1. Stupid lawsuit update. The bitter ex-Ethics Alarms commenter now appealing the obvious ruling by a Massachusetts judge that his vindictive defamation suit against me continued his abuse of process by filing a spurious motion accusing me of contempt of court and perjury, and calling for sanctions.. It’s 100% baloney, but I still have to file an answer, thus wasting more of my time, which is the point. I’m debating whether to note in my opposition to the motion that the man is an asshole.
2. What an idiot, #1: You have been signed to a ridiculous contract by the Philadelphia Phillies, 13 years for $330 million dollars. You waited four months to do so, jamming up the careers and lives of dozens of lesser players because you really didn’t want to play there, and were determined to get a record setting amount. You know the city’s fans are dubious about your loyalty and commitment, though you have stated that you took such a long contract to demonstrate that commitment. Now you are being introduced to your new team, city and fan base after spending all of your career playing for one of their rival in the National League East, the Washington Nationals. Do you carefully plan out what you will say, when you have your turn at the microphone, knowing that one has only one chance to make a good first impression?
Not if you are Bryce Harper. Yesterday, at his press conference, he said that he wanted to bring a World Series title to Washington D.C.
It’s going to be a long 13 years. For everyone.
3. What an idiot, #2: Special counsel Robert Mueller notified federal Judge Amy Berman Jackson that Roger Stone had sent an Instagram post which containing a photo of Mueller under the words “Who framed Roger Stone,” despite Stone being under Jackson’s gag order barring him from speaking in public about Mueller’s team and its investigation.
4. Fake headlines department. This is outrageous, but typical, mainstream news media deceit. The ABC News headline is “Former Trump White House lawyer calls Mueller ‘American hero,’ says probe is no witch hunt.” This naturally piqued my interest because a) I’m a legal ethicist, and a former White House lawyer who implied that Mueller was a hero because that lawyer was aware of illegality for his client would be treading very near to to a confidentiality violation b) the lawyer in question, Ty Cobb, is a classmate and a friend.
The story, however does not support the message the headline is designed to convey. Ty says that he does not believe that Mueller is politically motivated, and is basically doing what he was asked to do. He calls him an American hero because “he walked into a firefight in Vietnam to pull out one of his injured colleagues and was appropriately honored for that.” Nothing Cobb says about Mueller, the investigation or the President undermines or impugns President Trump in any way. He does say, however, of the Congressional investigations,
“But it’s never going to be over. I mean, this is going to go through 2020. And if the president is reelected, it’ll go beyond that…All these people are hell bent on issuing a lot of subpoenas to get to the administration and perpetuate this investigation.”
5. On the plus side, the offending students can run for Governor of Virginia. The University of Tennessee students connected with this Snapchat message
..are going to be disciplined by the university, but just how is a problem. It has admitted that the students can’t be expelled because of that silly old First Amendment thing.
Apparently the university, indeed the entire U.S. education system, the news media, parents and society have failed to convey that seemingly simple principle of American democracy to its students, however. During a long meeting between administrators and concerned students, freshman Jerica Parks criticized administrators out for not expelling the perpetrators.
“Don’t treat them like victims when they have done this to us,” she said. “We are the victims. Protect us.”
First Amendment, Jerica. Where in the young woman’s education and acculturation was the concept lost that the government cannot “protect” people from the content of speech? Senior George Johnson revealed similar ignorance. “You failed if you believe that the First Amendment is the equivalent of protecting someone from blackfacing,” he said. No, George, the First Amendment is an expression of a basic civil right, and “blackfacing” is just another variety of protected political speech.
“Johnson added that it will be tough moving forward from this incident of racism and the university’s response as he graduates in May from a school that he says he doesn’t feel he can take pride in,” reports the Knoxvill News.
“I can’t take pride in the University of Tennessee because the University of Tennessee didn’t see pride in me,” he said. Phooey. I was hoping he was going to say that he can’t take pride in a school that graduates students who have no understanding of the Bill of Rights.
6. Religious tolerance? Hello? Beuller? A group of atheists actually sued to remove a 93-year-old cross placed as a memorial to 49 fallen W.W. I soldiers from Maryland’s Prince George’s County, claiming that it constituted a state endorsement of a religion. The law suit won in lower courts, but based on last week’s oral argument in the Supreme Court, it seems that SCOTUS is inclined to let the 40 foot concrete stand, and hold that it did not run afoul of the First Amendment’s ban on government establishment of religion by sending a message of favoritism to Christianity.
My question is how much of a jerk one has to be to mount such a contrived attack on a war memorial, and an old one, from a time that crosses were considered the standard symbol to memorialize the dead. Simple Golden Rule analysis…oh, wait, I forgot: atheists are offended by the Golden Rule. From the Times report:
Justice Gorsuch suggested that courts should not be called upon to resolve disputes over religious symbols. “We accept that people have to sometimes live in a world in which other people’s speech offends them,” he said. “We have to tolerate one another.” He pointed to a frieze in the courtroom. “We have a Ten Commandments display just above you, which may be too loud for many,” he said to Monica L. Miller, a lawyer for the American Humanist Society, which is challenging the Bladensburg memorial. Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. said the court’s intervention could lead to divisiveness. “This sort of thing is being handled today in a pluralistic society in which ordinary people get along pretty well and are not at each other’s throats about religious divisions,” he said.
Justice Ginsberg seemed to be the sole justice convinced that the memorial was unconstitutional, although Justice Sotomayor might vote with her. The American Humanist Association and several area residents sued to remove the cross in 2014, saying they were offended by what they said was its endorsement of Christianity.
If you are truly offended by 93-year old memorials, statues, and artwork, something is the matter with you. It’s called history.