Why Weiner’s Wiener Matters

 Posted by on 3 July 2013 at 10:00 am  Character, Evil, Love/Sex, Politics, Sexism
Jul 032013

On June 16th’s Philosophy in Action Radio, I answered a question on whether people should care about the sex lives (and sex scandals) of politicians. My basic view was that sexual misconduct reveals a politician’s moral character, as well as poses security risks.

As for the first claim about moral character, if you’re unconvinced, just read this NY Times article and weep: For Women in Weiner Scandal, Indignity Lingers. The basic story is this:

Anthony D. Weiner’s improbable campaign for mayor of New York City is a wager that voters have made peace with his lewd online behavior, a subject he has largely left behind as he roils the race with his aggressive debating style and his attention-getting policy proposals.

But for the women who were on the other end of Mr. Weiner’s sexually explicit conversations and photographs, his candidacy is an unwanted reminder of a scandal that has upended their lives in ways big and small, cutting short careers, disrupting educations and damaging reputations.

The article then details the ongoing ordeals suffered by these women due to their sexual conversations with Anthony Weiner. Undoubtedly, these women exercised poor judgment. They deserve to suffer the ordinary consequences of that — such as broken or damaged romantic relationships. They do not deserve years of media intrusion, nor endless malevolent jokes.

In contrast, Anthony Weiner is taking the whole matter in stride:

On the campaign trail, though, he mixes contrition with wittiness. Not long ago he cracked a joke about his use of social media. “You know how much I trust Twitter,” he said at a candidate forum.

Ah yes, levity. That’s just perfect. (NOT!) Here’s more, including a good bit of moral insight from a porn star:

A number of the women remain angry with Mr. Weiner — arguing that, after taking advantage of his political devotees, he is now drawing them back into the spotlight.

Ginger Lee, a former star of adult films who communicated with Mr. Weiner online, has pleaded with him not to run for mayor. “Every new headline and news story about him reminds reporters and bloggers that we exist, and the cycle starts all over,” she said in a statement released by her lawyer. “There will be a new flare-up of jokes, inaccurate statements and hurtful remarks.”

Everything about this ongoing episode reveals important facts about Anthony Weiner’s character, most notably that he doesn’t give a damn who he hurts in his quest for political power. His contempt for women is glaringly obvious. He’s not a man fit for political office, whatever his political principles. No decent person should want anything to do with him.

Alas, too many people are willing to overlook all that because he’s on “their team.” *sigh*

P.S. If you’ve not heard that 16 June 2013 episode of Philosophy in Action Radio in which I talked about the sex scandals of politicians, you can listen to or download the relevant segment of the podcast here:

For more details, check out the question’s archive page. The full episode – where I answered questions on the meaning of life as the standard of value, broken relationships, the morality of an armed society, the sex scandals of politicians, and more – is available as a podcast too.

On the Boston Marathon Bombing

 Posted by on 16 April 2013 at 10:00 am  Benevolence, Ethics, Evil, Terrorism
Apr 162013

I don’t have words to properly express my feelings about yesterday’s bombing at the Boston Marathon, so I’ll let Craig Biddle of The Objective Standard speak for me:

Our hearts go out to the victims of the explosions in Boston and to their families and loved ones. Kudos to the first responders and others who are helping the victims and hunting the perpetrators. May justice be swift and decisive.

I have read some gut-wrenching accounts from eye-witnesses, particularly Tragedy in Boston: One Photographer’s Eyewitness Account.

The stories of people helping the many confused, frightened, hungry, cold, and stranded runners are heartening, yet also somehow awful. It’s heartening to see ordinary people fight such evil with benevolence. Such people are not willing to allow the bombing to victimize any more people than necessary, and that’s so very good of them. Yet the bombing was not a natural disaster, but a vicious attack against innocent people. Such kindness should not be necessary, and that’s what makes it so awful too.

Also, for a well-earned smack-down of pundits already using the bombing to score political points, read: The 6 Worst Media Reactions to the Boston Marathon Bombing. Blech.

If, like me, you need to experience a bit of cheery goodness after thinking on such events, go watch this video: Hero Turtle Rescues Upside Down Turtle.

Granted, Hero Turtle takes his sweet time in accomplishing the rescue… but such is his nature!

Some Political Advice

 Posted by on 14 January 2013 at 10:00 am  Ethics, Evil, Holocaust, Politics
Jan 142013

If your political program requires you to ask questions such as:

How can we most efficiently kill these people?

How can we muffle the sounds of their screams?

How can we dispose of so many bodies?

Then let me break this to you gently… YOU’RE DOING IT WRONG, &$#!@*%&.

That thought was brought to you by this chilling documentary: Auschwitz: Inside the Nazi State.

May 282012

This BBC News story — The terrible price of a Korean defection — tells the chilling tale of Oh Kil-nam, a Marxist professor who defected from South Korea to North Korea with his family in 1985. Yes, you read that right: he defected to North Korea. Here’s an excerpt:

His wife Shin Suk-ja was horrified by the idea of going to the North and opposed it from the start. “Do you know what kind of place it is?” she asked. “You have not even been there once. How can you make such a reckless decision?”

But Oh replied that the Northerners were Koreans too – they “cannot be that brutal”, he told her.

So at the end of November 1985, Oh, his wife and two young daughters travelled via East Berlin and Moscow to Pyongyang.

When they arrived at Pyongyang airport, Oh began to see he had made a mistake in coming. Communist party officials and children clutching flowers were there to meet them. But despite the cold of a North Korean December, the children were not wearing socks and their traditional clothes were so thin that they shivered. “When I saw this I was really surprised and my wife even started to cry.”

Oh Kil-nam was able to escape, but as of his last contact with his wife and daughters in 1991, they were in a labor camp. They’re probably dead now — or so I hope, based on what I’ve read of North Korea’s labor camps.

At the end of the article, Oh Kil-nam says:

I hope there will come a day when I can meet my family again, hug them and embrace them, and cry tears of happiness. If it does happen it will be the happiest day of my life.

The man couldn’t possible deserve that, not in a million years. The evil that he did to his family is simply overwhelming: he delivered his reluctant family into the hands of the world’s most brutal dictatorship. He could never make amends for that. He could never earn forgiveness. He could never be redeemed. No suffering that he could endure in this life could possibly compensate for what he did to his family.

A person can overcome most moral wrongs… but some evils are just too heinous for that.

Suffusion theme by Sayontan Sinha