Category Archives: Ethics

Like Two Pimps In A Pod

Barack Obama, Ethics, Race, Racism

Like two pimps in a pod, the two stood men proudly alongside one another, at the National Action Network convention, prepared to yakety-yak about their pigment burden. The one is President Barack Obama. The other is Rev. Al Sharpton, a notorious sleazemeister, with whom the president has no qualms associating.

That Al Sharpton is accepted in polite company, to say nothing of being considered the nation’s moral arbiter on things racial, is preposterous. “Tawana Brawley anyone? The Crown Heights Riot? The first was a version of the Duke Lacrosse libel, where a black girl, carefully coached by Sharpton, Nifonged a district attorney and some innocent police officers. Sharpton never retracted the rapist and racist epithets he slung at the falsely accused. The last saw Sharpton help incite an anti-Jewish riot, after a rabbi’s motorcade accidentally ran over a black boy. Consequently, a young Jew was lynched by a mob chanting ‘kill the Jew.’ Sharpton, a bent and brutal man with vengeance on his mind, was impenitent.”


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UPDATED: Media’s Rotating Mandarins (Name The Nepotists)

Conservatism, Ethics, Family, Media

Like viral DNA, members of the media-military-congressional-industrial complex replicate themselves. Thus, what’s interesting in the Mediaite non-story about the tedious Juan Williams and his son, who’re “blasting liberals for their ‘Uncle Tom’ treatment of black conservatives”—perennial, impotent whining in such circles—is the fact that son has successfully followed father’s path. Williams senior has, no doubt, greased the skids for sonny-boy.

Protectionism.

Many are the examples of major pundits or newsmen who’ve helped their spawn into the family business. Tim Russert’s son, Luke, is an example. I recall reading that the father of chubby Katie Pavlich, who is ubiquitous in Republican media, was a mover and shaker in same circles, but all evidence of that had been expunged. There are many others.

And it’s a slow news week.

UPDATE (3/30): NAME THE NEPOTISTS. At the Fox News family, “Peter Doocy, son and possible clone of host Steve Doocy,” is another beneficiary of nepotism. As is Juliet Huddy‘s brother, John Huddy, Jr. It’s all in the family at Fox.

Viva corruption in cable.


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The Christie Innocence Project On Mad TV

Criminal Injustice, Ethics, Government, Media, Republicans

News reporting is obsolete on cable and network TV, for the most. It has given way to The Endless Event Coverage. That, and the ubiquitous dog, cat, baby rescue “human-interest” stories. Today, the big event—literally BIG; it blanketed the screen—was Chris Christie. “A Christie marathon” mocked broadcaster Mark Levin, who was commenting sarcastically about the New Jersey governor’s self-appointed exoneration committee in the matter of his administration’s intentional closing of the George Washington Bridge as political retribution.

I’ll call it the Christie Innocence Project.

It is, however, encouraging to note that no major online newspaper or magazine featured fatso front-and-center. Except for Mad TV, aka MSNBC:

… the internal review conducted by his lawyers, who rather predictably exonerated their client, has clearly given him new mojo. When asked at the presser how so-called Bridgegate might affect the 2016 race, Christie said, “The fact of the matter is that I had nothing to do with this. As I said from the beginning, and this report has supported exactly what I said. And in the long sweep of things, any voters, if they consider this issue at all, in considering my candidacy — if there ever is one at all — I’ve got a feeling it’ll be a small element of it, if any element at all.”
In acknowledging his plummeting poll numbers, Christie added, “But there’s nothing that’s permanent about that. …
…in facing down the press on Friday, Christie was clearly trying to move beyond Bridgegate and regain his stature with a national audience. Indeed, on Thursday, Christie gave his first television interview since the scandal blew up, declaring to ABC News that he doesn’t think the scandal hurt him in Iowa, which holds the important, first-in-the-nation presidential caucuses.
“I think they love me in Iowa, too,” the governor said on World News with Diane Sawyer. “I’ve been there a lot. I think love me there too, especially because of the way I am. Not in spite of, especially because,” Christie added.
In continuing his media blitz, the governor has agreed to be interviewed by Fox News’ Megyn Kelly. The Q&A will air Friday night. ”

Christie is insufferable—his slobbering, verbose style grates.


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UPDATED: Cite Your Sources, Creep!

Ethics, Etiquette, Ilana Mercer, Morality, Paleoconservatism, Race, Reason

I receive the Taki Magazine newsletter in my In-Box.

I often click on it for a quick once-over.

With some exceptions, speed reading is the mode reserved for the stuff. With exceptions like Sailer, of course (Pat Buchanan is read on WND), the reason for this was touched upon in a Feb. 15, Facebook, thread with a Fred Reed fan.

While I too think “Fred Reed rocks,” information-rich work is my preference. I love Reed for his audacity, but riffing does not do it for me. I need information.

Unless I learn something substantive in the process, I’m not interested in other people’s opinions. I have too many of my own. :)

As I was skimming a riff by a character called Jim Goad (one of whose light-reading posts I was decent enough to reference in a January post of my own; naturally I cite my sources)—I came across a remarkably familiar line on a rather obscure matter of logic, also the only analytical part in this riff of a column.

This character was motivating (dah) against an “egalitarian … fallacy, which roughly runs thusly.” And Goad writes:

Differences within any group are greater than those between groups.

The familiar part of the Goad column was this:

“Against every known rule of logic,” he notes,” “this statement is always used as some blanket proof of equality.” Goad promises to “carefully dismantle this super-dumb time bomb.” He continues:

Here’s why the statement is deceptive: Differences between highs and lows WITHIN a group do not discount or magically wash away differences between group AVERAGES.

High and low did I search Barely A Blog, but was unable to locate the familiar point of logic made on BAB so long ago. Finally, it came to me: I would have alluded to inter-group differences. Yes! I found what I was after using the “inter” prefix in the BAB search window.

The post is “The Kindness Of (Caucasian) Strangers (On Brotherly Love).” It’s dated 01.31.10. My identical line of reasoning about this obscure matter is as follows, verbatim:

… no; we’re not all the same. A common liberal refrain (I would like to see what Steve Sailer has said in this regard) is that differences between individuals are statistically more significant than those between cultural, ethnic, and racial groups. I don’t see why the fact of inter-individual differences would nullify inter-group variance. That’s liberal logic for you. [ILANA MERCER]

Moreover, I have never heard of the formal fallacy Goad cites to label his inquiry. However, on perusing the Wikipedia entry, I found empirical refutations but no analytical ones–no allusion was made to the deduction that appears in the Mercer post titled “The Kindness Of (Caucasian) Strangers (On Brotherly Love).”

Imitation might be the sincerest form of flattery, but unacknowledged, lifting someone’s ideas without attribution is disgusting—it tells me all I need to know about a person.

Alas, borrowing of this nature is mostly impossible to prove. This is why passing off the often-idiosyncratic ideas or references of others as their own is “par for the course” in these circles. Nevertheless, shame we shall when we come across this lowly practice.

About the natural law, Sir William Blackstone noted that it should include such precepts as that human beings should live honestly, hurt nobody, and render everyone their due (in Conway, 2004). Clearly, this is an instinct alien to some.

UPDATE (3/2): As my dear (most original) friend professor Walter Block once said to me, when we first met (2000?), “You are a natural praxeologist.” I’m sure I make a lot of mistakes, but this method comes naturally. Mercer columns tend to consist in logical deductions. Other than in similar circles, this is not a common style/habit. (We stand on the shoulders of the brilliant David Gordon.) When you see your reasoning, it’s like seeing an image of your offspring. Others might say, “All babies look the same,” but you know that bundle is yours.


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Snowden: When A Government Contractor Gets It Right

Ethics, Homeland Security, Military, Morality, The State

I heard it said by Gretchen Carlson, another studiously dumb chick on Fox News, that the private, Virginia-based company that vetted former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden did a poor job.

Talk about inverted morals and ethics—Carlson’s.

In this instance, USIS (which lazy reporters fail to name in full) did a spectacular job.

In Snowden, USIS selected an intelligent, eloquent individual, with the highest moral character, who proved willing to put his life on the line—not for Uncle Sam, but for his countrymen.

Sometimes even a government contractor does a stellar job.


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Manners: A Species Of Morals (Can’t Bother To Answer Your Mail? Read On)

Ethics, Etiquette, Morality, The West

Other than to hate mail or rude mail, I respond to all letters I receive—to each and every one. Many thousands since 1998, which is when I got my first newspaper column. Due to time constraints, my replies are laconic. But if a reader has bothered to read my work and comment on what I have to say—then it’s only decent to acknowledge the gesture.

I haven’t always been firm in this resolve, but I try my very best. If a colleague writes, I generally reply, whether I like them and their stuff or not. Ignoring a correspondent is a way of demonstrating contempt for that individual. If such contempt is deserved, well and good. If not; it is the unresponsive “interlocutor” who deserves contempt.

Most opinion-merchants, however, don’t reply to their mail. That smacks of hubris and pride, almost always unwarranted, as most are so uninspiring and mediocre. One wonders what they’re playing at, and why they’re not more humble.

A Golda-Meir zinger comes to mind. It’s a relic from a time when false humility was at least still practiced: “Don’t be so humble, you’re not that great.”

George Will once wrote that “manners are the practice of a virtue. The virtue is called civility, a word related—as a foundation is related to a house—to the word civilization.”

A riff on the Meir quip might go as follows: Can’t be bothered to answer your mail? “Don’t be so arrogant, you suck.”


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