, coordinated with New York State prosecutors, to gather as much dirt on President Trump as possible—all the better to impeach him with. That this information was leaked to the press indicts the investigation, the process, the judge who allowed the fruits of the raid unrelated to Trump to be obtained, and the lawyers involved. Of course, the fact that Cohen had these records also rebuts Hannity’s claim, obviously disingenuous from the start, that he wasn’t Cohen’s client, but never mind: Hannity should not have been placed in the position where there was anything to deny.