Morning Ethics Warm-Up, 1/11/2019: Triplets, Tongues, Feet, And Screeches

 

Good Morning!

1.It’s time to play… Champerty! I’m beginning my morning by explaining to an outside litigation funding entity that they really don’t have to worry about champerty laws as long as their loans are handled property. Champerty is an ancient common law crime that made it illegal for a third party to buy into litigation and to profit from the transaction if the litigation succeeded. Some states still have anti-champerty laws, but they are 1) pretty much dead letters and 2) don’t apply to legitimate litigation financing, where a loan is repaid whether the litigation succeeds or not, and the amounts repaid do not change if it does. In legal ethics, champerty becomes an issue when a lawyer or law firm “sells” a share of the legal fee to a third party. That’s fee-splitting with a non-lawyer, and strictly forbidden.

Champerty is often mentioned as a set with two other common law crimes, Maintenance and Barratry. Maintenance, Champerty and Barratry are among my favorite potential triplets names, along with Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego; Caspar, Melchior, and Balthazar; Clotho, Lachesis, and Atroposand (The Fates);  Nina, Pinta and Santa Maria, and, of course, Moe, Larry, and Curly.

2. The Good Illegal Immigrant, again. In the wake of the wall dispute and the shutdown, the New York Times is ramping up its frequency of heartstrings-tugging tales of  illegal immigrants so lovable, industrious and virtuous that only a monster would oppose their permanent enjoyment of the fruits of illegally obtained citizenship. One such article this week began,

“Tomas Guevara fell in love with Ruth Ayala years before they met. Her brothers — like Mr. Guevara, Salvadoran immigrants living outside Washington — talked about her at church. She was hardworking and kind, they said, devoted to her family and her faith. Then Mr. Guevara saw Ms. Ayala’s photo; her big brown eyes, her warm smile. He decided to give her a call.”

Awww!

Later in the article, we have this sentence: “In 2001, he swam across the Rio Grande.”

The article raises many questions for me. Why was someone like Tomas eligible for “temporary protected status”? If the claim was that El Salvador was so dangerous that he could not be sent back there, why did he keep visiting that country, meet his wife there, and have his child there? Naturally, there was a program, the Central American Minors program begun in 2014, that allows the children of parents with temporary protected status to apply for permanent residency as refugees. Tomas’s wife was somehow eligible too.

This is what “chain migration” means, in case you wondered.

Finally, if a residence is specifically labelled “temporary,” why do illegal immigration advocates get away with treating it as permanent? The Times, one of those illegal immigration advocates, tells us…

Early last year, the family grew again with the birth of a daughter, Rebecca. Now cans of baby formula sit next to plumbing manuals and English textbooks in the family’s sparse apartment.

Awww!

But the family fears their safe and stable home is threatened. In January 2018, the Trump administration announced that temporary protected status for people from El Salvador would end in September 2019. More than 200,000 Salvadorans who have lived in the country since 2001 would be affected by the decision. They must either return to El Salvador or be approved for another immigration program.

Why isn’t the lesson here, “Don’t come to America by swimming across the Rio Grande, and you won’t have these problems?”

3. From the Ethics Alarms Double Standards file: Skeeweegate! A white reporter from the Washington Post is being criticized for not knowing that Kamala Harris’s black college sorority, Alpha Kappa Alpha, has a traditional sound members make, “Skeewee!” which the sorority even trademarked. 

When Harris’s “sisters” skeeweed upon her announcement that she was running for President in 2020, Post reporter Chelsea James tweeted that the sorority sisters “screeched.” Zerlina Maxwell, who hosts and produces a program for Sirius/XM on progressive politics, chided o Twitter,

“The fact that the white reporter sent to cover her didn’t know what Skee Wee was is not a good sign that the media is going to cover her with the cultural competency required. And it IS a requirement!”

No, in fact it’s not, and a  black reporter covering the a Yalee politician would never be criticized by being puzzled by a “Boola Boola!” reference, because a) it’s stupid, b) fraternities and sororities are anachronisms, c) nobody cares about a candidate’s college nonsense like “Skeewee!” and “Boola boola!” except maybe as something to mock, and c) such criticism as Maxwell’s would be called a privileged, racial “Gotcha!”, which it is.  By the way, Harvard considers women-only Greek organizations to be discriminatory. (Pointer: Althouse)

4.  Pregnant Jessica Simpson posts nude picture of herself on Instagram!!! (At least by the standards of Rep. Ocasio-Cortez…)

(Sorry, I couldn’t resist…)

5. Orange Man Bad—Destroy! Would this be done to any other U.S. President? Would anyone have dared to do it?  FOX affiliate Q13 in Seattle broadcast video from President Trump’s  speech that was doctored to make him appear orange and show him with his tongue repeatedly lolling out of his mouth:

Nice.

The editor responsible was fired. He’ll probably be a hero in Seattle. [Pointer: Slickwilly]

Q13 news director Erica Hill said: “This does not meet our editorial standards and we regret if it is seen as portraying the president in a negative light.”

Really going out on a limb there, are you, Erica?

6. Tit-for-Tat. Before President Obama made a habit out of it during his international “apology tour,” it was considered bad form and wrong for any President to criticize a predecessor in a foreign country. Apparently the Trump administration regards Obama’s breach of ethics and protocol the new normal, because Secretary of State Mike Pompeo slammed Obama policies as “misguided” in a speech this week in Cairo.

Misguided they were, but this is wrong. Surely many will feel that Obama asked for such treatment, especially since he has also ignored the long tradition of previous POTUSes not criticizing their immediate successors. Sure, he deserves it, but it’s still wrong: needlessly divisive, petty, and pointless. You state your administration’s policies, and if they differ from what went before, that’s all the commentary that’s needed.

I don’t recall many Democratic critics condemning Obama for violating Presidential “norms,” do you?

19 thoughts on “Morning Ethics Warm-Up, 1/11/2019: Triplets, Tongues, Feet, And Screeches

  1. 1. No Shemp?
    2. Such beautiful imagery. It reminds of the glowing reports of stacks of brand new blue jeans and t-shirts awaiting those plucky undocumented migrant children that were herded into Obama’s concentration camps….sorry, detention facilities…during his Presidency.
    3. This is stupid. No person of color would ever be expected to know trivia like that.
    4. Someone get me the smelling salts!
    5 & 6: Traditions are only traditions when Donald Trump violates them. Like the electoral college and family-hour in Prime Time, Democrats only care about them when it’s their agenda that’s being blocked.

    There have been Presidents with adversarial relationships with the press before (Hoover, LBJ, Nixon), but I’ve never seen the blatant disrespect for other viewpoints that the Democrats and their pundits routinely display these days.

    https://www.yahoo.com/news/cnn-pundit-ana-navarro-files-135327352.html

  2. On point 6
    I dont like tit for tat. However, after reading the transcript I see absolutely nothing wrong with Pompeo’s remarks; clear, concise, and unambiguous.

    Pompeo’s audience respects and demands strength from those it chooses to ally. For that reason Pompeo’s statements will be far more believable.

    The problem with tit for tat exchanges is that failure to respond because you simply want to take the high road will result in you becoming roadkill by those that have no problem starting the fight.

  3. 1 Champerty

    Beyond my competence.

    2 The good illegal immigrant

    Why isn’t the lesson here, “Don’t come to America by swimming across the Rio Grande, and you won’t have these problems?”

    The answer, in my view, is that there is no real downside to doing it. If you get deported, well, you’re no worse off. If you get to stay, “winner, winner, chicken dinner.”

    Plus, the Left and media with stories like this have made it easier for state governments to support such illegal immigrants. By claiming this is the norm in terms of an appeal to emotion, it gets harder for the federal government to deport them by moving judges to find reasons not to allow it.

    In other words, there’s just no real downside.

    3 Skeeweegate

    “The fact that the white reporter sent to cover her didn’t know what Skee Wee was is not a good sign that the media is going to cover her with the cultural competency required. And it IS a requirement!”

    Where the hell do these people come from? I swear to God, we have been invaded by Pod People from Planet Nutcase.

    My give-a-shit meter is bending the zero peg on this one. Incredible.

    4 Nude photo of Jessica Simpson

    Somebody hung an air hose in her foot.

    5 OMB

    “This does not meet our editorial standards and we regret if it is seen as portraying the president in a negative light.”

    Liar. You’re just unhappy you got caught.

    6 Tit for tat

    Surely many will feel that Obama asked for such treatment, especially since he has also ignored the long tradition of previous POTUSes not criticizing their immediate successors. Sure, he deserves it, but it’s still wrong: needlessly divisive, petty, and pointless.

    I agree. Not making these kind of silly partisan remarks are a cheap and easy way to differentiate yourself from your unethical predecessor, but apparently, our elected and appointed officials just can’t help themselves — which makes them no better. In fact, I’m going to say that turning down such low-hanging, obvious fruit makes them stupider than the people they are criticizing.

    Our politics is a shithole.

  4. Misguided they were, but this is wrong. Surely many will feel that Obama asked for such treatment, especially since he has also ignored the long tradition of previous POTUSes not criticizing their immediate successors. Sure, he deserves it, but it’s still wrong: needlessly divisive, petty, and pointless. You state your administration’s policies, and if they differ from what went before, that’s all the commentary that’s needed.

    It is a good thing that you could credibly call out President Trump on this.

    Because most of his opponents are ethically estopped from doing so.

  5. Re: No. 3; SkeeWeeGate.

    I read through the Twitter feed on Zerlina Maxwell’s twitter page. Man, oh man. They were most unkind to the unfortunate and uninformed reporter. Many condemned her lack of knowledge as evidence of white privilege. Many championed Maxwell’s skillful retribution heaped on the reporter. Not many actually asked, “Well, Ms. Maxwell. Is this really a sign of Black culture ignorance by privileged and entitled whites? Or is simply not knowing anything about Black Greek life?”

    I suspect the latter, and not the former. I knew that AKA represented the sorority’s Greek letters and I have a basic understanding of the history of the Divine Nine, but I have absolutely no idea of their traditions, practices, or secret handshakes. The thing is, I don’t have any idea about any fraternity or sorority. I did not participate in them in undergraduate school so all of that is lost on me. I don’t fault the reporter. What was the reporter supposed to do? Do a deep dive in Black sorority life prior to covering Harris’ opening salvo for the 2020 election run so that she understood what the people were doing? To accuse her of cultural deafness and ignorance is unfair.

    This incident seems more about criticizing white people more than it is about not knowing about Black sorority culture. Case in point: our son is 14. One of his friends is Black. A few months ago, they were hanging out and his friend’s dad took them to their local barber shop for a haircut. My son was amused by the whole experience because the guys in the shop were cursing up a storm, telling (mostly ribald) jokes, and generally doing guy stuff. They cut his hair, too. He did not have any clue about the role the barber shop played in the Black community. We talked about it and I gave my ideas. He just thought it was fun to hear guys cursing up a storm.

    jvb

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