Morning Ethics Warm-Up, June 5, 2019: Ethics Corrupters In The House, The Senate, The White House, The Times….

The next morning was going to be a crucial one, but not exactly “good”…

Good Morning!

1. How to expose a demagogue. Senator Elizabeth Warren is near the bottom of my ethics rankings of the various Democratic Presidential candidates, and not just because of the way she handled her crisis of color. She’s a pure demagogue, and a particularly dangerous one, as she is a stirring speaker and apparently shameless.

It takes clarity of thought and rhetoric to expose demagogues, especially Warren’s breed, which carry the trappings of authority—after all, she’s a Harvard professor, so she must be smart (or so those who did not attend Harvard seem to think.) The President’s favored tactic of name-calling is of limited value for this purpose, but Rep. Dan Crenshaw, the veteran mocked by Saturday Night Live because of his war wounds,  is providing an ongoing seminar on how to expose Warren’s dishonesty.

When Warren tweeted this high-sounding sentiment…

…Rep. Crenshaw  zeroed in on its deception.

Note also the gently mocking imitation of Warren’s flip use of “thing,” so much more rhetorically effective than calling her “Pocahontas.”

Here is how Crenshaw eviscerated another typical bit  of Warren pandering…

Then there was this expert take-down….when Warren grandstanded with this…

Crenshaw pointed out exactly what was wrong with it…

Why, yes, that’s exactly what it is.

2. Censorship and keeping the truth from the public is not ethical, nor is it a legitimate way to address problems in a democracy.

Why do I even have to write this? One reason is that a political party—guess which one–is increasingly trying to inject the opposite view into American culture.  For example, DeWayne Craddock murdered a dozen people when he opened fire at a Virginia Beach government office last week, but local officials in Virginia Beach have  generally shielded his identity, calling him “the thirteenth man”—for the public’s own good, of course. The theory is that mass shooters are seeking fame, so if potential mass shooters realize that murder no longer guarantees widespread infamy, maybe they won’t start shooting.

That’s thin justification for deliberately keeping the public uninformed. The news media put us on this slippery slope when it began withholding the names of rape accusers in high profile cases, while publicizing the names of the accused. Beware when law enforcement and the government embrace censorship as a solution to any problem. If it works, they will want to see what other social problems it can fix.

3. Just checking! Everybody knows that Rep. Gerald Nadler is going to have Democrats in  the House vote to  hold Attorney General Barr in contempt for resisting an illegal subpoena and insisting on following the law regarding grand jury testimony, right?

And that the exact material that Nadler is demanding is already available to any House member who wants to see it, under special security conditions, but they aren’t bothering to look?

Good. I thought so.

Do try to enlighten your ignorant social media pals, and your relatives too, of course, on this crucial point.

4. This week’s unconscionable New York Times “resistance” column. Once again, pure, partisan, extreme Leftist pundit Michelle Goldberg has been allowed to publish one of her dishonest, mouth-foaming screeds in the op-ed pages of the Times. The ethics corruption of Times readers—columnists like Goldberg are ethics corrupters—begins with the headline, Democratic Voters Want Impeachment. The House Dawdles.”

Even if a majority of  Democratic voters want impeachment, the duty of the House of Representatives is to do what is in the best interests of the nation as a whole, not march to the arrhythmic beat of hyperpartisan drums. In a fashion typical of her columns, Goldberg pronounces the President as lawless without presenting a a single example of what law it is she thinks he has violated. She writes complete fantasy like,

“The actual contents of the Mueller report should have been devastating for Trump. Instead, thanks to Bill Barr, an attorney general who acts more like a Fox News pundit, the administration has managed to obscure Mueller’s findings, and then go on the offense against the investigation itself.”

The Mueller report never asserts that the President committed a single crime. In the either willfully or genuinely ignorant analysis of Goldberg and “the resistance,” a President should be impeached if he says things, in private, like “I’m completely fucked!” What Goldberg is telling us is that the mentality of Democrats hasn’t evolved one mini-degree since the President defeated poor, corrupt, incompetent Hillary Clinton: the President should be impeached because they don’t like him.

If the nation ever accepts that standard for impeachment, the current Constitutional structure of our democracy is finished. That is probably what Goldberg wants, and all those Democrats who want impeachment—what do you think is the percentage of them who could define the standards for “high crimes and misdemeanors” or cite a valid example of one that Trump has committed?—have no idea what the actual issues are beyond “Orange Man Bad.” I recently reviewed the alleged grounds that the Democrats think they have here, and to call them lame and contrived is generous.

Goldberg also parrots what is apparently the DNC’s most recent approved pro-impeachment talking point, that the percentage of American favoring impeachment, while not a majority, is still higher than it was before the Watergate hearings. I explained the blatant apples and oranges feature of this comparison last week.

Goldberg’s column isn’t analysis or punditry. It’s anti-Trump propaganda, and the New York Times published it because it has become an anti-Trump propaganda organ.

5. An unusually unethical Trump tweet. This one is not just stupid, like, say, his recent attack on Bette Midler. Midler had  tweeted a well-debunked  phony Trump quote that said, “If I were to run, I’d run as a Republican. They’re the dumbest group of voters in the country. They believe anything on Fox News. I could lie and they’d still eat it up. I bet my numbers would be terrific.” (Shut up and sing, Bette!) When it was pointed out to her that the quote was fabricated, she tweeted, “I apologize; turns out to be a fake from way back in ’15-16.’ Don’t know how I missed it, but it sounds SO much like him that I believed it was true!”

That’s a lousy and snotty apology, but most of her fans won’t care, and all it shows is that she’s a partisan jerk, which anyone paying attention knew anyway.  It wasn’t necessary, wise or presidential for the President to slap down at her, but of course he couldn’t resist, tweeting, “Washed up psycho @BetteMidler was forced to apologize for a statement she attributed to me that turned out to be totally fabricated by her in order to make “your great president” look really bad. She got caught, just like the Fake News Media gets caught. A sick scammer!”

Ugh.

Twitter would be doing him and the nation a favor by suspending Trump’s account.

That tweet was stupid, but this one..

….is sinister. If people choose to stop trusting and watching CNN (as I largely have) because of the network’s bias, sloppy journalism, incompetent and unethical anchors and contributors, and generally miserable journalism, that’s their choice. If you don’t like it, don’t watch. Any effort, however, to force CNN into altering its reporting is an attack on the First Amendment, and for the President to even hint that a public boycott of CNN’s parent company would be justified, responsible or ethical is an abuse of power and position.

This is stupid and unethical, and I consider it closer to a “high crime and misdemeanor” than any of the contrived offenses the “resistance” has claimed.

 

27 thoughts on “Morning Ethics Warm-Up, June 5, 2019: Ethics Corrupters In The House, The Senate, The White House, The Times….

  1. 1. I wonder if she hides his Tweets…
    2. I wonder if not publicizing the shooter is the real motive here. We’ve seen journalistic censorship when it comes to publicizing wrongdoing by Democrats and minorities. We’ve seen the ubiquitous R tagging conservative politicians and noted the missing D when the shoe was on the other foot. We’ve seen the headlines making sure we know about the white cops versus the black men, but find that skin color, ethnicity and religious affiliation are oddly absent when the shooters fall into protected classes. Since DeWayne Craddock (whose name, despite being newsworthy, required me to type into Google in its entirety without auto-suggesting) is black, could there be an attempt to deflect attention from a person of color?
    4. Elizabeth, Democrats and journalists learned their demagoguery well. I am in the middle of Brands’ book about FDR, “Traitor to His Class” which devotes a nice section to Roosevelt’s rationalizations for packing the SCOTUS with judges that would declare his New Deal legislation constitutional which included, but was not limited to, the huge docket judges have and how some of them are elderly and can’t do as much anymore and how the justices used to ride on horseback back in the early 19th century to perform their circuit duties. Smoke and mirrors has been a specialty of the Democratic Party for a long time. They learned from the best.
    5: ” I consider it closer to a “high crime and misdemeanor” than any of the contrived offenses the “resistance” has claimed.”

    For God’s sake, don’t give them any ideas!

  2. 2) Is it too pessimistic of me to suggest that one of the main factors in suppressing the identity of the shooter in Virginia Beach is because he doesn’t fit the “white guy gun nut” narrative the media so likes to push? There are 12 victims, so they can’t really just ignore it like other “non-conforming” shootings, so they settled on the next best thing: trying to conceal the identity of the shooter.

    • I am confused. Are you saying that there is a national narrative going on in connection with the reporting on these stories, whereby if the accused/shooter does not represent a member of a certain demographic then the reporting diminishes or minimizes the reporting of said shooter’s demographics? No. Please say it ain’t so. PLEASE! Could it have something to do with the shooter being a minority and resigned his position as an engineer for “personal reasons”? Disgruntled?

      As an aside, there was a school shooting here in the Houston area, every bit as horrific as Sandy Hook and Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School but has not received nearly as much national media attention. I wonder: Why is that?

      jvb

      • How much mainstream reporting did you see about the 55 people who were shot (including 10 deaths) in Chicago over the past weekend? I’m sure the silence on those stories has nothing to do with the demographics of those who were shot and those who were doing the shooting. They just didn’t have enough time to fit it into the newscasts, what with the necessity of talking about some dude’s winning streak on “Jeopardy!” ending and a cartoonish Trump balloon in London, right?

        • It took over a day and a half for the police to release a photo of the shooter. Which struck me as awfully weird given he was a city employee and all the employees seemed to be sporting photo IDs. I smell a rat. I think the likely explanation is that he was a black guy. And people of color are victims. They can’t be victimizers at the same time. That’s just not allowed under intersectionality rules. Same tap dance the media did on the Pulse nightclub shooting. Gays and Muslims are victims. What to do when a Muslim shoots gay people? Does Not Compute.

          • ”It took over a day and a half for the police to release a photo of the shooter.”

            Racist!

            “Which struck me as awfully weird given he was a city employee and all the employees seemed to be sporting photo IDs.”

            Raaaaaaaacist!

            “And people of color are victims.”

            Raaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaacist!

            “That’s just not allowed under intersectionality rules”

            Raaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaacist!

            “Same tap dance the media did on the Pulse nightclub shooting.”

            RaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaacistHomophobe!

            “Gays and Muslims are victims.”

            RaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaacistHomo/Islamophobe!

            “What to do when a Muslim shoots gay people?”

            RaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaacistHomo/Islamophobe/NRA Bitch!

            “Does Not Compute.”

            Ya think?

          • “What to do when a Muslim shoots gay people?”

            That one’s easy. Make up a story about how he was a closeted gay man, and this drove his actions, which had nothing to do with his radicalized religious and political beliefs. It was society’s fault, you see. The homophobic Patriarchy strikes again!

            • Yep, that’s what they did. A good friend of mine looked uncomfortable when the shooting was brought up in conversation and hesitantly stated, “I think there were many things involved in that”. Just code for, “He was a confused gay man”.

              If the shooter is white, the motive is black and white (sometimes literally); if the shooter is a minority, he must be protected and his motives rationalized.

  3. Here is an interesting ethics issue from Europe.

    http://groups.google.com/d/msg/soc.culture.israel/GzsSjM0hpOo/mHx6p9EXAgAJ

    Teenage girl is legally euthanised after being raped as a child

    Noa Pothoven, 17, ended her life on Sunday by euthanasia. Source: Noa
    Pothoven/ Facebook

    A 17-year-old girl has died by legal euthanasia following a years-long
    battle with depression and anorexia after she was raped as a young child.

    Noa Pothoven, of Arnhem in the Netherlands, explained the choice to end her
    own life in a now-private Instagram post last week, saying the trauma she
    struggled to live with following a childhood rape had become insufferable.

    “After years of fighting and battling, I am drained,” she wrote.

    “I have quit eating and drinking for a while now, and after many discussions
    and evaluations, it was decided to let me go because my suffering is
    unbearable.”

    The teen, who published an autobiography in 2018 called Winning or Learning
    detailing her struggles with PTSD, depression, anorexia and self-harm, also
    asked her followers to not try to talk her out of her decision, adding that
    it was “final” and “not impulsive”.

    • The news I saw said she was not euthanized. She was denied the request. She quit eating and drinking and her parents did not have her force fed.

      • An incredibly sad story. Mrs. OB and I lived in Holland for almost three years. It’s not all sweetness and light in enlightened, vastly superior Europe, as American lefties would have us think.

  4. Re No. 2: Rep. Crenshaw:

    The more I read and hear bout Rep. Crenshaw, the more I like him. He has a great depth of policy and is a stop supporter of limited federal government. He has taken pot-shots at Reps. Ocasio-Cortez and Omar, too.

    jvb

  5. #4 No justice (as I have predetermined it to be), no peace. No impeachment (because orange man bad), no peace. No whatever I feel like (stamping feet like a baby and proclaiming myself to be a victim of something or someone), no peace.

    Mob rule was, is, and will forever be a bad idea. (Thank goodness for Madison.) Which is why we do not live in a democracy, but instead a representative republic.

    • The radical Dems seem to think the U.S. has a parliamentary form of government. A very bad side effect of rampant Anglophilia. Of course, they’d also want a Jeremy Corbyn. They think you can call an elections whenever you wish. They seem to think impeachment is essentially a no confidence vote. They seem to view Nancy Pelosi as Prime Minister. Dumb.

    • Just another instance of the rising “knife violence” in London, I suppose. When will the British see the insanity of their ways and finally abolish all sharp and pointy objects once and for all? If it saves just one life (or balloon)…

  6. On point 5.
    Is the tweet dumb? Maybe. Is it sinister? No.

    Trump says he believes CNN is fake news and if people stop watching they will change to be more honest. You then go on to agree by giving specifics as to why you don’t watch. Both are opinions but Iam more likely to follow your advice than any elected official.

    If Trump had tweeted that the Government should take action against those giving him unfavorable coverage then I will agree that such words are ominously similar to that of tyrants but that is not the case here.

    • Addendum: my take on the term “forced” referred to market forces. The same market forces that cause buyers and sellers to alter what they buy and what they sell. I have reduced my consumption of purveyors of tabloid journalism and seek out less slanted and more thorough coverage.

  7. An article worth blogging about.

    https://www.cntraveller.in/story/world-environment-day-humans-will-perish-31-years-warns-latest-climate-change-study/

    We’ve got till 2050. That’s it—just another 31 years before 90% of mankind is annihilated by climate change, says Australia’s Breakthrough National Centre for Climate Restoration. The BNCCR is an independent think-tank that aims to inform the conversation around climate emergency in Australia. Its recent report reinterprets existing data to arrive at this dire conclusion.

    • The fact that the “existing data” they use has been relentlessly altered to produce their exact conclusion is, of course, important only to a very few.

      These aren’t the droids you’re looking for. Move along.

      Unfortunately, not one of those few is present in the modern Democratic party, and they are hard to locate among the high-profile Republicans except for those who are scientifically challenged, like President Trump.

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