Swiss-Cheese Morality

The concept of “Swiss-cheese morality” is coined by Dr. John Van Epp in his book “How to Avoid Marrying a Jerk” which he points out could be conversely titled “How to Avoid Marrying a Jerkette” for jerkdom knows no gender.

This matter get’s my goat, in that certain kind of way. Speaking from personal experience.

A person appears normal enough, polite and appealing, but with time you become aware that there are gaps between this person’s very moral fabric.

They might hold certain standards quite ardently but when it comes it other types of standards they simply lack any ability to recognize their callousness and lapse in values, or are in heavy stages of denial about it.

There are little early warning signs: the inability to admit personal faults or misbehavior, hiding friends and past relationships from you, not disclosing important things that you discover later in a less than pleasant manner.

We are looking for phrases like:

Actually, I was kind of less than honest about that. It was actually more like…

I was wrong, that was a stupid move.

I got upset there, I can get a little hot under collar / frazzled sometimes.

It’s not about seeking out people who just roll over and immediately take all the blame unto themselves. It is more about recognizing a person’s willingness or unwillingness to confront the reality of what they are putting out there. The ability to link their actions with consequences, not just sometimes but all of the time.

Anyone can make a mistake, but some people appear to have “Swiss-cheese morality” in terms of recognizing certain kinds of mistakes. It is as if they simply cannot imagine they have poor standards, so they simply declare to themselves that they do not. Therefore, they fail to learn from the mistakes that fall within the holes of their “Swiss-cheese morality.”

How Responsible is O’Reilly in Tiller’s Murder?

Crooks & Liars : Bill O’Reilly uses Private Long’s murder to try and justify his demonization of Dr. Tiller by John Amato

Raw Replay : Howard Kurtz excuses Bill O’Reilly’s incitement of violence against George Tiller by David Edwards

In terms of criminal responsibility to Bill O’Reilly or FOX Broadcasting in the murder of Dr. George Tiller, I can see none.

In terms of moral and civic responsibility, I see plenty. I believe it to a shameful state of affairs in America today that I am a ‘far left’ blogger for demanding responsible broadcasting and moral standards in addressing social issues like abortion and women’s reproductive health.

The crazies will do what they do.

Bill O’Reilly is not responsible when a lunatic reads his book and murders fourteen people in a church, nor is he responsible when a man watches his broadcasts and goes out and kills a man over it. In a legal sense this is true. In a moral sense Bill O’Reilly has blood on his hands for passing along biased and jaded perspectives on liberalism in America and his outrageously dangerous and slanderous coverage of Dr. Tiller.

The responsibility of a broadcaster is vapid in terms of serious social issues and FOX Cable News, not in anyway exclusive to The O’Reilly Factor.

Just tonight Geraldo Rivera made insinuations of vigilante violence against a child molester in Oklahoma in the course of denouncing vigilante violence himself.

The fact remains that the both the network and the broadcasters themselves have a responsibility to the public they serve to protect the lives of all citizens and protect the due process of law.

By calling Dr. Tiller a ‘killer’ repeatedly on the air Bill O’Reilly risked inciting violence.

By vaguely insinuating that the Oklahoma child molester might be killed and have his body dumped on the side of the road Geraldo Rivera risked inciting violence.

The responsibility to the community for news broadcasting that does not risk the incitement of violence in the nation is fundamental to our domestic security as a nation.

This entire issue has absolutely nothing to do with an individual political agenda on my accord and I am willing to retract my provocative statements in regards to Mr. O’Reilly provided he states clearly to the public that he will no longer use his media platform to play dangerous games with people’s lives and then follows through on this promise.

Mine is a cry for an end to irresponsible broadcasting coming from FOX News.

For whatever failures of bias to found on vast quantity both on MSNBC and FOX, there is only one network inciting violence and using radical right wing propaganda to do more than simply share an alternative perspective. Quite often the network is used as an agent for unscrupulous pundits to gamble with the safety of physicians and the liberal population of America.

Ultimately, I believe these people have become drunk off their own power and will never admit their own misdeeds let alone their own inability to recognize their contributions to a climate of violence in America.

As long as the public continues to support their ‘crusades’ they will remained deluded and ignorant to the harm they cause in their wake. When the veil of public approval is lifted it becomes clear that these men will say anything to get ratings and if that means risking inciting violence, then so be it.

Anarchism Versus Populism

Ever reviled, accursed, ne’er understood,
Thou art the grisly terror of our age.
“Wreck of all order,” cry the multitude,
“Art thou, and war and murder’s endless rage.”
O, let them cry. To them that ne’er have striven.
The truth that lies behind a word to find,
To them the word’s right meaning was not given.
They shall continue blind among the blind.
But thou, O word, so clear, so strong, so pure.
Thou sayest all which I for goal have taken.
I give thee to the future! Thine secure.
When each at least unto himself shall waken.
Comes it in sunshine? In the tempest’s thrill?
I cannot tell — but it the earth shall see!
I am an Anarchist! Wherefore I will.
Not rule, and also ruled I will not be!

                       – John Henry Mackay

I draw your attention simply to the first nine lines of this quote, and have included it in it’s entirety for a full perspective.

I believe we have suffered this current Global / American Recession in a large part to the economic strategy of ‘greed is good’ and more specifically the enactment of Anarcho-Capitalism in our banking, mortgage and credits markets the United States of America.

A lack of sound order and a lack of logical policies, will only ultimately lead to a lack of accountability from authority.

A populist does not reject authority, or rule, outright. Rather a populist is prone to ask:

“By right to do govern? Whom do you serve?”

While I will express a degree of fondness for Pure Anarchism in which all property is outright theft … I find the whole ideology unworkable and only expressly attainable in small, sustainable, isolated communities. Much like Marxism is all looks good for an intellectual discussion and quid-pro-quo debating but in a real world setting the whole underlying concepts quickly become revealed as nothing but an ideologist’s dream work.

America of 2009 needs real solutions and not simply an outpouring of sentiment to ’make AIG pay you back’ but rather a hopeful outpouring of people willing to listen. People willing to engage.

The Presidency of Barack Obama is a stepping stone in a much larger and much longer road.

We must begin to demand the highest standards of our leaders on both Wall Street and Capitol Hill.

It is not not wrong to want justice. It is not wrong to want fairness. It is not wrong to question authority.

I am a Populist! Wherefore I will.
Not to rule, but to question the value of our rulers to us.