Saturday Ethics Warm-Up, 7/27/19: Updates And News!

Saturday morning came!!

At points yesterday I was beginning to have doubts…

1. A win’s a win, and right is right, but the ACLU outs itself again.  In the wake of the SCOTUS 5-4 decision to let stand the executive order reallocating funds for a wall to address the national emergency at the border and allow construction to commence, the ACLU flagged its own bias (though it is supposed to be non-partisan) by referring to the wall in a statement as “xenophobic.”

Its lawsuit was based on alleged environmental harm risked by the wall’s construction, but the use of that word, a deliberately dishonest characterization that can only mean an endorsement of open borders , proves that the lawsuit is a sham, using environmental concerns to mask a pro-illegal immigration agenda, which most of the public opposes….as they should.

Merits of the wall aside, the game Democrats are playing with this issue, calling for undefined “comprehensive immigration reform” while opposing enforcement and refusing to recognize a genuine emergency to keep the President from a political victory, is electoral suicide. (Yet most of the field of Democratic challengers have endorsed decriminalization of border breaching, which is like an invitation to invade. Madness. Even Hispanic-Americans oppose this.)

A blind pig can find a truffle or two, and on this existential issue, the President has law, history, sovereignty, the national interest and common sense on his side.

2.  A clueless harasser gets a second chance.   Neil deGrasse Tyson, the pop-culture astrophysicist who leads the Hayden Planetarium at the American Museum of Natural History, has been cleared to continue in his job  after the museum competed  an investigation into three sexual misconduct accusations against him.

“The museum’s investigation into allegations concerning Neil deGrasse Tyson is complete,” a museum spokeswoman said. “Based on the results of the investigation, Dr. Tyson remains an employee and director of the Hayden Planetarium. Because this is a confidential personnel matter, there will be no further statements by the museum.” One woman had accused Dyson of sexual assault, one of sexual harassment, and one, a fellow grad student, had accused him of raping her in 1984.

Ethics Alarms wrote about Dyson’s problems here, in which I concluded that one of the three accusations was clearly legitimate and damning. That would be the sexual harassment claim, of which I wrote,

“Tyson’s defense is essentially “I didn’t mean anything by it, she construed it the wrong way, and anyway, she accepted my apology.” Those are three excuses, none of which carries any weight in sexual harassment cases. It’s what the harasser did, and how the harassed felt about it [that matters]. His apology and her acceptance of it, even if true, can’t undo the event. The encounter and his words  made her uncomfortable working with him, and objectively, anyone can see why. It is also interesting that Tyson doesn’t deny [the accuser’s description of]conversation, or his later comment about her being a distraction. Since Watson had to leave her job, this episode could justify a lawsuit for sexual harassment.”

In that article, I guessed that even though it would be unfair, Tyson would lose his job. I’m glad I’m wrong. I presume that the museum did something along the lines that I suggested:

“Should Tyson forfeit his career because of it? He’s a scientist and TV personality, not a judge or an elected official. He needs to learn how to conduct himself professionally …I would put him on probation, without having a lot of hope that he could avoid other sexual misconduct in the future, since he seems profoundly clueless.”

3.  Update: Another museum plays politics when it is supposed to be promoting art. From the Times:

Warren B. Kanders, a vice chairman of the Whitney Museum of American Art, stepped down on Thursday after months of protests over his company’s sale of tear gas, culminating in the withdrawal of eight artists last week from the prestigious Whitney Biennial exhibition. “The targeted campaign of attacks against me and my company that has been waged these past several months has threatened to undermine the important work of the Whitney,” Mr. Kanders said in his resignation letter. “I joined this board to help the museum prosper. I do not wish to play a role, however inadvertent, in its demise.”

That tear gas was used by border forces when it was being attacked by mobs trying to storm the Mexican border. The Whitney’s action in allowing legally and politically obtuse artists to grandstand in favor of open borders—because that’s what this was—is irresponsible, foolish, and, of course, a slippery slope. I wrote last month about what’s going on here:

The toxic idea is part of the intolerant Left’s campaign to stratify society into exclusive camps of Good and Evil, and anything that blurs the line between them, or that makes the propaganda less easy to sell, must be prevented by any means necessary. Thus charities and non-profits that dare to accept good money from “bad” people and companies risk boycotts and consignment to Cognitive Dissonance Scale Hell.

4.  Update: Nick Sandman’s lawsuit gets tossed. This was no surprise. U.S. District Judge William Bertelsman, a federal judge in Kentucky, tossed Covington Catholic High School student Nick Sandmann’s 250 million dollar defamation lawsuit against the Washington Post. He ruled that the Post was within its First Amendment rights to publish the subjective opinion given by Native American Nathan Phillips, whose false account of what happened on the Lincoln Monument caused Sandmann, his classmates, and their school to be attacked in social media and the press.

“The Court accepts Sandmann’s statement that, when he was standing motionless in the confrontation with Phillip’s his intent was to calm the situation and not to impede or block anyone,” Bertelsman said. “However, Phillips did not see it that way. He concluded that he was being ‘blocked’ and not allowed to ‘retreat.’ He passed these conclusions on to The Post. They may have been erroneous, but … they are opinion protected by the First Amendment. And The Post is not liable for publishing these opinions, for the reasons discussed in this [36 page] Opinion. ”

Bertelsman said the Post used language that is “loose, figurative” and “rhetorical hyperbole” in its stories and social media postings, which is protected by the First Amendment. The lawsuit claimed that the Post “wrongfully targeted and bullied Nicholas because he was the white, Catholic student wearing a red ‘Make America Great Again’ souvenir cap.”

That’s pretty much accurate, but newspapers and other news media can get away with such bias.

“In order to have enough liberty, it is necessary to have too much.”Clarence Darrow

5. Finally, this addition to the Ethics Alarms “Nah, there’s no mainstream media bias” files, speaking of what the Washington Post can get away with. The  Post conducted what it billed as a fact check on claims made by questioners during the Mueller hearings, but didn’t check a single statement made by a Democrat.

The article, titled “Fact-checking lawmakers’ claims during the Mueller hearings,” focused only on statements made by Republican representatives during Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s dual appearances in front of the House Judiciary and Intelligence Committees  Texas Rep. John Ratcliffe, Georgia Rep. Doug Collins, Louisiana Rep. Mike Johnson, Texas Rep. Louis Gohmert, Florida Rep. Greg Steube, and California Rep. Tom McClintock were all “factchecked.”

This isn’t just partisan bias, it’s brazen, in-your-face, “we’re doing this because we can and there’s not a damn thing you can do about it!” partisan bias. [Pointer: Daily Caller]


5 thoughts on “Saturday Ethics Warm-Up, 7/27/19: Updates And News!

  1. This isn’t just partisan bias, it’s brazen, in-your-face, “we’re doing this because we can and there’s not a damn thing you can do about it!” partisan bias. [Pointer: Daily Caller]

    I wonder how this is consistent with campaign finance laws.

    • I have thought this for some time. If dirt on Clinton constitutes something of value doesn’t 93% negative coverage of one candidate constitute substantial value?

      • I once had someone on Facebook claim that media coverage of Clinton during the 2016 campaign more negative, while coverage of Trump was positive. The grounded their claim on the conclusions of a report from Harvard’s Shorenstein Center, which counted any coverage of a candidate “losing ground” as “negative” and “gaining ground” as “positive.” When I explained that this doesn’t say anything about the tone of such coverage (“Clinton campaign setbacks due to misogyny”; “Trump support increasing because of white supremacy”), my undistinguished interlocutor demanded that I cite a source!

  2. In general to your points, the woke get more woke with little to no consequence. Or even worse, protects criminality with no consequence.

    The Resistance train keeps rolling down the tracks regardless of the facts.

    • Slouching toward civil war, just hand in the pockets useful idiots who don’t realize who goes against the wall one the progressives gain power.

      In one case, simply wearing glasses marked one as intellectual, and death was the penalty.

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