Morning Ethics Warm-Up, 4/26/18: Sorry Trump-a-Phobics, It’s A President Trump Morning!

Good Morning!

1. Wake up with President Trump! By sheer chance, I surfed by Fox and Friends just as the three goofs (or two goofs and a random blonde from the stable in a tight party dress) on the sofa were having a spontaneous phone interview with President Trump, just like in the good old days in 2015, when CNN and NBC let the crazy old reality star and eccentric real estate mogul blather on while they smirked and nodded because it was great for ratings and  might even saddle the evil Republican Party with a Presidential candidate that Hillary Clinton could squash like a bug, finally leading to the Great Progressive Awakening in America, with open borders, no more guns, free college, a ban on fossil fuel, and Harvey Weinstein as a White House regular.

Observations:

  • Say what you will about Trump, this was just after 8 AM, I could hardly utter a coherent sentence, and the President was sounding like Harold Hill doing “Trouble in River City.” Either he had 20 cups of coffee or was hooked up to an electric generator.  I have a lot of energy, but Trump is older than I am, and he was energetic, engaged, and, for him, articulate.
  • His performance this morning highlights how disgusting the “Trump has dementia, let’s use the 25th Amendment to get rid of him” plot was, with the news media in full complicity. It made it hard for me to focus on what the President was saying on Fox, frankly. That particular post-election, anti-democratic attack—it was Ethics Alarms’ Plan E on the alphabetical list of “the resistance’s” ongoing efforts to overturn the election, if you recall—makes me furious every time I think about it.
  • Nevertheless, I will never get used to having a President who talks like he does.  It isn’t statesman-speak, or even demagoguery. It’s pure salesman patter, again, like Harold Hill,  or any infomercial spokesman. It’s almost hypnotic. What Trump-Whisperer Scott Adams would say, indeed has said many times, is that this is a talent and a skill, and we aren’t going to see it become commonplace among Presidents because most people just can’t do it well. No, it’s not Presidential, and will never be. But it works.
  • I also realized, once again, how much class bigotry is involved in the extreme hostility to President Trump from the “elites,” and yes, I count myself in that group. Never mind what schools Trump went to: he’s Fred Trump’s son, and unlike the Kennedy boys, never polished off the rough spots passed along to him through his humble, street-smart, back-alley forebears. I just watched the film of “My Fair Lady” again after many years, and found myself thinking about Henry Higgins’ theories while I was listening to Trump: if he spoke like Barack Obama, how differently would the news media and his adversaries treat him? Yet how many of his supporters would then regard him as just another one of “them”?

Why can’t the English teach their children how to speak?
This verbal class distinction, by now
Should be antique
If you spoke as she does, sir
Instead of the way you do
Why, you might be selling flowers, too!

An Englishman’s way of speaking absolutely classifies him
The moment he talks he makes some other Englishman despise him!

  • Trump  just doesn’t “get” the journalism principle. He expressed amazement that NBC, which he lumped with CNN, CBS and ABC as purveyors of “fake news,” didn’t treat him “better” because he had “made them a fortune with ‘The Apprentice.'”Everything is quid pro quo with Trump. Professional integrity, objectivity, none of these and other ethical concepts are part of his world view.  Of course, few of them are in evidence among journalists, either…
  • It was fun watching The Obsequious Three Sofa-Sitters as the President literally rattled on, free-associating, without taking a breath. They didn’t want to interrupt the President of the United States, but they also had no idea how long he would filibuster and whether he would ever stop—I had visions of them sprawled asleep on the sofa hours later as Trump continued ranting. That was a tough ethical conflict for them, and to their credit, they eventually figured out how to end the segment without being rude.
  • The President should do more spontaneous phone monologues, and fewer, like none, tweetstorms. The live rants are risky and unsettling, but there are no typos in interviews, and he can explain himself  an interviewer can get a word in edgewise.

2.  Wow—that was a fast ethics train wreck! Dr. Ronny L. Jackson, the White House physician nominated to lead the Veterans Affairs Department, has withdrawn from consideration.

Although I don’t know for certain, I think this was another inept, impulse Trump nomination, BUT

…President Obama employed Jackson, and was unequivocal in his praise, BUT

…Obama’s entire administration was riddled with incompetents and hacks—See: Secret Service; IRS; Eric Holder; Hillary Clinton; Healthcare.gov; the VA; OPM; the FBI; and on, and on—-so that endorsement was obviously meaningless, BUT

…The accumulation of rumors, stories and allegations against a Presidential nominee without names attached and without providing a nominee the opportunity to rebut and defend is unfair and unethical; at, least Anita Hill had to testify…BUT

…The sheer mass of the rumors and allegations, once they are made public, make it impossible for a nominee to take office with the public’s trust, so the partisan tactic is unethical but effective…STILL

…The FBI, we are told, did a background check, which is something they supposedly know how to do, and found none of these issues—the handing out of drugs, the drunk driving, the office abuse—, so shouldn’t that be a definitive rebuttal of over-the-transom attacks? NEVERTHELESS…

…You know what we’ve been learning about the trustworthiness of the FBI. Yet..

…All of this alleged misconduct took place during the Obama Administration, which, as was its pattern, did nothing about it, and yet the fall of Johnson is being checked off by “the resistance” as an embarrassment for President Trump.

Of course it is.

3. Fortunately, we have a Supreme Court. Anything is possible, but witnesses to yesterday’s Supreme Court oral argument regarding the Trump travel ban affecting certain Muslim nations agree that the conservative majority strongly signaled that it would overturn the various courts and judges that have blocked the policy. Good.

This was, from the start, one more example of President Trump being treated differently from every one of his predecessors, with tortured law, ethics and logic being employed as weapons against the elected President and his office. This has taken the form of a theory that while any other President has the power to enact such a measure, this one does not because his motives are suspect. However, An act is either legal or it is not. A system that says that what you do is legal because you have nice motives while my not-so-nice motives make the same conduct illegal has no integrity, in addition to the fact that it involves mind-reading.

As is often the case in SCOTUS oral arguments, one hypothetical nailed the case shut. From the Times:

Toward the end of Wednesday’s argument, the questioning again turned to how much weight the court should assign to Mr. Trump’s campaign statements and how long they should haunt him.

Mr. Katyal said Mr. Trump and his advisers could easily have repudiated the earlier statements. “Instead they embraced them,” Mr. Katyal said.

The chief justice then asked whether Mr. Trump could immunize his order from constitutional challenge simply by disclaiming his earlier statements. “If tomorrow he issues a proclamation saying he’s disavowing all those statements,” the chief justice asked, “then the next day he can re-enter this proclamation?”

Mr. Katyal said yes.

The answer is nonsense, as well as a lie.

Does anyone really believe that the Left’s opposition to the Executive Order would have been different in any way if the President had explicitly disavowed what he said on the campaign trail?  The Court did not make the Obama Administration disavow—as in saying “we were lying”—its claim while ramming Obamacare through the system that the individual mandate was not a tax, but a penalty, when a majority of the Justices determined that the mandate was constitutional because it was, in fact, a tax. Moreover, as was quickly pointed out by the Solicitor General, The President did make clear that he had no intention of imposing a “Muslim ban”:

“He has made crystal clear that Muslims in this country are great Americans and there are many, many Muslim countries who love this country, and he has praised Islam,” Mr. Francisco said. “This proclamation is about what it says it’s about: foreign policy and national security.”

Bingo.

And the opposition to it has been about crippling a Presidency.

 

________________________

Source: New York Times

46 Comments

Filed under Character, Citizenship, Ethics Train Wrecks, Government & Politics, language, Law & Law Enforcement, Religion and Philosophy, Rights

46 responses to “Morning Ethics Warm-Up, 4/26/18: Sorry Trump-a-Phobics, It’s A President Trump Morning!

  1. Chris

    “He has made crystal clear that Muslims in this country are great Americans and there are many, many Muslim countries who love this country, and he has praised Islam,” Mr. Francisco said. “This proclamation is about what it says it’s about: foreign policy and national security.”

    Where did you get this version of the quote? It leaves out the funniest bit”

    “He has made crystal clear that Muslims in this country are great Americans and there are many, many Muslim countries who love this country and he has praised Islam as one of the great countries of the world.”

    Granted, he clearly misspoke. But I don’t remember a single time Trump “praised Islam,” and I don’t think it would make up for his previous anti-Muslim bigotry, the worst example being the “Nazi lie” (your words) about Muslims celebrating 9/11 in New Jersey.

    That said, I don’t think Trump’s expressed bigotry against Muslims is the best argument against the constitutionality of the travel ban. The better argument is that the ban violates the INA. Has this argument been raised in front of the Supreme Court?

    • I haven’t read the briefs or seen the whole transcript. I’m sure it was raised, if there is any validity to it at all.

      • I’m not going to try to track down whatever the President said that his SG might have been referring to. His comments in Saudi Arabia were enough to meet the standard of rejecting his campaign rhetoric:

        “This is not a battle between different faiths, different sects, or different civilizations,This is a battle between barbaric criminals who seek to obliterate human life, and decent people of all religions who seek to protect it,This is a battle between good and evil.”

        • Sounds pretty pro (civilized) muslim to me.

        • Chris

          I don’t know if talking out both sides of one’s mouth can constitute rejecting one’s campaign rhetoric, especially as Trump does this with literally everything.

          • And in the same vein, taking his campaign comments as gospel justifying treating his powers differently is self-contradictory on his critics part.

            • Not to mention that if EVERY POLITICIAN were held to this standard, we would not have any.

              If you like your plan… if you like your doctor… hope and change… require employers to provide seven sick days year… Close the Guantanamo Bay Detention Center… Allow five days of public comment before signing bills…
              Tougher rules against revolving door for lobbyists and former officials (this is my favorite, the irony is delicious)

              All that was Obama. Bush (both of them) did the same, as did slickwilly Clinton, and (I suspect) Reagan before them. Campaign promises seem to be made to be broken, and no one prior to the ‘get Trump’ folks would have attempted to claim that they were binding.

              • Chris

                But the standard in question isn’t “a law may be unconstitutional if it doesn’t 100% comport with a campaign promise,” it’s “an executive order may be unconstitutional if it’s based on animus toward a protected group, and one way of determining whether it is is to look at bigoted statements about that group from the person behind the order.”

                Which may also be a bad standard.

                • Benjamin

                  “‘[A]n executive order may be unconstitutional if it’s based on animus toward a protected group…’

                  Which may also be a bad standard.”

                  Wouldn’t protected groups, and what that protection amounts to, have to be defined in the Constitution itself for that to work? There’s a growing trend in reading law through a particular lens as though that lens is a part of the written law. Those of us who are disturbed by the trend aren’t thrilled by the prospect of having to face down laws which can mean anything the court wants when combined with imputed motives. You might counter that those of us who haven’t made racist comments have nothing to fear, but those of us who haven’t made racist comments aren’t convinced (I was elected the official speaker for TUWHNMRC for three years running). We’ve seen too many recent cases in which racism was taken as fact in open defiance of the facts at hand. Modern Critical Theory, the basis of this trend in political and judicial activism, takes as its most fundamental axiom the idea that everyone is inherently racist, sexist, classist, &c. It defines all social structures along the lines of oppressor and oppressed, takes as a given that the various arbitrarily-defined groups are locked in a zero-sum war and, in practice, sees the balancing-out of those groups as more important than the facts of any particular case. If you doubt my assessment, you can take any number of college courses on the subject. Certainly, the theory looks like the missing link in understanding modern progressive behavior to anyone who’s puzzled at the unifying motive. In light of all of this, you can forgive those of us who believe nearly every step of this get-the-President scheme is a step in an inevitable but intrinsically unfavorable direction. If secret racist feelings which never have to be proven can transform a legal behavior into an illegal one in a court of law, then the law isn’t a protection; we’re simply living in the shadow of a Machiavellian crime syndicate which can act in any way it chooses.

                  In 2016, like many Americans, I was faced with an election requiring me to choose among Clinton, Trump, and that ridiculous pot-head Libertarian, and I realized that Plato’s assessment of democracy was correct – we’ve abandoned reason as a governing principle. I lost faith in the modern post-enlightenment enterprise altogether and decided that all of the political decisions put before me are non-decisions. The Democrats’ ongoing reaction to the election results, overturning the rule of law for the sake of shutting down all opposing positions on the grounds of imputed motives, has changed my mind on voting yet again. As their vision progresses, I will have to give written consent to their every absurd opinion just to go about my daily life (e.g. as things currently are in Canada as regards their respective progressive party), and even that won’t protect me if they ever did decide to prosecute me for something to be decided after-the-fact. Signs that a crime has been committed aren’t required to initiate an investigation, and words in or not in the Constitution are irrelevant as regards constitutionality. The way I currently see it, the only way to live peacefully in this country as a non-Democrat is to see to it that Democrats are removed from all of their positions. It’s beginning to look like a war of ideology to be waged defensively against an aggressor. I’m going to go into every voting booth from now to the foreseeable future and pull the big, red Republican lever not because I believe in their cause, in the rare cases that they have a consistent one, but because they’re the one remaining major party that doesn’t go out of its way to actively marginalize people for every kind of disagreement (a statement probably too rich for a Democrat’s ears, but becoming one’s enemy by the act of too-vigorously pursuing that enemy is a tale as old as time). To the extent that people arrive at this conclusion, the modern progressive platform will fail; to the extent the progressive platform succeeds, we’re one step closer to Tiananmen square.

                  I would be mocked for that opinion rather than refuted – that’s the standard defense. It could be said that the initiation of an investigation against an opposing party’s president without a credible sign that a crime had actually been committed at the same time that the actual crimes of the favored party’s candidate have been publicly shown to be pushed under the rug isn’t the same thing as the running-over of dissident protesters with tanks, but, being axiomatically culturally biased in the Critical Theorist’s view, all Maoism looks the same to me. Being an amateur, hack philosopher on the other hand, a difference of degree is distinct from a difference in kind. In the face of the unknowability of my true motives, the facts remain.

                  TLDR: I’d agree that this is a bad standard. To go further, I’d call it the abandonment of standards altogether. To the leftmost major party, the ends justify the means to the extent that the written laws seem like only a petty obstacle on the path to our bright, equitable future.

                  • Chris

                    You’re overthinking this. Trump’s anti-Muslim bigotry during the campaign was not subtle, and was a major campaign platform. One does not have to believe in a single tenet of critical theory in order to have noticed it; Jack noticed it, and even labeled one of Trump’s bigoted conspiracy theories a “Nazi lie.” Trump once proposed banning all Muslim immigration. It is not a stretch at all to say that the travel ban, which was motivated by no immediate security concern, was merely a sop to the anti-Muslim fan base that propelled him to power; in fact, Guliani even said it was. That would make it an order based on animus toward a specific religious group. The Constitution is very clear on the validity of laws of that nature.

                    • Benjamin

                      As I understand it, the ban’s not all that different from those of previous presidents, the most previous one included. The countries affected have defensible reasons for their inclusion independent of their religious practice. Even if I grant that he has anti-Muslim motives, the actions actually performed aren’t problematic. If the action itself is legal, then what’s being challenged in the courtroom? Asked and answered: the presumed intentions. This is a dangerous, novel legal mechanism which shouldn’t exist.

                      The sentence in the Constitution “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof”, while clear regarding laws establishing or prohibiting the free exercise of religion, is certainly less than clear regarding immigration policy, and downright inapplicable to Presidential non-laws to that effect. If we read ‘Congress’ as ‘anybody’, ‘law’ as ‘any act of the federal government’, and ‘prohibiting the free exercise thereof’ as ‘using religion as a motivating premise’, the case may have some weight. That would be the tendency I was describing, though, of judges to treat the lens through which they interpret a law as though it was part of the law itself. Even in the face of the preposterous extremes to which that sentence has been stretched in the past, this is novel and extreme. Furthermore, the boundaries are being stretched specifically for political obstructionism. That these petty abuses are being taken seriously in any court of law, much less the highest ones in the nation, is a testament to our collective mental inadequacies.

                      I don’t see that I’ve under-thought this. It’s still quite possible that consistency in the law’s interpretation is more valuable than twisting the laws in theory and ad hoc (rather than actually rewriting them so we can all know beforehand which actions are forbidden) in order to balance out the proportion of Muslim and Christian failed states from which to mitigate immigration. That is unless balancing those sorts of things out is treated as the only good worthy of pursuit. I can’t imagine a narrower prison for a mind to occupy.

                    • Chris

                      As I understand it, the ban’s not all that different from those of previous presidents, the most previous one included. The countries affected have defensible reasons for their inclusion independent of their religious practice. Even if I grant that he has anti-Muslim motives, the actions actually performed aren’t problematic. If the action itself is legal, then what’s being challenged in the courtroom? Asked and answered: the presumed intentions. This is a dangerous, novel legal mechanism which shouldn’t exist.

                      You understand incorrectly. Glenn Kessler does a good job deconstructing the false right-wing talking point that Trump’s travel ban is similar to travel halts ordered by past presidents:

                      https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/fact-checker/wp/2017/01/29/trumps-facile-claim-that-his-refugee-policy-is-similar-to-obama-in-2011/?noredirect=on

                      You also didn’t read the first comment on this thread. The action itself isn’t legal, as it violates the INA, specifically the part that bans discrimination based on national origin in the issuance of a visa. This action would be illegal even if the underlying motive behind the order wasn’t religious animus (which it is).

                      As for your apparent belief that Congress cannot make laws based on religious animus but the president can sign executive orders based on religious animus…I’d call that a much more novel legal theory than what you’re describing.

                    • Benjamin

                      “Glenn Kessler does a good job deconstructing the false right-wing talking point that Trump’s travel ban is similar to travel halts ordered by past presidents”

                      That it isn’t the same doesn’t make it dissimilar.

                      “You also didn’t read the first comment on this thread. The action itself isn’t legal, as it violates the INA…”

                      The subject was dropped instantly after a reference in a single sentence. I doubt you could fault me for forgetting it just a quickly.

                      That’s the first thing that looks like a real argument in this mess that I’ve seen. I wonder if you could singlehandedly replace the entire legal team challenging the order. It certainly offers a challenge to the use of Title 8 in the executive order, but one would have to wonder if the Title 8 reference has any use whatsoever if the INA clause is taken to the degree you’re using it. Whatever the case, written law contains an apparent conflict which could be resolved by a Supreme Court in a sane world.

                      The Obama order heightened travel restrictions, and the Trump one placed a temporary ban. These would both violate the INA clause by targeting immigrants on the basis of nationality in the same sense. These actually look more similar using INA as a metric.

                      “As for your apparent belief that Congress cannot make laws based on religious animus but the president can sign executive orders based on religious animus…I’d call that a much more novel legal theory than what you’re describing.”

                      That reading the law as it’s actually written is considered a novel legal theory is the same problem I keep describing to you. Perhaps a Congressional act that curbs the ever-expanding hive of executive fiats is called for rather than deliberate, inconsistent misreading of the written law.

                    • Chris

                      The Obama order heightened travel restrictions, and the Trump one placed a temporary ban. These would both violate the INA clause by targeting immigrants on the basis of nationality in the same sense. These actually look more similar using INA as a metric.

                      Not quite. The INA refers to immigrant visas, not refugee visas, so even if Obama had placed a six-month ban on Iraqi refugees (as Trump and others have claimed), this would not have violated the INA, because the INA simply does not apply to refugees.

                      And as the WaPo article explained, the Obama administration never placed a ban on Iraqi refugees. Their admissions were slowed down as new background checking policies were put in place, but there was not a single month under that policy where no Iraqi refugees were allowed in.

                    • Benjamin

                      “the INA simply does not apply to refugees”

                      A fair distinction. You should hook one of the lawyers who lurk around here with this one. I’d be interested to see how it plays out. I can say how I’d expect the Title 8 and INA clauses could be reconciled by a court, but I don’t see a solid case to be made by a non-professional without knowledge of legal precedent. I trust you found this more-plausible-than-the-standard argument buried in a comment box as I did? It definitely doesn’t get play elsewhere.

                    • Chris

                      Thanks for the civil and fair discussion. I don’t remember where I first encountered the INA argument, but I remember reading several articles about it when the travel ban was first issued, including one in the New York Times. I don’t know if it’s been brought up at the Supreme Court yet, but it certainly should be in my opinion.

                    • Benjamin

                      Back at you. An honest argument’s a rare thing worthy of wandering the vast, expansive vacuum of the internet to find.

            • Chris

              Who’s taking his campaign comments as “gospel?” They were bigoted, as you acknowledged at the time, and reveal bigoted intent behind the travel ban.

              That may not be enough to get it struck down, as I’ve said. It should be struck down because it violates the INA. Has that argument been raised in front of the Supreme Court?

    • crella

      ‘ It leaves out the funniest bit’

      Even though you acknowledge that ‘ he clearly misspoke’ you think the error should be printed because it’s ‘funny’. Would you like the same standard at your school, Chris, with people ridiculed endlessly over simple human error? It’s where we’re heading, I hope you like it when we get there. We have people declaring typos as side-splitting comedy if they’re Trump’s (covfefe)…this childish nastiness will eventually trickle down. Good luck when this becomes the way we deal with everybody.

      • Chris

        I didn’t suggest “ridiculing him endlessly,” and I don’t see much of a slippery slope from lightly mocking the most powerful people in the world and those who represent them to treating everybody to endless ridicule.

        And covfefe was hilarious.

  2. 2) If anyone thinks that the rebuke of Ronny Jackson is anything other than punishing him for the inexplicably controversial “clean bill of health” he gave Trump, then you need to sit down and think about it again.

  3. “Granted, he clearly misspoke.” Then why is this even worth mentioning? Have you ever seen a Supreme Court oral argument? They are terrifying terrifying, and even the best lawyers stress out. An oral gaffe is not uncommon, and none of the justices corrected him, because they knew exactly what he meant.

    • Gaffes are absolute proof of Trump’s incapacity as a human being.
      Gaffes are mere mistakes for all other people.
      Except Bush. His gaffes were also absolute proof of his incapacity as a human being.

      But gaffes are mere mistakes for all other people.

      Oh…except Reagan also…

      Notice a pattern?

    • Chris

      I alluded to why it was worth mentioning: because it was funny, and because the quote you provided seemed to cut it out for a reason.

      • Nope—it wasn’t mentioned by the Times in its report that I linked to: SEE?

        “In his rebuttal argument, Mr. Francisco pursued the point. Mr. Trump, he said, has already made clear that “he had no intention of imposing the Muslim ban.”

        “He has made crystal clear that Muslims in this country are great Americans and there are many, many Muslim countries who love this country, and he has praised Islam,” Mr. Francisco said. “This proclamation is about what it says it’s about: foreign policy and national security.”

        That’s because there are some depths even the Times will not stoop to, unlike, say YOU. It realized that was a slip of the tongue, just as the Justices did. Thus it was only worth mentioning by cheap-shot artists trying to embarrass a lawyer doing a difficult job. And I did NOT cut it out for a reason, nor should I have seemed to have, though I would have cut it for the same reason the Times did: it was a mistake.

        Maybe you should have checked my source before you accused me of a cover-up, even though there was nothing to cover up.

        • Chris

          I accused you of nothing; I assumed it was cut by your source, not you, and I was right.

          I can understand the Times’ decision to cut that part out of the quote, even though I disagree with it; it should have been reported as is.

          • Wrong, Gotcha breath. It would have opened an irrelevant and confounding tangent, just like you did.
            You know, I’ve had my quota today of your desperate gotchas, and irrelevant nit-picking instead of making substantive and fair arguments. This is about 75% of all you do lately: ‘but in THIS post, you’re nuance is inconsistent with this minor point in THAT post.’ Thoroughly sick of it. Then you write (or think) so sloppily that pointing out the logical error becomes a whole new rhetorical hide and seek.

            Here, you wrote “because the quote you provided seemed to cut it out for a reason.” Quotes don’t cut things out, Chris. People do. You’re lying. Your statement implies that I cut out part of the quote “for a reason,” insulting my integrity, as usual. If you wanted to suggest that the Times cut out that part for a nefarious reason, then you should have the language skills to make that clear. Now you’re using your own imprecision of language to duck accountability.

            • Chris

              I am truly sorry for writing in such a way as to lead you to believe I was questioning your integrity. While I sometimes think your logic is off, I think your integrity is beyond reproach.

              When I said “the quote you provided” I did not mean to imply that you cut the quote yourself. I thought that was clear due to my earlier question of where you got the quote. Obviously I was wrong, and again, I apologize.

  4. “A system that says that what you do is legal because you have nice motives while my not-so-nice motives make the same conduct illegal has no integrity, in addition to the fact that it involves mind-reading.”

    What’s your take on Batson v. Kentucky? That seems to be a similar situation, in that the ruling seems to require courts to take into account the motives of the prosecutor.

  5. So… Complete aside….

    Markus Meecham (AKA Count Dankula) was found guilty of being grossly offensive for creating a 10 minute YouTube video detailing how in order to piss his “garlfriend” off, he would teach his pug to be a Nazi. His sentence was time served and an 800 Pound fine.

    He’s appealing, and I wish him all the best in his legal endeavors, because this IS a free speech issue, whether or not you find the assertion that it was just a joke convincing. To fund that appeal, he’s set up a Go Fund Me page, I welcome all my newfound free speech enthusiasts on the left to put their money where their mouths were in the case of professor Jarrar, and to support financially, with me, the cause of free speech.

    https://ca.gofundme.com/fund-the-count-dankula-appeal

    • Also, this was moderately amusing…

      In case you didn’t catch it…

      Markus Meecham (MM): It’s a dangerous precedent, you don’t get to decide your context, the people around you don’t get to, the court does. That’s dangerous.

      Sky News Reporter (SNR): On YouTube, you distributed an image, a video, in the space of about a minute, teaching a pug to raise it’s paw in a Nazi salute, you said gas the jews 23 times, What’s Funny about that?

      MM: It’s the context of it, it’s the juxtaposition of a=having an adorable animal react to something vulgar. That was the entire point of the joke… Have you seen the video?

      SNR: Do you accept you’ve committed a crime?

      MM: Have you watched the video?

      SNR: I have.

      MM: Ok, So I’ve explained the context of it, so why are you asking me again?

      SNR: The context is that you’ve been convicted of a crime….

      MM: No, you’re mixing it up, (Crosstalk)

      SNR: (Crosstalk) you’ve committed a gross offence against a large community of… 6 million Jews died in the holocaust.

      MM: You just said the statement a couple of seconds ago, why should I concern myself with your context, if you aren’t concerned with mine?

      SNR: You’ve broken the law, do you regret breaking the law?

      MM: You just broke the law a few seconds ago! Remember: Context matters mate.

    • Chris

      I think the fact that Britain even has laws against this is extremely troubling.

      I would vocally support efforts to promote greater free speech rights in Britain.

      I’m not giving this guy my money, but I wouldn’t give Jarrar my money either, and I actually know and (mostly) like her.

  6. Wait… I just looked closer at the picture above: Is that a despised BRADFORD plum in the background?!?

  7. Still Spartan

    Actual conversation with my mom this week.

    Mom: “I wish you would stop dying your hair so dark.” (I’m a natural dark blonde/very light brown.)
    Me: “Mom, we’ve been over this. I started dying it right after law school because my career advisor thought I looked too much like a cheerleader. And then I kept it — I like my darker hair. Plus, I’m getting older now so I would probably need to bleach it anyway to get that color again.”
    Mom: “There’s nothing wrong with that. All the lawyers on Fox & Friends have blonde hair, and I think they look great.”
    [Pause]
    Me: “Gotta go mom, I have another call coming in.”

    • luckyesteeyoreman

      HA! Isn’t Megyn Kelly a lawyer, too? That’s a terrible thing to be told by a career advisor – that you look “too much like a cheerleader,” that is. I’m not even blonde, and I really do hate the familiar biases against blondes.

    • Just… wow. Sparty, our parents come from a different time, that is sure.

      My wife’s grandmother was openly biased against hispanics, but did not call them names… well, ‘wet backs’ was not considered a slur during her time. And they WERE illegals (as in ‘crossed the Rio Grande unofficially’) her husband hired to harvest the crops 70 to 80 years ago. We always found it awkward when she ‘went there’ in conversation. She used to feed them on the back stoop, but would not let them in the house. She was even proud of feeding those who were wandering through on their way north, or returning south for the winter.

      She had nothing against blacks, though: I doubt she ever met one to form an opinion, and thought the hubbub in the 1960s was silly.

      • Still Spartan

        My mom has some race issues, no doubt, but the point of my post was that my mother thinks that the women on Fox is how all female lawyers should look.

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