1 Why am I only now getting around to today’s Warm-Up? It is because I spent more than 8 hours over the weekend, and three hours this morning, writing a Motion to Dismiss in response to a ridiculous, retaliatory, vindictive lawsuit by a pro se litigant with a grudge. The complaint has no legal cites, because no legal authority supports its claims. I, however, have to cite cases to show why the Complaint is completely without merit. Since the Complaint is a brain-rotting 18 pages, I have to carefully redact it to have a prayer of meeting the 20 page limit for motions. Even then, there is no guarantee that this won’t drag on for months.
No penalty will be exacted on the plaintiff for filing this spurious and groundless law suit. To do so would chill the right of citizens to seek justice and redress for wrongs through the courts. Thus the underlying objective of the suit will be accomplished: to force me to expend time and effort that I have far better uses for. Ethics Alarms readers are affected, my family is effected, my work is affected, my enjoyment of life is affected, and, of course, the system and the taxpayers who fund it are affected. This is an abuse of the system, but one that cannot and must not be impeded.
2. Does anyone have a theory about why the bribery trial of Democratic Senator Bob Menendez has received minimal mainstream media coverage that does not show bias? When Abscam was going on, the trials of the various members of Congress caught in a bribery sting were front page, Evening News headlines for weeks. The only U.S. Senator tried (and convicted) was a Democrat Harrison Williams. Has the news media become that much more partisan since the Reagan Administration?
3. As expected, exiled NFL kneeler (first) and quarterback (second) Colin Kaepernick has filed a grievance accusing NFL teams of colluding to prevent him from getting a contract with any team this season.
We’ve been here before. This is the Barry Bonds scenario all over again. Bonds, the definitive ethics corrupter in Major League Baseball and a flagrant steroid cheat and liar, was not resigned by the San Francisco Giants after the 2007 season. He was 42, but his season had been productive, with a 1.o45 OPS, close to the best in the game. I wrote an article for The Hardball Times arguing that Bonds would not be signed, because doing so would permanently scar any team that accepted him, injure the team’s culture, corrupt its young players, and wound baseball itself. The invective hurled at me and my article by sportswriters and readers was unrelenting. ESPN’s Keith Law said that my essay made anyone who read it stupid. MLB’s satellite channel’s hosts laughed about the idea that teams cared about such matters as integrity. Bonds, however, was not signed, and never played again. While he and his defenders claimed collusion among the owners, no evidence appeared.
Kaepernick is nowhere near as toxic a figure as Barry Bonds, but then, the NFL isn’t Major League Baseball. All the NFL cares about is money and ratings; if the league applied the values MLB did in rejecting Bonds, Patriots coach Bill Belichik would be long gone, and so would all those NFL felons. Kaepernick is better than many of the journeyman back-up QBs on some rosters, but he brings something else: unwanted attention as a martyr to vague social justice causes, and undeniable culpability for a controversy that has hurt NFL tickets sales, TV ratings, and popularity. It doesn’t take collusion for NFL owners to conclude that they don’t need a mediocre player’s non-football-related baggage. It takes a sense of survival.
Kaepernick’s grievance presumes that all an employee needs to show is that he’s competent at the narrow requirements of his job, but we all know this isn’t the way organizations function, can function, or should function. Brilliant and productive performers who disrupt the workplace by creating discord and controversy often become so troublesome that even the King’s Pass (or the Star Syndrome ) can’t save them. (Look at Harvey Weinstein). Mediocre performers who cause trouble have an even shorter leash: there is no “Average Performer’s Pass.” Kaepernick’s position when he started his kneeling/grandstanding stunt was that it was a matter of principle, and that he was putting his protest above football, come what may. Well, this is what comes of harming your employer.
4. I cannot believe that I am still seeing headlines like “Tillerson Still Declines to Deny That He Called Trump A “Moron.” This is how far the news media has fallen: junior high-style whisper campaigns about what mean things X said about Y so maybe a feud can be started. What fun! I was a manager in various organizations for years. Inevitable, my secretary or another subordinate would come to me and tell me that someone was saying horrible things about me behind my back. I eventually started telling such well-meaning tattle-tales: “Stop it. I assume that employees bitch about their supervisors. A lot of it is just letting off steam. I’ve said nasty things about my bosses through the years, even ones I admired. If a complaint is substantive, then I expect to hear about it from the employee making it. If it isn’t important enough for the staff member to bring to me, then as far as I’m concerned, it doesn’t exist.”
I’m sure the Secretary of State called the President a moron. I bet that’s not the worst thing he’s called him. Does anyone think that Hillary didn’t say nasty things about President Obama when she was Secretary of State? Or that Leon Panetta, Robert Reich and other members of Bill Clinton’s cabinet didn’t express amazement that their “master politician” boss could get caught in something as sordid as Monicagate? This kind of casual complaining is only news to a journalistic establishment that is trying to sow discord and dysfunction: is trying to cause the executive branch to break down in petty feuds a legitimate and ethical journalistic purpose? I am certain that similar anonymous rumors about what Obama’s underlings said about him after a hard day and a couple of drinks were brushed of as un-newsworthy before November 8, 2016.
5. Now that Saturday Night Live finally skewered Harvey Weinstein over the weekend, the accusations that it was protecting the Left’s sacred cows—Obama, the Clintons, Meryl, Ashley, Gwyneth, et al., are supposedly moot. Baloney. Last Saturday the basic facts about Weinstein were known—heck, they’ve been known for years—and although this was a hanging curve over the plate for any cuurent events satirist, SNL ignored it. The show ignored it until it got the green light from the progressive show business collective of which it is a member that Harvey was officially a pariah, and was no longer being protected by the Clintons, Democrats, or the industry. He was safe to attack. How brave.