The Biden White House Trying Its Big Brother Thing To Avoid Being Held Responsible For A Recession Might Be Not Be So Suspicious If We Forgot About The Last 18 Months…Or Five Years [Corrected!]

As Ronald Reagan might say, “There they go again!” This White House and Democrats in general are addicted to the Orwellian technique of avoiding reality and gaslighting the public using the technique represented by Ethics Alarms Rationalization #64, Yoo’s Rationalization, or “It Isn’t What It Is.”

Orwell’s Big Brother reveled in mottos like “War is Peace,” “Freedom is Slavery” and “Ignorance is Strength.” The Democratic way for some time now, and it is natural that the Biden Administration would employ it, is to deal with facts it doesn’t care for by denying them, altering unpleasant reality by offering an alternate one to the gullible public, or, as in the current case, just changing the meanings of words so things are too muddled and confusing for anyone to be sure what’s happening.

Democracy dies in befuddlement.

All my adult life, I have read that economists view two consecutive quarters in which the economy has contracted as signifying a recession. Well, you know…economists. Nonetheless, I have lived through a lot of them, and never before have I seen the unfortunate wretches caught “holding the bag” when this damning diagnosis attaches have the chutzpah to do what the Bidenites have. The Bureau of Economic Analysis is set to release the second-quarter gross domestic product (GDP) numbers this week, and they are widely expected to show those two consecutive quarters of economic decline. So what have the Democrats cooked up? A definition of “recession” that will allow them—they hope—to avoid the “R” word.

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Well, There Goes My Head! Slavery Was “Involuntary Relocation”…

A group of Texas educators have proposed to the Texas State Board of Education that slavery should referred to “involuntary relocation” in second grade social studies sessions.

I supposed it’s nice that conservatives are back to mastering the “it isn’t what it is” trick, this one the variation known as “it wasn’t what it was.” Lately it’s the Left’s cover words that have been most in evidence, like “choice” for abortion, and “gun safety,” when what they mean is “gun ownership restrictions.” Then there is “equity, diversity and inclusion” for “racial preferences” and “restorative justice” which really means “letting criminals get away with slaps on the wrist for serious crimes so they can prey on their communities again but at least there won’t be ‘over-incarceration.'”

All of these (and so many more) used by the Left and Right—never forget “enhanced interrogation” “rendition,” and “detainees” (you know: prisoners without trials forever)— are base deceit designed to deceive—-in other words, lies.

Lying to kids, however, is especially despicable. Slavery was not “involuntary relocation” any more than it was “free room and board” or “Community singing.” Those “educators”( a working group of nine, including a professor at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley) have revealed their absolute lack of fitness for their jobs, for mis-education is the opposite of education. They should apply to be White House press secretaries. Or New York Times op-ed writers. Fire them. Parents? Are you paying attention?

“The board — with unanimous consent — directed the work group to revisit that specific language,” Keven Ellis, chair of the Texas State Board of Education said in a statement. Board member Aicha Davis, a Democrat, said that the proposed wording is not a “fair representation” of the slave trade.

Ya think?

Does this look like “relocation” to you?

__________________

Pointer: Curmie

Unethical Quote Of The Month: Stacey Abrams

“We know that increased turnout has nothing to do with suppression. Suppression is about whether or not you make it difficult for voters to access the ballot. And in Georgia, we know difficulty has been put in place for too many Georgians who vote by mail, who had to figure out a calendar of applying just early enough but not too late. You had to have wet signatures so they could print things out. Take a picture, upload it.”

—-Now official Democratic candidate for Georgia governor Stacey Abrams, huminahumina-ing her explanation for why the “vote suppression” law she said was an attack on democracy somehow didn’t seem to affect the voting in yesterday’s Georgia primaries, which saw record turn-out in both parties.

The school shooting in Texas luckily knocked Abrams’ doubletalk out of the news, though the mainstream media wouldn’t have reported on it anyway: Mustn’t reveal Stacey for the fake she is!

During a press conference yesterday Abrams leaped into “It Isn’t What It Is” infamy by responding with the above gibberish after a mean reporter asked how she explained the record voter turnout after the Georgia law she had condemned (and used to get Major League Baseball to pull its All-Star Game from Atlanta) was enacted. She argued that just because more voters came to the polls under the voter-suppressing new law than under the previous rules didn’t mean that the law didn’t suppress votes. You see, she explained, there is no causal relationship between turnout and suppression, and turnout is actually the “antidote” to suppression.

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The White House Gets Another Jumbo

You know, at some point, this has to matter, doesn’t it?

For four years, the mainstream media, Democrats and the Trump-Deranged claimed that anything that President Trump said or tweeted, whether it was gaffe, a mistake, a joke, hyperbole, puffery or, as was indeed often the case, deliberately misleading, was a democracy-threatening lie. This media theme was an exaggeration on its own, and a damaging one, diminishing Trump’s public trust and making it difficult for him to do his job—as indeed was the whole point of the “Trump lies” obsession.

So what is the American public supposed to conclude when President Biden says something that is clear and unequivocal, and the official White House position is that he didn’t say it?

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Ethics Dunce: Friends University (Kansas), Or “Why Do Colleges Find That Free Speech Thingy So Complicated?”

Cutting to the metaphorical chase: Friends University in Wichita, Kansas, refused to allow a student recital honors project titled “The Shows They Don’t Want Us to Produce: A Study of Censorship Throughout the History of Musical Theatre,” to take place on campus. Yes, Caitlyn Fox’s show about censorship was censored.

Brilliant.

Some of the songs Fox would sing in her recital were “Aquarius” from “Hair,” “Maybe This Time” from “Cabaret,” “Gethsemane” from “Jesus Christ Superstar,” “Schadenfreude” from “Avenue Q” and “My Unfortunate Erection” from “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee,” among others. The program had been approved, Fox had been assured that all was well, and then the university’s vice president of academic affairs and dean of the faculty sent Fox an email that kicked the recital off campus. He wrote in part:

“I’m writing to let you know that in the past few hours we have received significant complaints from staff members and donors regarding [your] Recital/Honors Project. People who have worked at and/or supported the university for a long time are considering withdrawing their support if we move forward with having the recital at Friends.”

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A Jumbo For The United Nations!

“War? What war?”

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

Our Unprofessional Professionals, Our Inexpert Experts: The Ethicist And The Economist

One of the most disturbing aspects of the 2016 Post Election Ethics Train Wreck was the ugly spectacle of once esteemed professions deciding en masse to ditch their integrity in order to join the “Get Trump!” mob with the cool kids. Historians, lawyers, judges, psychiatrists, scholars, civil libertarians, journalists, educators…yes, and ethicists—all these groups disgraced themselves and breached the one, overarching mandate for those who supposedly labor for the public good: be trustworthy. Then came The Great Stupid, compounding the damage to society and the culture by showing “experts” to be equally unreliable, burdened as they were by crippling bias, political agendas, and flawed skills and assumptions.

Two recent examples highlighted this trend. First up, the ethicist.

Doriane Lambelet Coleman, a professor at Duke Law School, is co-director of the Center for Sports Law & Policy and a senior fellow at the Kenan Institute for Ethics. She authored a jaw-droppingly lame op-ed for the Washington Post headlined, “Yes, Kamila Valieva should be skating in Beijing.” There isn’t a single valid ethical principle behind her entire, constructed-for-sentimentalists argument.

Her first sentence would normally make me quit reading any opinion piece: “Russian Kamila Valieva is the best figure skater on the planet, she is gorgeous to watch perform and she should be skating in Beijing.” This is the equivalent of “Barry Bonds is a great player and we should ignore the fact that’s he’s a steroid cheat.” An ethicist is openly elevating the most obvious non-ethical consideration seasoned with personal bias, that the author thinks she is “gorgeous” on the ice, over the clear ethical consideration that the skater broke the rules, and had they been enforced, she wouldn’t be at the Olympics at all.

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Will The Audacious “It Isn’t What it is” Propaganda Assault By The American Left Succeed?, Part 2

Taking off from Part 1 (which took off from this), let’s review some (only some) of the anti-democratic conduct of the Democrats, their Congress and their President.

  • We saw President Biden withdraw troops from Afghanistan without consultation with Congress and in opposition to the military, abandoning thousand of U.S. citizens in the process.

  • We have seen the individual liberty-defying mask and vaccine mandates in Democratic states and cities.
  • We have witnesses attempts at the state and national level to discriminate against one racial group in such benefits as Small Business assistance and pandemic remedies.
  • We have watched the Senate Majority leader directly threaten the Supreme Court if it fails to support Democratic Party policies and positions.
  • We have seen the escalating air-brushing of history, to eliminate references to individuals and ideas that the party in power opposes.
  • We have seen Democrats and their allied professions and institution attempt to discriminate against religious groups, using the pandemic to ban their activities while favoring gatherings of similar size when they supported leftist activism.
  • We have seen concerted efforts to disarm law-abiding citizens, including removing the right to bear arms from those judged mentally or emotionally ill, both historical tactics of totalitarian governments.
  • We have seen the effort to corrupt the criminal justice system and the Rule of Law by demonizing and presuming the guilt of police officers, conservative protesters and others (like Kyle Rittenhouse) based on  skin color and political preferences.
  • We have seen an endorsement of mob rule, with “defund the police” being advocated across the country, radical progressive prosecutors refusing to prosecute crimes “of need,” and police being turned into targets by more than six years of demonizing by the Left.
  • We have seen an unprecedented attack on the Constitution and various amendments, with the goal of undoing protections wisely placed in the documents by the Founders. Among the targets: the First Amendment, the Second Amendment, the Due Process Clause, the Equal Protection Clause, the amendment process (so the dead-letter Equal Rights. Amendment can pass after the deadline for adoption has passed), the Electoral College, the composition of the Senate, and more.
  • We witnessed the Democratic party embracing a Marxist, anti-American, anti-White, violent and corrupt organization, Black Lives Matter.
  • We are watching that same party continue to support a program of anti-American, pro-Left indoctrination in the public schools.
  • We are seeing the deliberate promotion of class divisions and hostility, while the Democratic Party pursues radical ideological goals such as the devaluing of citizenship, the elimination of meritocracy and the pursuit of excellence,  and
  • Perhaps most glaring of all, we witnessed, for the first time in our history, not just one but two contrived impeachments based not on the kinds of “high crimes” prescribed by the Constitution, but on the simple fact that one party had a House majority  that it abused to attempt to remove an elected President it despised, plus
  • …so, so much more that represents a gross weakening of democracy and its values by the conduct and rhetoric of Democrats. The four year effort to cripple Donald Trump’s Presidency by withholding the basic, crucial, core aura of respect and deference to the office that every other President was bequeathed by his predecessors is, in my view, the worst of these, which is why Ethics Alarms has laboriously tracked it with the tag “2016 Ethics Post-Election Train Wreck.”

This has all occurred in plain sight, so for Democrats and progressives to pick this moment in history to declare Republicans as an existential threat to democracy is Jumbo-level audacity. Is this gaslighting the result of desperation, idiocy, delusion, or “It’s so crazy, it just might work”? Continue reading

Yikes! I Better Finish “Will The Audacious ‘It Isn’t What it is’ Propaganda Assault By The American Left Succeed?” Quick Before The Answer Is Too Obvious To Bother With: The Democrats’ Amazing Filibuster Hypocrisy

Wowie Zowie, Democratic “It isn’t what it is” grandstanding is reaching record heights faster than I can comment on them!

Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.), cementing her Ethics Hero credentials that (I admit) I doubted would stand up in June) delivered a speech yesterday in which she reiterated her  support for the filibuster, pretty much killing Democrat Party efforts to unilaterally change the rules to enable the party to ram through legislation that would federalize elections and permanently weaken their integrity. The filibuster is a long-standing procedural device that requires three-fifths of Senators to agree in order to advance toward a vote. It is very much a pro-democracy measure, instituted to prevent a bare Senate majority from passing important and controversial legislation without bi-partisan support. You can’t have a smaller Senate majority than Democrats do now, with a 50-50 split only enhanced by the Vice-President’s tie-breaking vote.

Sinema said that she personally supports both the Freedom to Vote Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act, but does not believe it is wise to kill the filibuster. “And while I continue to support these bills, I will not support separate actions that worsen the underlying disease of division infecting our country,” Sinema said. “There’s no need for me to restate my longstanding support for the 60-vote threshold to pass legislation.” 

She did this despite President Biden’s disgraceful speech this week claiming that anyone who continues to support a filibuster to stop his party’s voting rights legislation is choosing to “stand on the side of George Wallace over Dr. King, Bull Connor over John Lewis, and Jefferson Davis over Abraham Lincoln.” It had to be one of the worst examples of race-baiting as an illicit political tool of recent memory, particularly since the claims that the legislation has any connection to race is fictional. It is not discriminatory to require voters to prove who they are at the polls. It is not “racist” to limit early voting. I would eliminate it entirely: the procedure encourages blind, knee-jerk, fact-free partisan voting over voter consideration of all relevant information during the campaign. It supports incompetent democracy. It is not racist to place limits on mail-in voting, vote-harvesting, or drop-boxes. It is responsible. Moreover, allowing such easily manipulated weaknesses in election controls encourages distrust in the final results.

It is profoundly disturbing that all but two Democratic Senators have the courage and respect for democracy to oppose the filibuster rule change, and apparently none will stand up for the integrity of elections. Meanwhile, Sinema is being called a racist and a foe of democracy for doing the right thing. Continue reading

Introduction: Will The Audacious “It Isn’t What it is” Propaganda Assault By The American Left Succeed?

Yoo’s Rationalization, or “It isn’t what it is,” was a relatively late addition to the Ethics Alarms Rationalizations List, arriving in November of 2016; indeed, it is numbered at #64. Because “It isn’t what it is” has become perhaps the most employed rationalization of all in political discourse in the weeks and months since then, it is remarkable that it took me, as a fanatic collector of rationalizations (or the lies we tell ourselves to make us feel ethical when we are not) to realize the importance of this one. It is also noteworthy when that fact dawned on me, for November 2016 was the month that Donald Trump was elected President, and the American Left decided to abandon its principles as well as “democratic norms”—irony there!—in order to destroy him, and, if possible, get him out of office without the bother of an election. That assault continues to this day, though now the focus had shifted to keeping him from being elected again, and, if possible putting him in prison.

Because putting political adversaries in prison is what democracies do...huh?

For convenience, allow me to re-publish the entirety of the entry for Rationalization #64:

64. Yoo’s Rationalization or “It isn’t what it is”

Named after John Yoo, the Bush Justice Department lawyer who wrote the infamous memo declaring waterboarding an “enhanced interrogation technique,” and not technically torture,  #64 is one of the most effective self-deceptions there is, a handy-dandy way to avoid logic, conscience, accountability and reality.

Examples of this are everywhere. Paul Krugman, the progressive economist and Times columnist, began a column like this:

“Remember all the news reports suggesting, without evidence, that the Clinton Foundation’s fund-raising created conflicts of interest?”

The Clinton Foundation’s fundraising created a conflict of interest, by definition. For a non-profit organization, with family connections to either a current Secretary of State or a Presidential candidate, to accept money from any country, company or individual who has or might have interests that the Secretary or potential President can advance is a conflict. It’s indisputable. No further ‘evidence” is needed.”

How does Krugman deal with this problem? Simple: he convinces himself that screaming conflicts aren’t what they are without “evidence,” by which he means “proof of a quid pro quo.” But a quid pro quo is bribery, not a conflict of interest. A conflict of interest might lead to bribery, but a conflict is created as soon as there is a tangible reason for an official’s loyalties to be divided.

Yoo’s Rationalization or “It isn’t what it is” turns up everywhere, and has since time began. A mother swears that her serial killer son “is a good boy,” so she doesn’t have to face that fact that he’s not. It is denial, it is lying, but it is lying to convince oneself, because the truth is unbearable, or inconvenient.  It is asserting that the obvious is the opposite of what it is, hoping that enough people will be deluded, confused or corrupted to follow a fraudulent argument while convincing yourself as well. The Rationalization includes euphemisms, lawyerisms, and the logic of the con artist. Illegal immigration is just immigration. Oral sex isn’t sex, and so it’s not adultery, either. I didn’t steal the money from the treasury! I was just borrowing it!

And waterboarding isn’t torture.

#64  also could be named after Orwell’s “1984,” and called “Big Brother’s Rationalization” in homage to “War is Peace,” etc. But John Yoo deserves it.

In the article that announced the addition of #64, I cited another example:

I saw a prime example of it this morning, in former Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano’s op-ed about the “Deferred Action For Childhood Arrivals Program,” a euphemism for “amnesty for illegal immigrants who arrived as kids with their parents, so they can grow up and vote Democratic.”

She writes,

“This narrative about an initiative that has given temporary haven and work authorization to more than 700,000 undocumented minors, the so-called Dreamers, still has critics howling about presidential overreach, about brazen nose-thumbing at the rule of law and about encouraging others to breach the borders of the United States. But there’s a problem with this take on the program. It is dead wrong.”

What the program really is, she explains, is “prosecutorial discretion,” like the case by case discretion prosecutors have to use to avoid misusing resources.  This is Rationalization #64. Continue reading