Ethics Cool-Down, 9/25/19: Democracy On The Rocks


I wish I had a martini, but since I don’t keep alcohol in the house, this will do…

1. More from the Ethics Alarms “res Ipsa loquitur” files:

The story is here.

I remember kindergarten classmates, boys and girls, frequently going on kissing sprees. Adults knew it was nothing decades ago. Had #MeToo really made people this unable to make obvious distinctions? Proportion is an ethical value.

2. Regarding today’s earlier post from the same files...Yes, I think that the transcript of the President’s call to the Ukraine, on its face, should make Democratic claims of an impeachable offense look as silly and contrived as they are. This does not, however, allow for confirmation bias, which is at fever pitch in “the resistance” with some toxic frustration and desperation mixed in. This is one reason the mainstream media keeps calling the transcript a “summary,” which implies that something material is missing, and your Deranged friends keep raising Nixon’s edited versions of White House meetings on Watergate matters, as if this has any similarity to that at all.

Calls with foreign leaders are typically not recorded, so this was a reconstructed transcript, which is as close to an exact one as we are going to get. For those who presume that everything this President does is impeachable, that’s a problem. For those who accept that he was elected President and should have the same opportunity to do his job as all the others, it isn’t, and there are too many like that in the public for this latest manufactured offense to work.

I guess this is Plan S.

I’m so, so sick of this.

3. I guess it’s time for another update:

The Complete Presidential Impeachment or Removal Plans A-S (Updated 9/25/2019)

Plan A: Reverse the election by hijacking the Electoral College.

Plan B: Pre-emptive impeachment. 

Plan C : The Emoluments Clause.

Plan D: “Collusion with Russia”

Plan E : ”Trump is mentally ill so this should trigger the 25th Amendment.”

Plan F: The Maxine Waters Plan, which  is to just impeach the President because Democrats want to, because they can.

Plan G : “The President obstructed justice by firing incompetent subordinates, and that’s impeachable.”

Plan H: “Tweeting stupid stuff is impeachable”

Plan I:  “Let’s relentlessly harass him and insult him and obstruct his efforts to do his job so he snaps and does something really impeachable.”

Plan J : Force Trump’s resignation based on alleged sexual misconduct that predated his candidacy.

Plan K: Election law violations in pay-offs to old sex-partners

Plan L: The perjury trap: get Trump to testify under oath, then prove something he said was a lie.

Plan M: Guilt by association. Prove close associates or family members violated laws.

Plan N: Claim that Trump’s comments at his press conference with Putin were “treasonous.”

Plan O: The Mueller Report proves the Trump is unfit for office even if it did not conclude that he committed any impeachable offenses. 

Plan P: Summarized here as “We have to impeach him because he’s daring us to and if we don’t, we let him win, but we can’t, but then he’ll win!”.”

Plan Q: Impeach Trump to justify getting his taxes, and then use the presumed evidence in his taxes to impeach him.

Plan R: Rep. Adam Schiff announced on July 24 that President Trump should be impeached because he is “disloyal” to the country. This desperate response to the fizzle of the Mueller Report was ignored and forgotten the second it came out of Schiff’s mouth, but it confirmed what the list above already proved: the Democrats don’t want to impeach the President for something he did; they want to find something he did to justify impeaching him.

Plan S: Trump should be impeached because his call to Ukrainian President Zelensky was really an effort to shake down the Ukraine and force it to find dirt on Joe Biden, thus “interfering” in the 2020 election even though Biden hasn’t been nominated (and won’t be), even though a President has every justification to seek evidence of a prior administration’s wrongdoing in foreign relations, and even though there isn’t a whiff of a threat of quid pro quo in the only transcript of the call.

4. What free speech means to today’s young progressives. Last week at Georgetown  the Georgetown University College Republicans were presenting an event including various critics of  climate change doctrine, on the theory that Georgetown embraced intellectual inquiry and debate. Student protesters obstructed the program from the beginning. From the student newspaper The Hoya:

After GUCR leadership introduced the first speaker, Marc Morano, a protestor entered the room, loudly providing further background attempting to discredit his career. Simultaneously, audience members started laughing, coughing and shouting while some cellphone alarms began intentionally sounding, causing a disruption.  Another protestor, Eric Perez (COL ’23) entered wearing a clown costume and honking a horn as Morano began to present his address, “‘Climate Emergency’ Cancelled! Politicians Cannot Legislate Weather, Storms, and the Climate.” Morano is the communications director of the Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow, which advocates for free market strategies to address environmental concerns. 

“I’m so sorry I’m late. Is this the clown convention?” Perez loudly asked while entering the room….As protesters refused to leave, a chant broke out among the crowd, “What do we want? Climate Justice! When do we want it? Now!”

GUPD eventually instructed everyone in attendance to exit the room. After about 15 minutes of break, Geoffrey Bible, the university deputy director of protocol and events, announced the GUCR program would resume and students could not reenter the room with signs. 

Bible also warned that any further disruptions would lead to immediate removal from the event by GUPD officers as well as a student code of conduct violation charge. Students were also subject to a bag check upon reentry.

Both student newspapers report that the program limped on; Jonathan Turley, in his account, says that the forum never resumed. That’s odd, but it doesn’t matter to his main point, and mine:

Georgetown did little beyond an institutional shrug. There is no indication of discipline even after police had to be called. The use of the heckler’s veto is now being used to silence those who hold opposing views on issues from abortion to climate change to contemporary politics. By not taking action, universities like Georgetown are enabling this conduct and stripping conservatives students and faculty of the benefits of not just free speech but open intellectual engagement.

The Hoya report includes this Orwell-worthy statement from one of the protesters who was shouting down the forum’s speakers:

“Saying what I had to say is not me oppressing their freedom of speech. It’s me exercising my own. So they might say, ‘Oh, the left never lets us speak our dialogue’ — that’s because that dialogue is fundamentally harmful,” Perez said in an interview with The Hoya. “People are actually going to die and that’s more important to me than civility and listening to the other side.”

Great school, that Georgetown! Preparing our young to be responsible citizens, and teaching them how a civil society works….


21 thoughts on “Ethics Cool-Down, 9/25/19: Democracy On The Rocks

  1. “People are actually going to die and that’s more important to me than civility and listening to the other side.”

    He has no idea. In the coming decades, BILLIONS are expected to die, dwarfing the total number of deaths in the 20th Century.

    Estimates are that upwards of 8 billion people will die in the next 100 years. As current estimates of total global population is just over 7 billion people, we are approaching human extinction in the next 100 years

    (Uh, if we survive last 2030.)


  2. So they might say, ‘Oh, the left never lets us speak our dialogue’ — that’s because that dialogue is fundamentally harmful,” Perez said in an interview with The Hoya. “People are actually going to die and that’s more important to me than civility and listening to the other side.”

    That’s what the church used to say about… well about every other church. Their doctrines were fundamentally harmful. Except people weren’t just going to die, their immortal souls were going to suffer eternal damnation. All the learned men agreed (all the ones who mattered, all the ones who weren’t reprobate heathens). I find there’s more than a whiff of the Inquisition to the left and their doctrine these days.

    • I find there’s more than a whiff of the Inquisition to the left and their doctrine these days.

      A whiff? I smell the aroma of a major broken sewer line, sitting next to a high density industrial pig farm draining into a sea shore with a red tide killed fish washed onto the shore.

  3. I’ve asked something like this before; is protesting really “legal” when protesters are intentionally using their civil rights to infringe upon the civil rights of others? It’s as is protesters are the only ones with free speech rights now.

    If the unethical leftist tactic of shouting down opposition really works and they are the only ones left with public voices, how long will it take righties to employ tot-for-tat and start acting unethically like the wacko left does and start shouting down leftist viewpoints.

      • Greta Thunberg is a good example of “Tot-for-Tat.”

        All of which reminds me of a sign posted on the notice board at my all boys college with a new girls college across the road: “Have two tats, will trade.”

    • how long will it take righties to employ tot-for-tat and start acting unethically

      3… 2… 1…

      Unfortunately, until the little progressive snowflakes understand that standing up for your cause requires person sacrifice, including personal consequences, and eventually likely risk personal harm, this continues.

      For example, Antifa does not attack people in states where they are not actively protected by the police and political structure. They really get butt hurt if someone *dares* deal unto as they have ‘dealt unto others.’ Cowards.

  4. In most universities administration policies are producing a generation of trolls whose’s boorish behavior would have never been tolerated in earlier times. Oh I long for an administrator like S. I. Hayakawa who wasn’t afraid to fight them on their own turf.

  5. 1. I’m kind of with the school on this one if things happen as they said happen (I’m giving them the benefit of the doubt) it is good for them to have documentation. As a licensed foster parent you are required by the state to report any behavior that is not acceptable. My 5-year-old foster daughter convinced my 4-year-old biological son to take off pants and compare private parts. DCS came and talked to both of them (and the other two). This was the first of things that happened like this with this particular child. It was after the 4th altercation we were finally able to get her professional help. They believe she might have been sexually assaulted. The way that child acted really worried me and documentation of those events were the things that got her help.

    • “As a licensed foster parent you are required by the state to report any behavior that is not acceptable. My 5-year-old foster daughter convinced my 4-year-old biological son to take off pants and compare private parts.”

      How is “I’ll show you mine if you show me yours” at that age unacceptable? Why not report them for bedwetting then?

    • Just based on the grandmother’s Facebook post, this does appear to be a case of “res Ipsa loquitur” but after reading the story, I’m not so sure. The post doesn’t say what the offense was but according to the family he simply hugged and kissed another child. According to the Blaze, the school district presented a different picture saying, “This family’s characterization of the incident with their child at East Ridge Elementary does not capture the full context of the concerns expressed to them by the school. It was not a hug or kiss that prompted the school to contact the family. Also, at no time did the school administration punish the child or treat the incident as a discipline issue. Moreover, no one at the school sought to label the child as ‘a sexual predator.’ “

      If after the boy simply kissed or hugged another student, he had boundaries explained to him and then did not repeat the behavior, I agree that should be the end of it. Likewise, an incident of “playing doctor” at this age would not be the crime of the century and a single episode should be addressed by education. But there should be concern if these behaviors are repeated or the child engages in more serious activities.

      Repeated sexual misbehavior in a child is most frequently caused by the child having been the victim of sexual abuse. I have been involved in cases where a report of what seemed to be relatively innocuous behavior, such as repeatedly grabbing and kissing peers, led to uncovering horrendous sexual abuse. It is well within the realm of possibility that the child is a victim; children with autism, and other emotional problems, are more vulnerable to being sexually abused.

      Another factor, not discussed in the Facebook post or story, is that teachers are mandatory reporters, as are foster parents as JP points out, and they have no discretion as to whether or not to report suspicions of abuse. Because a child repeatedly exhibiting sexualized behaviors may be a victim of sexual abuse, reporting is warranted. It is then up to the designated state agency to investigate and determine if there was abuse. Investigations are kept confidential to such an extent that even as a treating psychiatrist I am limited in what information I can obtain. In Florida, a mandatory reporter who fails to make a report when there is reasonable suspicion may be charged with a third degree felony and subject to up to 5 years in prison and a $5,000 fine.

      In my opinion, the family acted unethically by putting this on the internet, talking to TV reporters, and permitting a photo of him to be published. Now what would have been a confidential matter has been communicated to the world and is going to be available essentially in perpetuity to haunt Nathan. This family has literally broadcast that their five-year-old son has been accused of being a “sexual predator” when that may not be the case at all.

      I’m appalled that the family made it public and I’m appalled that the media would run something so sensitive and damaging to a minor and identify him by name and photo, even with the parent’s permission. I’m not saying the family shouldn’t take action to redress what they see as a wrong to their child, just that there are ways they could do that and maintain their child’s privacy. I also fault the school district. I believe they should have gone with a simple “no comment” on this one.

    • The only way Jill’s recount would provide Trump removal is if it determined that every vote she got was intended for Hillary! (that’s Failed Democratic Presidential Candidate Hillary Clinton) and not her. We should push for her birthday to be a holiday since she actually got DJT elected. She saved the country.

  6. 1. In a culture where the person you were as a child is deemed to be the person you will always and ever be, it can’t help but be this way.

    It does rather surprise me that, with all the attempts to make people aware of the challenges of autism, autistic children and adults aren’t given protected persons status and, thus, given free reign to do whatever they want.

    This may be unpopular, but, I do wonder at the reasoning behind sending severely developmentally disabled children to regular schools and put in regular classrooms with teachers not equipped to handle them and without the time needed to keep them from distracting other students.

    2 & 3. This is all they have. They know their policies are unpopular, so they have to resort to relentless obstructionist efforts to keep the President from governing.

    Republicans will never forget how they have been treated. I have a morbid wish to see the backlash once a Democrat gets into the White House. On the other hand, I’m increasingly fearful that a Democrat will refuse to leave it once he or she gets there.

    4. Meh, the next time they want to shut down a conservative voice, they’ll come up with another rationalization. This isn’t about people dying like all those poor Russians dying in the months and years after Chernobyl while their government stuck its head in the ground to keep the illusion of having The Best Nuclear Safety and Stability System in the World. This is about the Democrats taking power and keeping it. The best way to do that is to shut down dissenting voices. It’s no different than the Brownshirts breaking up meetings of the Social Democrats and Catholic Center parties.

    I’m sure the Nazis (and, for that matter, the Soviets) used the “people are dying” excuse a few times, too, in order to quell other opinions.

  7. #3 I have completely had it with the Washington DC Democrat swamp. Their festering anti-Trump hate has impermeated everything and the collateral damage they have caused with the new precedence they’ve instilled into our political system and society will wreak havoc for years to come. I’m not sure we will recover from their anti-American efforts.

    President Trump should find a way to use Jacks The Complete Presidential Impeachment or Removal Plans list as a campaign rallying point and proclaim that…

    The Washington DC Democrat swamp are the “Boys” Who Cried Wolf!

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