Saturday Ethics Warm-Up, 2/16/2019: The King’s Pass And Kool-Aid

Good morning…

1. A literal “King’s Pass”! The King’s Pass, #11 on the Ethic Alarms rationalization list, was acted out with perfection in Great Britain, where Prince Philip, despite causing an automobile accident that injured another driver, was not charged or ticketed by authorities. The nonagenarian royal has been persuaded to surrender his driving license, however.

2. Politics do not belong in the sports pages...but don’t tell the New York Times. In another King’s Pass-related story,“Patriarch’s Racist Emails Stagger Cubs Owners” (the print version), in which the Times subtly lobbies for the Chicago Cubs and Major League Baseball to take punitive action against Joe Ricketts, the billionaire whose family owns the team, we had the following statements…

  • “The false assertion that Obama, who identifies as Protestant, was Muslim and born outside the United States were prevalent in right-wing politics during his presidency.” This is just false. The birthers were a radical fringe of the conservative opposition to Obama, and that weak conspiracy theory was never “prevalent.” Nor can the birther claims be fairly called “racist,” though certainly many of their adherents were racist. Among the “racist” sentiments attributed to Ricketts in the article were “we cannot ever let Islam become a large part of our society.”  At worst that’s religious bigotry, not racism. At best it’s a defensible point of view.

In fact, I tend to agree with it, and the experience of Western Europe supports the position.

  • The article approvingly cites the mandatory grovel by Tom Ricketts, chairman of the Cubs, who denounced his father’s emails in a statement, saying, “We are aware of the racially insensitive emails in my father’s account that were published by an online media outlet. Let me be clear: The language and views expressed in those emails have no place in our society.”

Let me be clear: any language and all views have a place in a society founded on the principles of freedom of thought and expression. The casual and routine endorsement of thought-crime and censorship by the mainstream news media (and academia) is far more alarming than any private emails by an elderly billionaire.

  • “In other sports leagues, offensive behavior has led to owners selling their franchises. Donald Sterling was forced to sell the Los Angeles Clippers of the N.B.A. after a tape of him making racist comments became public. Sterling was banned from the league for life. Jerry Richardson, the owner of the N.F.L.’s Carolina Panthers, announced he would sell his team shortly after a report came out that revealed he had been accused of sexually harassing employees and making racist comments.”

Yes, and one of these actions was highly questionable ethically.  Richardson at least had some due process in his removal, as the NFL did a thorough investigation. Sterling was fined and forced to sell his team based on a private conversation in his bedroom. Naturally, the article doesn’t remind its readers of that detail.

  • My favorite passage, I think, is this:

“For Joe Ricketts, this is not the first time his political activities have harmed the Cubs. He is a major funder of conservative causes and gave $1 million to a political action committee supporting Donald Trump during his presidential campaign. In 2012, The New York Times reported that Joe Ricketts was considering spending $10 million on a campaign that would attack Obama’s connection to Reverend Jeremiah Wright, a former spiritual adviser who Obama denounced during the 2008 presidential campaign. At the same time, the Cubs were asking Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel for $300 million in public money, as part of a $500 million renovation of Wrigley Field and the surrounding area. Emanuel, who served in the White House as Obama’s chief of staff, was reportedly “livid” over the proposed campaign, and stopped talking to Cubs officials about the renovation shortly thereafter. The Ricketts family ultimately financed the renovations privately.”

Wow. Supporting the current President in his election campaign “harmed” the Cubs! And how dare that racist Ricketts  consider making Reverend Wright an issue in the 2012 campaign? Obama only sat in his church for decades as Wright routinely preached anti-white racism and anti-America hate. Sure, Obama “denounced” Wright when it was clear that he had become a political liability. And it’s Rickett’s fault that Chicago’s mayor allows his personal conflicts of interests to dictate city policy. This is sports reporting?

This is dishonest and biased for political reporting. It’s inexcusable on the sports page.

3. Still waiting for my apologies: Almost a year ago, several esteemed commenters here made what lawyers call a “noisy withdrawal,” accusing me of “drinking the Kool-Aid” and subscribing to right-wing conspiracy theories when I dutifully reported the emerging facts about the Justice Department’s attempted (and ongoing) soft-coup against President Trump. They adopted this counter-factual position because a) confirmation bias would not allow them to admit and accept the increasingly ugly truth and b) because their favored news sources have been complicit in the coup attempt from the beginning.

I resented this slur on my objectivity and integrity then, and resent it now, especially after Andrew McCabe, who was fired for lying to officials, admitted in an interview and in his upcoming book that because the President fired their FBI director James Comey, whom he had the right and power to fire and whom everyone (including Hillary Clinton) agreed deserved to be fired, the highest officials in the deep state Justice Department discussed persuading the Vice President and a majority of the Cabinet to  invoke the 25th Amendment and declare incompetent the elected President Obama holdovers didn’t like. This was not only treasonous, real “Seven Days in May” stuff, but was also based on an unconstitutional theory: the 25th Amendment is explicitly there for Presidential disability, as with Wilson’s stroke, Ike’s heart attack, and Reagan’s near assassination. “Justice Department Officials Had Discussions About Pushing Trump Out,” admits the approving Times. Tell me again about how those texts between the FBI lovebirds describing an emergency plan should Trump somehow beat Hillary were meaningless and innocent.

A week after the President fired his arrogant, law-defying employee, James Comey, Robert Mueller was appointed by Rod Rosenstein to be Special Counsel in a fishing expedition to find impeachable dirt on that President whom the Justice Department’s leaders had already discussed overthrowing. McCabe confirms that Rosenstein, the Deputy Attorney General,offered to wear a wire to entrap the President.

Kool-Aid my ass. Someone, perhaps many someones, should go to prison for this.

And I’m still waiting for my apologies.

4. Regarding that other big story roiling Washington...I have no idea whether the courts will ultimately uphold President Trump’s use of his emergency powers to build the wall/barrier. Whether they do or not, his effort to force the issue is admirable and ethical, and my cursory examination of the legal and constitutional issues suggest to me that he is likely to prevail. The Seventies legislation that gave the President emergency powers outside of wartime do not define precisely what an emergency is, and I share the President’s definition of this one. A political party has decided to use its legislative power to prevent the enforcement of not only a law, but laws essential to U.S. sovereignty and security.  In the face of caravans of illegal immigrants preparing to storm the border, with Democrats determined to foil all reasonable efforts by the U.S. to resist their lawless and arrogant defiance of U.S. law,  the President resorting to emergency powers is reasonable and hardly “unprecedented,” the Left’s talking point of the hour.

Nancy Pelosi’s analogy of a Democratic President banning guns as an emergency measure is typically dishonest or moronic, depending on how much regard one has for Pelosi’s brain these days. I hope I don’t have to explain why.

 

22 thoughts on “Saturday Ethics Warm-Up, 2/16/2019: The King’s Pass And Kool-Aid

  1. 2. Of course no NYT sportswriter has any interest in sliming a formidable National League opponent of the Mets or an inter-league or world series opponent of the Yankees. Nah.

      • Hah! Why don’t they Haderize Fred Wilpon or the entire Steinbrenner family and their employees? Why not go after Mikhail Dmitrievitch Prokhorov, the majority owner of the NBA Brooklyn Nets. A Russian “industrialist” worth eight or nine billion has to be as pure as the driven snow and entirely independent of Trump’s puppet master.

  2. Here is another issue to write about.

    http://groups.google.com/d/msg/Talk.Politics.Guns/JJwBNbXPawM/dP_z2XEQAgAJ

    Children skipping classes to take the moral lead is an indictment of
    adult complacency, says Guardian columnist Jonathan Freedland:

    What does children walking out on classes have to do with the scientific method?

    Instead of proving the semistable case of the Taniyama-Shimura conjecture, why did not Andrew Wiles simply organize a walkout by students to declare Fermat’s Last Theorem true?

    Or what about the Goldbach conjecture or the Twin Prime Problem or the Perfect Cuboid problem? There are so many unsolved problems in mathematics? would not children walking out of their classes solve those problems?

  3. 1) Talk about something that has no place in society today – the British royalty shouldn’t even have a ceremonial role in a supposedly democratic country. While not my country, it’s sad the amount of fame and support they receive from this country.

    2) I have never understood the mental gymnastics required for the leftist support of Islam that goes against everything they hold dear – a goal of a patriarchal, theocratic society. And I want to scream at the next person who cries “racism” any time there is anything said against Islam. “Muslim” is not a race, and it isn’t even strongly tied to race (more Asians are Muslim than Arabs, etc).

    4) Of course Nancy knows that the president can’t override the Constitution with an emergency declaration, it’s just brazen false political theater (another Big Lie).

    • 4) Of course Nancy knows that the president can’t override the Constitution with an emergency declaration, it’s just brazen false political theater (another Big Lie).

      Indeed it is a big lie.

      “Let’s talk about today: The one-year anniversary of another manifestation of the epidemic of gun violence in America,” Pelosi said. “That’s a national emergency. Why don’t you declare that emergency, Mr. President? I wish you would.”

      This is an outright lie. There is no “epidemic of gun violence in America.” In fact, gun violence has declined and is way down over the last 20 years.

  4. If the case goes to the 9th District Court, Trump’s use of emergency powers will probably be temporarily blocked, don’t you think?

  5. 3 Apologies

    You will be waiting forever. Those “Noisy withdrawals” from the blog are themselves so poisoned by the anti-Trump venom from their friends and confidants, as well as the news outlets they read, that they cannot recover, and likely never will until the end of their lives.

    As they would say in New York: fuggetaboudit.

    I guess we can now say the “deep state” is demonstrated not only to exist, but to exist to an even worse extent than the conservative “conspiracy theorists” were able to imagine in their fever dreams.

    4 Emergency powers

    I hope Trump wins. The alternative is to legitimize a transparently anti-American position.

    I think it will take the Supreme Court to get there, though. The Dems know exactly the venue to sue Trump in to get a favorable ruling.

  6. 2. Anyone paying attention knows only one side of the political spectrum is being criminalized. Anyone who thinks Jeremiah Wright is spiritual is insane. Any fool knows Obama’s denouncements were convenience driven.

    If you spent an hour listening to Chicago’s WSCR AM670 you’d see how political sports journalism and talk have become. Which is why I don’t listen anymore. It’s non-stop leftism.

    3. As for the deep state, public executions would be more educational for the bureaucracy. Not only will they not hang, they will not be punished in any way. This ensures it will happen in 2020 and beyond. Makes me glad I’m old enough to not have to live the majority of my life in what appears to be a fully immune secret police state.

  7. ” the 25th Amendment is explicitly there for Presidential disability, as with Wilson’s stroke, Ike’s heart attack, and Reagan’s near assassination. “

    Maybe even FDR during his brief final term? He wasn’t incapacitated, per se, but he was dying and that definitely had an impact on his job performance.

  8. ”several esteemed commenters here made what lawyers call a ‘noisy withdrawal,’ ”

    The most notable of the dearly departed, and whose infusion I most miss, was charlesgreen. And Chris didn’t leave voluntarily.

    But for the life of me I can’t recall the others…are there others?

    • The one I miss most is valkygrrl. She and I had a shared taste in literature. Chris was given an avenue for return. Instead, he chooses to sneak his blather in stealthily sometimes.

    • Yes, I too miss Charlesgreen and I can’t imagine anyone has need for an apology from him. He first drew my attention to Paul Manafort, saying we should ‘watch him’ and his dodgy dealings as they emerged. Thanks Charles. You were right.

      • Huh? He was right that Manafort was dodgy, and we already knew that. We also knew that Cohen was dodgy. Nothing regarding Manafort has anything to do with Russian “collusion.” He wasn’t worth “watching.” This was more “gee, I hope Trump did something” bias. That’s all.

    • Chris DID leave voluntarily, because he could have returned with nothing more than a sincere apology. Don’t forget “deery.” And there were others who did their self-exiling off-site, to me privately. I like and respect Charlie, but he was so biased against Trump be couldn’t see straight. In his defense, he is far from alone.

  9. Surely far too strong Jack. “Nothing regarding Manafort has anything to do with Russian “collusion””.

    Apparently we know Manafort had close relations with Kilimnik. Manafort was Trump’s campaign chairman from June to August 2016. It looks like Kilimnik and Manafort were involved in Russian interference in the 2016 election. Manafort has lied about recent contacts, even after making his plea deal, thus blowing it up and perhaps risking that he will die in jail.

    So please don’t say ‘nothing has anything to do with Russian collusion’.

    Yes, there is no proof as yet of Donald Trump or his campaign ‘colluding’, and if Trump has any competence he will be able to maintain plausible deniability, as did Reagan and Bush 1 did over Iran – Contra, and Mohammad bin Salman is attempting to do over Jamal Khashoggi. There surely won’t be any tapes.

    I suspect the key Court will be the US electorate in 2020. Although you Jack hold otherwise, I suspect many Trump supporters knew very little of Trump’s background and activities. This time they will have no excuse of ignorance.

    If this was a spy novel I’d expect the next move to be manoeuvrings towards a Presidential pardon. Or of course alternatively maybe the whole story will be shown to be part of a fiendish ‘fake news’ attempt by MSMBC and their commie mates to take over government. Can’t wait for the next episode.

    But I think Charlesgreen foresaw much of this. And you Jack still say he can’t see straight.

    • There’s no proof of Manafort or Kilimnik “colluding” either. Neither of them has been indicted for anything having to do with “Russian interference in the 2016 election.”

      Kilimnik’s indictment is for having some sort of illicit communications with a witness in relation to the charges against Manafort. Manafort is charged with unregistered lobbying work in Ukraine (a country that is not Russia, and one of many all over the world that his firm worked in.) He is also charged with multiple money-laundering schemes from before 2016. Not Russian collusion.

      There are numerous connections between Russia and Kilimnik, who worked for Russian intelligence from back in the USSR days, and Kilimnik and Manafort were part of a business deal involving a rich Russian. If you play six-degrees-of-Kevin-Bacon, you can connect the dots between Trump and Putin this way. But at that point you would be no better than a Pizza-gater.

      There are 2 kinds of Russian interference in the 2016 election: 1. some goofy Facebook posts made by Russians, most of which were neither pro-Trump nor anti-Hillary, and which, besides being complete non-factors in anything, were probably not even illegal, and 2. the actual hacking of the DNC’s emails and sharing of them to Wikileaks. Even with the juiciest bits of the Mueller probe being passed along to the media, we don’t know of any evidence pointing to U.S. involvement in either, and Mueller hasn’t charged anyone in the U.S with either.

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