Sunday Ethics Warm-Up, 7/7/2019: BAM! POW! BOOM!

Welcome.

1.BAM! Billionaire sex-predator Jeffrey Epstein was arrested again, but that’s just the tip of the proverbial ethics iceberg:

  • This was the feds doing the arresting, which is confusing, since one of the controversies involving Epstein is a federal non-prosecution agreement that was part of his plea deal, negotiated by a team of super-lawyers including Alan Dershowitz.

This means that the victims in the new prosecution must be different victims from the ones in the case that send Epstein to prison for a paltry 13 months.

  • If so, I’m shocked–shocked!–that a mega-sex trafficker and sexual predator like Epstein hasn’t learned the error of his ways!

Actually, it would be shocking if a billionaire sex predator who got just a slap on the wrist for paying procurers to search the world for underage girls to be ravaged by Epstein and others at Epstein’s private plane, his Palm Beach mansion, and other locales didn’t keep engaging in his extra-curricular passion.

  • Federal prosecutors recently filed court papers in Florida case contending Epstein’s no prosecution deal must stand, with the filing stating,  “The past cannot be undone; the government committed itself to the NPA, and the parties have not disputed that Epstein complied with its provisions.”

    Now the The victims in the Florida case have until Monday to respond to the Justice Department’s filing.

  • The news media and social media resistance squads are hustling to connect Epstein to President Trump. Are they friends? Were they friends?  Most of the nation’s billionaires know each other: Trump has confirmed that he knows Epstein. Nothing has connected Trump to Epstein’s sex parties, however.

The same cannot be said of Bill Clinton.

  • The Trump connection is Labor Secretary Alexander Accosta. He was the Miami prosecutor who cut the outrageous deal with Epstein. I wrote in detail about the scandal here. Knowing all of this, President Trump still appointed Accosta as his Labor Secretary—you know, “the best people”—and the Senate confirmed him, even though this was a guaranteed ticking time-bomb.

It looks like it may finally blow.  Stay tuned.

2. POW! Res Ipsa Loquitur? Here is the Antifa’s press guidance distributed in advance of its planned disruption of a conservative protest against what the New York Times calls “perceived censorship of conservatives on social media.”

Hmmm.

The Antifa, a.k.a “violent anti-speech liberal fascist thugs,” seem to regard the mainstream news media as allies. Why would they think that? In yesterday’s D.C. protest, the group demonstrating against that “perceived” censorship—since Ethics Alarms is one of the opinion sources that social media censors based on its freqeunt challenging of unethical Leftist cant, I can say with absolute certainty that it is more than “perceived”—was referred to in the New York Times’ headline as “Far-Right Groups,’ in the Washington Post headline as a “Right-Wing Rally,” and in USA Today as “Far Right Extremists.” The Antifa-led group seeking to shut the demonstration down are called “counter-protesters”—you know, Boy Scouts, patriots, nice people, many of whom happened to be wearing masks, carrying weapons, and shouting obscenities and threats.

3. BOOM! Nah, there’s no mainstream media bias, cont. When that well-respected historian and social commentator Colin Kaepernick quoted Frederick Douglass as part of his defense for declaring the Betsy Ross flag a symbol of racism,  Senator Ted  Cruz replied to the tweet by  linking to Douglass’s whole speech, which placed the NFL’s Head Kneeler’s cherry-picked quote in context. Mara Gay, a member of the Times editorial board member, tweeted to Cruz,   “Frederick Douglass is an American hero, and his name has no business in your mouth.”

Nice. And why would that be, Mara? Are only African-Americans (like you) allowed to quote a black orator, writer and statesman? Does that mean that only whites should be able to quote George Washington or Winston Churchill? In the alternative, is you comment just a knee-jerk expression of your bias and animosity toward any Republican? Yes, I think that must be it. So here’s another question: why does the New York Times have such a biased, intemperate bigot on its editorial board?

I’m no admirer of Ted Cruz, but I would not relish getting into adebate with him, either. The Teas Senator responded,

“Let’s see. You’re on the editorial board of the NYT.You respond to any view you don’t like, not with facts or reason, but w/ ad hominem attack. And you seem dismayed that I linked to Douglass’s entire speech, so readers can judge for themselves. You represent your employer well.”

BAM! POW! BOOM! CRACK!

Gay responded (after some gentle and not-so-gentle prodding by her fellow board members, I’m guessing)..

“You’re right. Everyone should read these remarks in their entirety.I was offended because I felt Douglass’ powerful words were being used to diminish an American who has tried to make the country fairer for all. In that spirit, peace and Happy Independence Day weekend to you.”

How strange that if that was her motivation for the original message, she didn’t write, “You should not use Douglass’ powerful words to diminish an American who has tried to make the country fairer for all.” She also didn’t have the character to apologize for the gratuitous insult.

4. Z-Z-Z-Z-Whuh? Joe’s Ethics Alarms are a little slow.It took a week, but apparently Joe Biden’s advisors did their polling and concluded that maybe the Democratic base wouldn’t be too upset if he condemned the Antifa mugging a conservative journalist. Thus he had a campaign rep tell the New York Post FOR him that Biden “believes violence directed at anyone because of their political opinions is never acceptable, regardless of what those beliefs might be.He believes freedom of expression is fundamental to who we are as Americans, and that Andy Ngo’s attackers should be identified and investigated.”

See? He’s so Presidential!

Call me a cynic, but if Joe’s sentiments were genuine on this topic, I would think that it wouldn’t take him a week to express them.

Still, Biden became the only major Democratic contender to condemn Ngo’s attack even through the mouth of another, presumably because either they are fine with conservatives being beaten up, or because they aren’t but don’t have the guts to say so.

If you have another explanation, please let me know.

5. A question…Should Ethics Alarms pay any attention to media polls, since they appear to be completely misleading, unreliable, and meaningless? I ask because within 48 hours, one major poll showed that a higher percentage of Americans wanted President Trump impeached than not, and another poll showed the President’s approval rating rising to the highest level of his Presidency. Responding to the first, Jonathan Turley concluded that this was ominous news for the President. The prof’s legal analysis is better than his political analysis: does he not realize that many Republicans and conservatives—and maybe even Trump himself—are convinced that an impeachment would guarantee GOP gains in 2020? In the second, the pollsters noted that a large majority of the polled said that Trump was “unpresidential.”

Ya think? We need a poll for that?

8 thoughts on “Sunday Ethics Warm-Up, 7/7/2019: BAM! POW! BOOM!

  1. #2 Why is it when a group not on the left is prepared to meet violence with counter-violence the group not on the left is portrayed as the instigator and problem? This consistent leftist propaganda is dumbfounding.

    Let Antifa exercise their First Amendment rights all they want, but if they expect to be behaving illegally to the point of writing rules of coverage and recording for those expectations, it should garner immediate extra attention from law enforcement. Shouldn’t it?

    Will anyone be surprised if one day someone in opposition brings something more to a milk-shaking to quell their enthusiasm for attacking the defenseless?

    #3 Only when caught outside the resistance bubble do these half mooned apologies appear. Talk about dog-whistles, she could only have been worse by saying what I believe she meant to say, “Shut up anti-resistance whitey. You have no right to voice disagreement.”

    #5 No. Polls are primarily used to create news stories. Many, not all, use weighted respondents, stilted language, and limited response options to get the desired results to support the narrative. Please consider not using them unless you have all the pertinent details making it truly useful information.

    • I entirely agree with you on #5. Polls are a great way to reinforce an argument by an appeal to authority. They are almost always bullshit. By now all but the most gullible must realize that the “9 out of 10 Dentists surveyed recommend Crest” had all been put up at the Ritz-Carlton for a weekend, wined, dined, and taken to a Broadway show. Gotta admire the one who said, “Bite me, I ain’t recommending Crest”.
      “Polls show ‘X'”, and “Study proves ‘Y'” are headlines that should immediately discount the validity of whatever is underneath them. Even if you agree with it. For God’s sake, journalists are attempting to interpret stats and science and explain them. Those who create the polls and studies deliberately package them to cause friendly news media to salivate like Pavlov’s dog.
      Is there any serious scientific study, or truly meaningful, accurate poll, where the final step in the process is to alert tame journalists?
      I’ve adopted a policy of outrageous response to these meaningless, skewed polls: “Yes, I want more plastic debris in the world’s oceans”.

  2. 2. “Members who refuse to comply will be removed from the permitted protest area”.
    And I’m sure such removal will be in a calm, orderly fashion .

    It makes me wonder though…how does an organization that WANTS to organize and control its protest by evicting the bad apples…like this guy for instance: https://ethicsalarms.com/2016/06/01/ethics-quiz-extra-credit-the-sexist-satirical-stupid-sign/? Can the organizer tell the police “this guy’s not with us, the protest permit does not apply to him, so can you remove him please?”

    3. Cruz’s response was perfect. My knee-jerk reaction would’ve been “I can’t say Frederick Douglass? Why can’t I say Frederick Douglass? Besides, I didn’t say Frederick Douglass with my mouth, I said Frederick Douglass with my keyboard!”

  3. 2. “…be prepared to maintain your journalistic integrity…”

    No one with journalistic integrity would agree to these terms in the first place but the well has become so poisoned that I don’t know how many journalists would even recognize the problem with allowing Antifa (or anyone) to dictate what is fair game for coverage.

    3. “So here’s another question: why does the New York Times have such a biased, intemperate bigot on its editorial board?”

    Sarah Jeong needed company?

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