1. But before we get into the ugly part..I want to recommend an article called “Rationalizations for Unethical Behavior in Tech” over at Medium. The writer, April Wensel, is the proprietor of the Compassionate Coding site.
Her article specifically employs several of the rationalizations on the Ethics Alarms list, quotes me with attribution, and does a terrific job demonstrating what the list is there for, and how it can and should be used. Thanks, April!
2. And here is another reason you can’t trust the media: journalists often aren’t very bright or well-educated. NBC reporter Ken Dilanian opined on Twitter after Kavanaugh was confirmed that…
It may not happen in our lifetimes, but the idea that North Dakota and New York get the same representation in the Senate has to change. “Senators representing less than half the U.S. are about to confirm a nominee opposed by most Americans” https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2018/10/06/senators-representing-less-than-half-us-are-about-confirm-nominee-opposed-by-most-americans/ …
To begin with, quoting that Post piece is signature significance for a partisan media hack. “Most Americans” have insufficient information to oppose or support Kavanaugh on a substantive basis, and uninformed opinions are worthless at best. If “most Americans” opposed him, it was because they were misled, propagandized and fear-mongered into ignorance and bias. This is why we don’t elect Supreme Court justices. The complaint about the Senate that Dilanian glommed onto can be translated as “The Senate is the Senate.” It was designed not to represent the population as a whole, but the states, their interests and their cultures. “It may not happen in our lifetimes” is a statement of ignorance of what it would take to fundamentally change one of the three branches of government from its original form. I’d suggest to Ken that he try reading the Constitution, especially the formula for amending it. The chances that two-thirds of the states will accede to a new Senate construction that lets the big states dictate to the small ones are exactly zero, or essentially the same as the chances that the Electoral College will be abolished.
Dilanian is NBC’s intelligence and national security reporter and frequently appears on MSNBC, and now we know that the network’s intelligence reporter doesn’t understand his own country.
3. Be proud, Democrats! A Democratic Senator I had been blissfully unaware of until the Kavanaugh nomination stepped up during the hearings to reveal herself as exemplifying the ugly side of the partisan divide. Hawaii Democratic Sen. Mazie Hirono said that the fact that Kavanaugh was conservative was all she needed to determine that he was lying, for example. She’s a virulent bigot. Yesterday, she was asked twice by CNN’s Dana Bash about whether she thought harassing Republican senators in restaurants was inappropriate. She wouldn’t say “Yes,” sending a clear message that her real position is “No.”
Here’s the exchange:
BASH: The President, Republicans are saying Democratic protesters are, quote, ‘an angry mob” What I want to ask you about, it is one thing to protest the Supreme Court at the Capitol. That’s been done for generations and frankly since the founding of this country. It’s another thing to run senators out of restaurants and go to their homes. Is that going too far?
HIRONO: I think it just means that there are a lot of people who are very, very much motivated about what is going on. What happened with Judge Kavanaugh from the very beginning, this is not a fair process. What the Republicans did was to telegraph after Dr. Ford’s account came forward, what they telegraph was, one, Dr. Ford, we don’t want to hear from you. Two, if we have to hear from you, we will rig the hearing.
BASH: Should they be going after people at restaurants?
HIRONO: You look at white supremacists and all that, this is what’s coming forth in our country, a tremendous divisiveness in our country. his is the kind of activism that occurs and people make their own decisions. If they violate the law, then they have to account for that.
4. The astronaut is a weenie. Scott Kelly, a retired astronaut who completed several missions into space, tweeted in response to the Republican gloating over the Kavanaugh confirmation, “One of the greatest leaders of modern times, Sir Winston Churchill said, ‘in victory, magnanimity.’ I guess those days are over.” He was then set upon by the social media mob, criticizing him for calling Churchill a great leader, since he was an unapologetic colonialist and white supremacist, pretty much like everyone else of his time and culture.
So the big, brave, ignorant astronaut, terrified of being voted off the Liberal Island, grovelled an apology on Twitter:
Did not mean to offend by quoting Churchill. My apologies. I will go and educate myself further on his atrocities, racist views which I do not support. My point was we need to come together as one nation. We are all Americans. That should transcend partisan politics.
Winston Churchill was one of the greatest leaders in modern times who almost certainly saved Western civilization, and all of those non-white people he looked down on from the worst white supremacist in world history, who would have happily made them into slaves or soap.
Kelly is a frightening example of what a terrible job our schools and culture does in conveying basic, essential cultural history, and what happens when the void in American skulls can be filled by ideological propaganda.
5. Conservatives can be vicious creeps too! The Log Cabin Republicans—that’s the gay wing— tweeted out screenshots of two now-deleted tweets from CNN’s Kaitlan Collins from when she was 17 and in college, in an effort to show that she was/is homophobic. In one tweet, she called another Twitter user a “fag” and in the other she said “Idk if I wanna room with a lesbian” (“I don’t know if…”)
I don’t care what she tweeted when she was in college. She was in college. She was 17. It was social media. I’ve covered this despicable tactic of personal destruction in the Josh Hader posts.
It is true that what Dr. Ford did to Justice Kavanaugh, using a foggy high school incident to impugn an adult professional with an accusation years later, is in the same broad class of unethical conduct, but employing such dastardly and unfair tactics using a tit for tat justification is evidence of ethics rot. Foolishly, Collins also grovelled,
“When I was in college, I used ignorant language in a few tweets to my friends. It was immature but it doesn’t represent the way I feel at all. I regret it and apologize.”
What she should have written was..
‘Using social media posts from any individual’s school days to attack them as adult professionals is a despicable and unconscionable tactic. I demand to be judged based on my conduct, words and attitudes that reflect my current beliefs, state of maturity and experience. My respect for and fair treatment of all of my colleagues and fellow Americans is a matter of record, and I’ll stand by it.’
To his or her credit (unless the profile picture really represents the author, in which case the writer is a golden doodle), the author of the conservative Twitter account AG Conservative wrote,
“Digging up out-of-context tweets from 8 years ago and trying to get people fired for them is BS. I’ve disagreed w/ @kaitlancollins before, but she’s a solid reporter. This is the exact kind of mob behavior that many of us fight against when aimed at the right.”