John Andrew Weldon, and the mother of his baby, and her property.
John Andrew Welden is being held on first degree murder charges for tricking his girlfriend, pregnant with his child, into taking an abortion bill ( Cyotec, a drug used to induce labor) that she thought was an antibiotic, because he had tampered with the label. The fetus, nearly seven weeks old, miscarried as a result. You can read this ugly story here.
She wanted to have the baby, he didn’t. He arranged his own abortion, deceiving her, betraying her, mistreating her terribly. But how did he commit murder? What he tricked her into aborting wasn’t a human being. NARAL says so. Sandra Fluck says so. President Obama says so.
The ethical and logical problem with our abortion laws, as well as the rhetoric and conduct surrounding them, is that they lack integrity and embarrassingly so. A seven week fetus is not treated as a human life if a mother chooses to have an abortion, and a doctor performs it. This must mean, in any sane, fair and ethical system, that it is not a human life. If it is not a life if a doctor aborts it, it isn’t a life if a boyfriend tricks the mother into aborting it. How can it be? The fetus hasn’t changed, and the conduct hasn’t changed. All that has changed is the agent, and there are only a few ways that can alter the act. “A deceptive killing?” A killing without authority,” perhaps. But the agent can’t make eliminating something first degree murder, if it wasn’t a human being that was eliminated. Continue reading
“You’re talking about government not working, but who’s in charge of the Executive Branch? You go to the Constitution, and the President has sole responsibility for the Executive Branch. This rests on him.
You were talking earlier about kind of dismissing the Benghazi issue as one that’s just political, and the President recently said it’s ‘a sideshow.’ But if you read through all these emails, you see that everyone in the government is saying, ‘Oh, let’s not tell the public that terrorists were involved, people connected to al-Qaida. Let’s not tell the public that there were warnings…’ One of the documents with the editing [shows] that one of the people in the State Department said, ‘Oh, let’s not let these things out.’ And I have to go back 40 years to Watergate, when Nixon put out his edited transcripts of the conversations, and he personally went through them and said ‘Let’s not tell this,’ ‘Let’s not show this.’
“I would not dismiss Benghazi. It’s a very serious issue. As people keep saying, four people were killed. You look at the hydraulic pressure that was in the system to not tell the truth, and, you know, we use this term and the government uses this term ‘talking points.’ Talking points, as we know, are like legal briefs. They’re an argument on one side. What we need to do is get rid of talking point, and they need to put out statements or papers that are truth documents. ‘OK, this is all we know.’”
-—Bob Woodward, Watergate legend, on MSNBC, making the case that the altering of the Benghazi “talking points” and subsequent use of misleading statements about the origins of the attack is not, as the President has said, ” a side-show,” but rather a serious and disturbing event worthy of criticism and attention.
“Quick! Let’s hide it!”
One reason I like this quote is that I feel that in the long run the Benghazi talking points scandal—for that’s what it is, a scandal—may be the most significant, if not the most egregious, of the three scandals now rocking the Obama Administration. For the reason this is true, we only have to consult Jay Carney, who incredibly told Piers Morgan yesterday that in referring to the I.R.S. targeting of conservative groups for obstructive treatment, the Justice Department’s intrusion on AP phone records and the false “anti-Muslim video” narrative, the CNN host was “concocting scandals that don’t exist…especially with regard to the Benghazi affair that was contrived by Republicans and, I think, has fallen apart largely this week.”
Wow. Continue reading
1. “The Scandal Trifecta” may be gaining traction in D.C. and in the news media as the hot term to handily describe the Obama Administration’s three instances of serious and significant misconduct: the Benghazi deceptions, the I.R.S. harassment of conservatives and conservative groups, and the Justice Department’s surveillance of Associate Press reporters. It should be rejected. I know conservatives and Republicans are especially smug and gleeful right now to have their suspicions and warnings confirmed, but this is a national crisis, at a time of dire challenges to the nation, and tragic in many ways. It is not a game, and should not be likened to one. Nor should the three situations be lumped together, though they have, to some extent, common seeds. They are each important in and of themselves, and packaging them like stop-light peppers risks allowing all or some of them receive less than the individual attention they must have. This is the first and last time I’m using the term, and I urge everyone, in the media or out of it, to similarly drop it. Labels matter, in this is a bad one.
2. Here’s someone Democrats and the rest of us can blame, in part: the left-biased news media. You see, knowing that the news media is looking to expose them when they make mistakes, blunder, show corruption and otherwise do a bad job when entrusted with the welfare of the greatest nation on earth makes our leaders better, more responsible, more objective, and more competent, out of fear, if nothing else. The media does nobody any favors when it lets its biases take over and lies down on the job—not the public, not Republicans, certainly; not the nation, not their profession, but also not even those they are desperately trying to help succeed. Continue reading
I am teaching this morning, so a more substantial post will be appearing later. In the interim, those who haven’t seen Jon Stewart’s meltdown over the scandal avalanche exposing the ineptitude and ethics blindness in the Obama Administration should go here. I suspect much of the mainstream media that has been abdicating its role of objective reporter for the pat four years is reacting in much the same way; in fact, I know it is, based on the sudden confluence of op-eds, columns, and on-screen rants about the President’s disinterest in management, oversight, and, you know, governing, as if this was a new phenomenon.
Stewart expresses his horror that after the revelations of the last couple of weeks, the burden of proof will now be on the government to show it is worthy of being trusted to impose ourselves on our lives, and the concerns of those who distrust the expansion of government power can no longer be dismissed as paranoia and conspiracy theories. In truth, nothing has changed, for this always has been the case. That is why our nation’s founding documents are both written from the perspective of those who are wary of the inherent corruption and abuse that government power always risks, based on the tragic lessons of history.
The remarkable thing isn’t that these most recent examples occurred, but that otherwise intelligent people like Jon Stewart seem to be genuinely surprised by it.
I just took down a post, something I have only done four times previously. This decision, unlike the others, was the resolution of a genuine ethics conflict, created in part by the recent discussions here.
Tonight I received a terse demand, phrased as a request but with a time deadline,* from a former commentary subject insisting that I remove a critical post here from nearly a year ago. The post was not factually incorrect, nor did it make any factual assertions that could support a credible defamation claim. My commentary was pure opinion, though a fairly harsh one. I have pledged, following the inspirational example of Ken at Popehat and also attorney/blogger Marc Randazza, not to countenance web censorship involving bogus legal threats, and thus drafted and came within a finger-stroke of sending a rejection of the demand, and a strongly worded one.
Then I re-read the post at issue. It was a criticism of a tweet from a professional that I believed, and believe, had the effect of unfairly impugning an entire workplace and the identifiable colleagues of the tweeter. The tweet was wrong, but I realized that I was also wrong to highlight it here. I have been writing quite a lot lately about the inherent Golden Rule violation of web-shaming individuals for single and isolated unethical acts that fall short of illegality or such outrageous callousness or cruelty that there is a duty to warn others. I think there is a toxic cultural trend, fed by the power of the internet, that will soon make web bullies and assassins of us all, and potential victims as well. I want to fight that trend, not contribute to it. I think, in the case of that post, I was on the side that I now believe is the wrong one. It was a stupid and thoughtless tweet. It did not justify a web-shaming on Ethics Alarms. Continue reading
I am pretty certain that actress Angelina Jolie could have undergone a prophylactic double mastectomy and never revealed it, She could have had reconstructive surgery and continuing to appeal to the sexual fantasies of moviegoers, which has been a significant aspect of her movie career. She had no need to disclose the operation, which she underwent last month, and no obligation to. Nonetheless,Jolie revealed her choice to the world in an eloquent, powerful, and courageous op-ed in the New York Times this week, and undoubtedly saved lives by doing so. She also made a critical cultural statement about the worth of women and how they are devalued by being reduced to their body parts in popular culture, the media, and the minds of men.
I think it is one of the most courageous acts by an entertainment figure that we have ever witnessed.
Jolie writes in part… Continue reading