Finally, it feels like Spring!
I swear this would have been a morning warm-up if my computer hadn’t crashed. For several months now, the now 9 year -old PC I inherited new from my Dad has been either freezing or shutting itself off for no apparent reason and with no warning, sometimes up to five or six times a day. This is what working with narcolepsy must be like…I am always typing or researching with the possibility in the back of my mind that everything could just stop. Sometimes I just have to reboot the computer, and sometimes it takes me multiple tries, sometimes I get it running only to have it crash again almost immediately, and sometimes I have to unplug everything from the tower and try all sorts of diagnostics. The latter is what happened this time.
1. A new way to illustrate “deceit!” for many years I have been telling the story illustrated by this movie clip to explain to classes what deceit is.
An attorney came up to me after a seminar this week and told this story from a recent experience. He and his wife had met another couple at an event, and socialized for the evening, The man was a lawyer, and told them that he had never had his Bar Mitzvah, but on that very day had finally gone through the ceremony, at the age of 50. Weeks after the encounter, the attorney said that he received a letter from the man, asking if he would serve as a reference. He wrote back, he said, to decline, explaining that he had only met the man once, and couldn’t credibly vouch for his character or any professional skills or abilities.
Then, he told me, he had an inspiration. “I could write a letter truthfully saying, “I’ve known this man since his Bar Mitzvah!”
2. I could see this coming. Why couldn’t Joe Biden see this coming? Way back in 2015, when Biden was trying to decide whether to throw his metaphorical hat into the ring for the 2016 election, his creepy Dirty Old Uncle act was a matter of record, and concern, to Democrats and others who were paying attention…and that was before the Harvey Weinstein Ethics Train Wreck started rolling. When the 2020 Presidential sweepstakes opened for business, Ethics Alarms pointed out many times that no white male candidate would survive the process, because the feminist end of the party would either find an old episode of sexual misconduct, abuse or harassment to disqualify him ( “The Al Franken” ) or manufacture one (The Kavanaugh), making that male candidate radioactive. I also noted that this especially made Joe Biden’s candidacy a pipe dream, because there are already ample examples of photographic evidence of Biden’s handsiness like this…
…and what are the odds that Joe only engages in unwanted touching when the cameras aren’t clicking? But the biased mainstream news media dutifully presented Biden as formidable candidate, never mentioning this ticking time bomb, even as #MeToo hung the scalps of other one-time liberal heroes on its belt, most recently Southern Poverty Law Center founder Morris Dees. Why would they do this? Maybe they recognized how objectively horribly unqualified and unelectable the women running so far are. Most likely the memo from the Democratic High Command hadn’t arrived yet. Whatever the reason, it should now be clear that Joe is no longer welcome in the race.
Now Lucy Flores, a former Nevada Assemblywoman and 2014 Democratic nominee for Lt. Governor, has accused former Vice President Joe Biden of inappropriately touching her in 2014.
Not only that, but the mainstream media reports largely leave out the suspicious fact that Flores is connected to the OTHER old white guy temporarily leading the polls of Democratic voters shopping for a Trump-beater. In 2016, Flores exulted that Sanders chose her to be on the board of Our Revolution, his 501(c)(4) organization, saying “The next step for Bernie Sanders’ movement is Our Revolution, which will fight to transform America and advance the progressive agenda that we believe in!” Not that it matters much: I’m sure there are other women ready to claim that Joe is a “serial rapist” like Bret Kavanaugh was. Nevertheless, shouldn’t the public know that Joe’s accuser is from Bernie’s camp, just to be able to assess her credibility? Wait, what am I talking about? She’s a woman, and women’s accusations against men must be believed.
Have I got that right?
Well, never mind: the Female Hit Squad, or The White Men Are A Disease Collective (WMAADC) will be coming for Bernie soon enough.
3. I hate to say “I told you so” twice…In the last Jussie Smollett post here, focusing on the bizarre decision to drop all charges against him for engineering what still appears to be a hate crime hoax , I wrote,
“It almost feels like this is a deliberate parody of the Mueller Report fiasco, designed to suggest that the situations of Smollett and President Trump are similar: both guilty, and both “exonerated” falsely.”
Admittedly it would be a stupid parody, since there are no legitimate parallels. The evidence against Smollett is massive, and he was relieved of accountability despite being guilty based on an investigation. President Trump was not charged, and the investigation performed by Mueller explicitly found him not guilty. Yet here is Jonathan Last on Bulwark, Bill Kristol’s new website for Trump Deranged conservatives—you know, like him—actually making this argument:
First, here’s President Donald Trump claiming “complete and total exoneration” of all charges in the Mueller investigation..And now here’s actor Jussie Smollett claiming that he’d been “truthful and consistent” in the face of charges that he’d committed a hate-crime hoax.
The symmetry here is perfect. Absolutely perfect. The only thing we really know from Bob Mueller’s lips is that on the subject of obstruction: “while this report does not conclude that the president committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him.” That’s eerily similar to the words said by the prosecutor who dismissed the charges against Smollett, saying that he “does not believe [Smollett] is innocent.”
Now you can believe that both of these men have been judged as innocent because the legal system has declined to prosecute them. Or you can believe that both of them can be viewed with suspicion because the official verdict of the legal system is not the last word in actual culpability.
But you cannot claim that one of them must now be treated as totally and completely innocent but that the other is clearly guilty. Which is what most of America seems to be doing.
Do you see what he did there? It’s true that President Trump overstated the case with his “complete and total exoneration” comment. But is it true, as JVL claims, that the “symmetry here is perfect?”
On the one hand, we have a man who has just been definitively cleared of a charge that has hounded him for two years, who knew he was innocent the day the investigation started, who has professed his innocence all along, who could have stopped the investigation at any point but chose not to, and who almost certainly has not obstructed justice and, if he hasn’t, is fully aware that he hasn’t and that the justice department will now agree with him.
On the other hand, we have a man who has just been mysteriously absolved of responsibility for a crime he certainly committed, who has lied since the first moments of his case, and who continues to lie about his innocence now.
What Trump is saying, in essence, is “I didn’t collude with the Russians, and I didn’t obstruct justice in the investigation of a crime I know I didn’t commit. I allowed the investigation to run to its conclusion. I am exonerated.” His mistake was in his failure to add “… or I will be in a few days when the justice department acknowledges that I didn’t obstruct justice,” as it undoubtedly will.
What Smollett is saying is “I am innocent,” when in fact the little fraud is guilty as sin and everyone knows it. That’s only “symmetric” if you’re tilted as far to one side as the good folks at The Bulwark appear to be.
The lesson here is that the Trump-Haters on both ends of the political spectrum are desperate, and demonstrating that their emotions, biases and agendas obliterate their ethical values when the the come into conflict. That’s not unusual; indeed it’s a very human instinct. It is, however, the opposite of integrity.