Morning Ethics Warm-Up, 10/2/19: While Basking In The Glow Of Another Life Lesson From Baseball

Go Nats!

The Washington Nationals had never won an elimination game in the National league post-season. They were 0-6 in such games going into last might’s do-or-die single Wild Card play-off at home against the Miracle Milwaukee Brewers. Following the script many Nats fans dreaded, the team’s Hall of Fame-bound ace, Max Scherzer, quickly gave up three runs while the Brew Crew’s storied bullpen kept the offense at bay save a solo homer from National shortstop Trey Turner. Heading into the bottom of the eighth, the Nationals had to face closer Josh Hader (he of the Hader Gotcha), who gives up hits less often than some pitchers give up runs.

Then, as they say, fate took a hand. With one out, uninspiring Nats pinch-hitter Michael Taylor reached first illicitly. A 3-2 pitch from Hader hit the knob of Taylor’s bat and immediately ricocheted onto his hand. It should have been called a foul, but the umpires ruled it a hit-by-pitch, sending Taylor to first base. Hader struck out the next Nats batter, then aging Nats slugger Ryan Zimmerman was called upon as another pinch-hitter. He barely connected with a pitch out of the strike zone, breaking his bat, but his weak “dying quail” bloop dropped in just over the head of the Milwaukee second baseman for a cheap and fortunate single. (On TV, Zimmerman could be seen smiling and shrugging sheepishly.) That meant the tying runs were on base for the Nats best hitter, MVP candidate Anthony Rendon. Hader gave him what is known as an intentional unintentional base on balls in order to face 20-year-old Juan Soto, a left-handed batter. Lefty Hader allowed left-handed batters to hit .143 this season. But young Soto lined a pitch into right center, and Brewers right fielder Trent Grisham, one of the heroes of the late-season Brewers play-off drive, did a Bill Buckner. The single got past him (he was charging the ball in what would have been a futile effort to throw out the tying run at the plate) , and all three runners scored. Incredibly, the Nats now led 4-3. After the Brewers went down in the top of the 9th without scoring, they, and not Milwaukee, moved on to the next round of the play-offs.

Lesson: In baseball, as in life, it is as important to be lucky as to be good. Chaos lurks in every second, and the illusion of control is just that, an illusion. A bad call, a fluke hit, and a horribly-timed fielding botch that the same outfielder avoids 99 times out of a hundred, and so much changed for two cities, two fan bases, and the 2019 post-season, affecting jobs, careers, reputations and commerce.

This is why we should never give up, never despair, and never get cocky. It is also why we should strive to live as ethically as possible. We can’t control whether we win or lose, but we can control how.

1. Again we must ask: when did the Democratic Party decide to abandon freedom of speech?  Yesterday, we learned that Joe Biden’s campaign wants the news media to censor adversary commentary from Rudy Giuliani, while claiming that no one who isn’t a public official is qualified to opine on TV regarding public policy.  Now Senator Kamala Harris, who also aspires to be President, says President Trump should be banned from using Twitter because he  uses the platform in an “irresponsible” way. Harris, in an interview with CNN host Anderson Cooper, also called for “other mechanisms” to make sure Trump’s words “do not in fact harm anyone”—you know, like harming her party’s election prospects by exposing its Big Lies and open coup attempts.

I wonder if the public sees how ominous the repeated Democratic calls for censorship are. Maybe the President will tweet about that.

Of course, the President’s use of Twitter is often irresponsible, but also a necessary end-around media propaganda aimed at unseating him and undermining democracy. It is remarkable that Harris, a Senator and a lawyer, somehow missed  that the First Amendment proclaims the importance of free speech to our society. It doesn’t only endorse the right to engage in responsible speech. I think, for example, that advocating censoring the speech of the President of the United States is irresponsible, but I’ll defend Harris’s right to do it—and my right to conclude that because she does it, she is an ignorant, dangerous fool.

2. The best part of the latest impeachment push…is that the masks are coming off. The Democratic Party is revealing now, beyond honest rebuttal, that its goal is and has been destroying the Trump Presidency by any means necessary and by any pretense required. Its unethical ally, the news media, is doing the same. Since Friday, for example, the New York Times pundits have admitted that it is Trump the man who is their target, not a President who has committed demonstrable “high crimes and misdemeanors”—the Constitution’s standard for impeachment.

“Trump is the Smoking Gun” one op-ed column was headlined. “Impeach the Malignant Fraudster” is the headline of Charles Blow’s Trump-Hate column of the week. “America Is Better Than Donald Trump” says the pull-line from David Leonhardt’s latest hate-fest.

Last week,  Leonhardt concluded a list of alleged Trump misdeeds by writing, “He is the president of the United States, and he is a threat to virtually everything that the United States should stand for.” [In fact, the effort to destroy Trump’s presidency by the “resistance,” Democrats and false journalists like Leonhardt is the threat to everything the nation does stand for. If you have a few minutes and a strong stomach, read that column, and try to identify how many outright lies and distortions, as well as contrived trivia, Leonhardt cites as justification for impeachment. On any op-ed page that didn’t include dregs like Michelle Goldberg, Paul Krugman and Charles M. Blow, Leonhardt would be the bottom of the barrel; he’s not worth rebutting—I’ve done it before—but this column really is especially vile. ]

Then there is supposedly rational David Brooks, whose column’s headline  this week began “Yes, He’s Guilty....” Exactly. To the Times, to progressives, to Democrats, Donald Trump was guilty in their eyes from the second he was elected. They want him removed not because what he has or may have done, but because of who and what he is. That’s bigotry. That’s bias. That’s hate. That’s not democracy, but because democratic processes and institutions didn’t deliver what they wanted, these hypocrites are willing to risk destroying some or all of it.

3. Why we can’t trust environment activists, Reason #8,766: Canada’s Green Party edited a photo to show party leader Elizabeth May drinking from a metal straw and reusable cup featuring their logo.  See?

Elizabeth May, the leader of Canada’s Green Party, holding what she said was a compostable disposable cup, left, and a photoshopped image showing her holding a reusable plastic cup.

The excuses and rationalizations being used to minimize this are as instructive as the episode itself. Fact: “Green” advocates will distort facts and reality to advance their cause, even with something as trivial as a cup. Can you trust a movement that deems this an acceptable practice? No.

Does this lend support the contention that climate change research is distorted and hyped by activists, including activists in the scientific community. Yes.

From the Times:

“Green Party officials said the editing wasn’t done to conceal anything because the original cup was also environmentally friendly. Ms. May explained that a well-intentioned party staff member did it to brand the image with the party’s logo.”

Hilarious! Of course the stunt concealed something: it concealed that the cup didn’t have a metal straw.  And the head of the Green Party says this was benign because it was “well-intentioned” (See Rationalization #13A  The Road To Hell ) Gee, Ms. May, what other well-intentioned deceptions would you condone because of ? If fakery is OK to advance little objectives, surely it is justified to advance more significant ones!

4.  San Francisco to the NRA: ‘Just grandstanding! We didn’t mean anything by it when we called you a terrorist organization! Nothing personal!’   Last month , San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors—another one of those Democratic organizations that doesn’t like a lot of the Bill of Rights— passed a resolution declaring the National Rifle Association a domestic terrorist organization. It also ordered city employees to “take every reasonable step to limit” business interactions with the NRA and its supporters. Who would think that such an edict against constitutionally protected speech could stand? Well, deluded, hyper-ideological Left-wing fascists, I guess.

The NRA sued and San Francisco is backed down before the suit even went to court. In a formal memo to city officials, San Francisco mayor London Breed declared that “no [municipal] department will take steps to restrict any contractor from doing business with the NRA or to restrict City contracting opportunities for any business that has any relationship with the NRA.” The memo goes on to state that “resolutions making policy statements do not impose duties on City departments, change any of the City’s existing laws or policies, or control City departments’ exercise of discretion.”

Shame should be heaped on San Francisco for even attempting such a clear breach of Constitutional law. Yet a majority of that city’s public applauded, because they have been corrupted by their elected officials.

40 thoughts on “Morning Ethics Warm-Up, 10/2/19: While Basking In The Glow Of Another Life Lesson From Baseball

  1. Ann Althouse just posted on Item #1 above:

    “It’s helpful to know that Harris’s orientation is to suppress freedom of speech. Her own political speech has proven quite ineffectual, so it’s in her self-interest to shut down the speech of others. Whether she’s into restricting speech for personal reasons or whether she pure-heartedly seeks the greater good through censorship, it’s a bad orientation to display as you’re running for President. I’m certainly glad she has the freedom of speech to express that lousy thinking, though. What she’s said puts her out of the running for my vote.”

      • I find Ann Althouse infuriatingly uneven and obtuse, to the point of flighty at times. Today’s moment in the wacky cafe. You can say whatever you want:

        Impeachment is part of the Constitution. How can using that provision be a coup? It can only succeed if the people support using it, and Trump’s opponents are trying to convince the people it’s what they want. Trump is trying to convince the people it’s not what they want, and one of the ways to do that is to portray impeachment as improper — a usurpation of power, like a coup. So, to put the idea “coup” into people’s head is just a way to fight against the impeachment movement.

        • I HATE that argument. High crimes and other misdemeanors like, you know, treason? (By the way, are we at war with Ukraine, or Australia?

        • How can it be a coup? Because the DNC, news agencies, the Resistance, and the Left have taken every step over the last 3 years to remove a democratically elected president. The Constitution calls for “high crimes and misdemeanors” as the standard. What has Trump done that constitutes that standard? Nothing. He is brash, uncivil, doesn’t make nice with others in the sandbox. But, nothing he has done legitimizes what is going on. I do say, though, let the Democrats have their impeachment show trial in the House; they lose in the Senate and get slaughtered in November 2020. Pelosi knows that. She can’t stop it. The crazies are running the DNC. Trump voters are not going to abandon him. The Republicans, if they have any backbone, would point to this and ram in the Democrats’ faces on a daily basis. They need to take the Democrat Scorched Earth policy and realize that the Democrats don’t just disagree with the Republicans but think they are evil and must be destroyed.

          jvb

          • I hope the GOP does respond daily, John. It’s clear the Dems are intent on having some “bombshell” in every news cycle right up to the election. I saw a Dem Congressman quoted as saying “Oh, there’s more to come!” Assholes.

      • Frank Bruni is the kind of person I would not tend to associate with normally except in the line of duty. He’s very far left, openly gay and involved with gay causes (how you work out your sexuality is your business, I really don’t want to know about it), and generally obnoxious. He once wrote a fantasy column in which Hilary returns to politics, becomes mayor of NYC, and generally makes life miserable for Trump, and wouldn’t that be great. That said, he’s also gone blind in his right eye and lives every day with the fear he’ll go totally blind, which I wouldn’t wish on anyone.

  2. 1. Again we must ask: when did the Democrats decide to abandon freedom of speech?

    The answer to this question seems to require a certain amount of backgrounding. I will attempt an answer. My researches, which are an extension of my research into the origin of The Culture Wars: what these ‘wars’ are, how they arose and why, and how these conflicts seem to be playing out in the conflicts arising in our present, these researches led me to try to read about and investigate 1) Ruby Ridge, 2) Waco Texas, 3) Oklahoma City and of course 4) 9/11.

    What one quickly learns is that there are citizens who are profoundly suspicious of ‘the government’. By coming into contact with the thinking and writing of these people, a door opens into a whole, suppressed ‘world’ of ideas and perceptions which are not allowed to appear, nor to be considered and thought about, in any mainstream venue. I always mention these ‘dissidents’ and, here on this blog, I always get ‘dynamic silence’. I have come to understand that just as these dissidents — their ideas, their perspectives — cannot be heard and will not be heard in the MSM (which makes a certain sense of course), so too they are ‘inconsiderable’ to many more middle-of-the-road citizens.

    And this blog seems to be composed on more or less middle-road citizens. I think Jack’s essential perspective is one of ‘faith’ and ‘trust’ of the American political system. So, he attracts others who also share this perspective, or this hope. Military people, people who have served in America’s recent foreign wars, police officers, people who have associations with government, and then numerous lawyers some of whom have associations with Washington politics.

    I have come to interpret ‘people like this’ as being conservative-minded but then I have also concluded that they are in no sense actual Conservatives, but then I recognize that my definition of ‘conservative’ is somewhat problematic. It is really important though — and absolutely fair — to notice that the plurality here have been highly influenced by progressive tenets. Indeed as I say they have absorbed them all.

    So, one requires this preamble before getting to the heart of the matter. If one wants to understand the particular Dissident America I refer to here, which is in many ways but not all distinct from the ‘Dissident Right’ that I also refer to, one would have to understand the influence of Wilmot Robertson and his book The Dispossessed Majority. If most every road leads to Rome, most every American dissident has read and been influenced by The Dispossessed Majority. But — I surmise — this book would be and is ‘off limits’ to those who are middle-of-the-road Americans. The core premise is simply too radical to be considered. And that core premise is that through deliberate and conscious effort (political engineering by para-military/industrial/government actors, or ‘operatives’) the original population that made America America has been slowly, but surely and certainly, ‘dispossessed’.

    This is ‘unthinkable thought’ for many — for most in fact. You simply ‘cannot go there’ as the popular expression is used. The notion may come to you in one form or another, but you stop yourself from cogitating on the ramifications of the idea. My assertion — after over 5 years of research — is that it is this problem, this ‘reality’, this fact and this truth that defines America today: the reality of the process of dispossession. I have come to understand that dispossession must logically function not only in the sense of ‘demographic invasion and take-over’ but within all important and fundamental categories! To have undermined the ‘original demographic’ is connected to whole orders of undermining in many other categories.

    But now, today, visible on the horizons, the ‘real meaning’ and the ‘real intentions’ of these factions that are involved in this undermining and dispossession — and I have to say they may not be aware of what they are a part of just as any one of us could be an exponent of ideas or efforts which we do not know nor understand the cause of, nor have we necessarily thought everything through: our selves and our thinking are part of ‘currents’ — today, now, it is being clearly revealed what is intended and where this is going. It seems to me that if a given person does not see this, that that person is deliberately blind and has deliberately chosen not to see, not to understand. Why is this?!? I admit to being confused and uncertain, yet I have my theories.

    Let me get prophetic, and please excuse the rather dramatic tones: We are now entering a phase where ‘The System’ which is more than just a mass of individuals, and takes on synergetic characteristics, has no choice but to squelch what is here referred to as ‘free speech’. But I think that ‘free speech’ needs to be better defined. Because in this sense it is more than being able to say f&%k or s%$t and not to be shut out of The Conversation for doing so. My researches have led me to understand that the most interior meaning of ‘free speech’ turns back to the most fundamental categories of freedom of perception: the capacity to see.

    The essence of King Lear has to do with *seeing* and of course what results from *not seeing* (and allow me to mention the issue of dispossession!):

    Gloucester: I have no way, and therefore want no eyes;
    I stumbled when I saw. Full oft ’tis seen
    Our means secure us, and our mere defects
    Prove our commodities.

    ‘Dumbing down’ I have come to understand — I learned this here fundamentally — must ultimately mean becoming spiritually blind, if ‘spirit’ is taken to mean sort of or levels of perceptual ability: the ability to make connections and to see ‘the higher planes’ of existence. I apologize if this seems arcane. In the end to be ‘dumbed down’ means to be engineered not to see, not to understand, and perhaps not to care. These ideas become dystopic and the question becomes: Shall I see in terms of Brave New World or in terms of 1984? Both apply in America today. Why cannot you see?!? The essence of what Huxley communicated in Brave New World is that in a dumbed-down culture people don’t *see*: they cannot see as there are too many distractions. The mind loses its connection with ‘higher planes’ and even a reference to them incites ‘orgy-porgy’. And 1984 presages the destruction of the spiritual person: the shattering of spirit.

    Excuse the digression . . .

    The next phase of things will have to do, and can only have to do, with 1) controlling thought and what is allowed to be thought: the very terms of thinkable thought, and 2) the the use of para-military force to go after, and annul, those who think in dissident terms. It seems to me folly — a deliberate implementation of misunderstanding — to see this in ‘Republican’ or ‘Democratic’ binaries.

    If *you* (vosotros) are really interested in ‘free-speech’ it must also mean ‘free-thought’ and this involves (in my not so humble opinion which often seems to grate) pushing forward with great force against the powers that seek to limit free thought and all that free thought implies.

      • If the doctors tell him to stop and he doesn’t, there’s no way anyone should vote for him. And I think it’s VERY likely RBG will be forced from the bench by ill health soon, even if she doesn’t die.

        • They’ll doctor shop until they find some cardiologist who’ll say whatever his campaign wants said. “He has the heart of a twenty year old. Blah, blah, blah.” Isn’t Michael Jackson’s doctor due to come out of prison soon?

          • That was easy (from Politico):

            Ethan Weiss, a cardiologist at the University of California, San Francisco, said the stent procedure Sanders underwent typically is “not anything I would get too excited about,” calling it “mostly a nuisance.”

            Weiss, who did not diagnose Sanders, added, “Unless I’m missing something dramatic, he should be in the hospital one or two days, and he should be fine.”

            • Yup, probably one of the same folks who demanded Dick Cheney’s EKG results be released before he could run for VP, who are a subset of the same folks screeching for impeachment now, but who were defending Clinton 20 years ago and saying that the Republicans should leave him alone, he’s busy running the country.

  3. 2. The other day, I commented about the historical fiction movie, “The Exception”, with regards to trigger warnings for fake history in films. But I am inspired again by the correlations between the aforementioned Himmler dinner scene and an entry.

    SPOILER ALERT HERE

    In a scene that never occurred in real life, Heinrich Himmler comes to dinner with an offer from Hitler to allow the Kaiser to move back to Berlin and retake his crown. The Kaiser, normally critical of the Nazi regime, begins to wonder if he’s misjudged them.

    During the dinner. the Kaiser is opining about how the Bolsheviks and the Jews control America when the subject changes to Himmler’s assertion that Germany needs living space in the East and that the people there will have to be resettled. Those that can’t be resettled will have to be dealt with in other ways; in fact, he explains that Germany has made great innovations in dealing with the mentally and physically disabled, going into great detail about how they euthanize even young children with disabilities. These practices can be applied to the problems in the East

    The camera focuses on Plummer’s frozen face as he digests this information and, without a word, conveys to the audience that this egotistical, opinionated, self-pitying man desperate to end his exile and take back his throne has suddenly realized he’s talking to a lunatic.

    When the Kaiser and his wife are alone, she apologizes for bringing “that horrible man” there. The Kaiser assures her she did them both a favor; they should be grateful because now they know who those people really are.

    Every day, the Democrats show us who they really are in increasingly bold declarations that even Heinrich Himmler never would have been so candid about (as he would have never discussed the euthanasia program or the actions in the East so bluntly in front of civilians and foreigners). I wonder if there are moderates in the party whose faces freeze while their minds digest what restricting certain pundits from opining on television or certain politicians from Twitter really means. Are there any reasonable Democrats out there concerned about a candidate bluntly affirming that legal property (guns) is going to be seized? I’ve read three articles this week alone about someone arrested and charged with “Hate Crimes” for words that were said in conjunction with disorderly conduct, disturbing the peace and other real infractions, etc. Are there any Democrats concerned about the nebulous definition of Hate Crime and what words could possibly hypothetically be used in the future to apply to them?

  4. “It is remarkable that Harris, a Senator and a lawyer, somehow missed that the First Amendment proclaims the importance of free speech to our society. “

    At this point, it would be remarkable if Harris provided any evidence that she has even the slimmest passing familiarity with the U.S. Constitution. This is the same person who, when Biden pointed out that the president can’t simply throw out parts of the Bill of Rights they don’t like, said, “‘Instead of saying, ‘No we can’t’ let’s say, ‘Yes we can.'” Either she’s a dangerous ideologue with no respect for the laws that govern our country or she’s a desperate idiot with no understanding of them. Either way, she shouldn’t be on a school board, much less a senator or – God forbid – the president.

  5. Jack, you wrote:
    “This is why we should never give up, never despair, and never get cocky. It is also why we should strive to live as ethically as possible. We can’t control whether we win or lose, but we can control how.”

    Thanks for this encouraging reminder !! Enjoy your day . (I heard it’s gonna be hot in the swamp today)

  6. #1, #2, #4 President Trump didn’t create the left’s hate, he didn’t create the left’s bigotry, he didn’t create the left’s irrational aversion to truth and facts, he didn’t create the left’s anti-American and anti-Constitution ideology; however, Trump’s intentional trolling of the political left has inspired the political left to rip off their false facade and self-reveal their true colors in signature significant ways!

    President Trump is pro Make America Great Again vs the political left is America has never been great.

    President Trump is pro rule of law vs the political left is anti rule of law.

    President Trump is pro freedom of speech for all vs the political left is anti freedom of speech for all.

    President Trump is pro Constitution vs the political left is anti-Constitution.

    President Trump is anti-ILLEGAL immigration and border control vs the political left is pro-ILLEGAL immigration and uncontrolled borders.

    President Trump is pro business vs the political left is anti-business.

    President Trump is anti-socialism vs the political left is pro socialism.

    President Trump is anti-totalitarianism vs the political left is pro-totalitarianism.

    All President Trump has to do is voice a stance on anything and the political left will oppose it.

    Etc, Etc, Etc…

    The political left has shown their true colors and they’re using their own bigotry, hate, and a pompously overzealous ideology to crush themself. The political left has backed themselves into a corner and it’s all or nothing for them right now, they have to go for broke.

    Kamala Harris is the only 21st century version of the Democratic Party ideologically pure choice for their nomination; she’s a pompous progressive, she’s a non-white black person, she’s a woman, she’s a social justice warrior, she’s anti-constitution, she’s woke, she’s panders to all the appropriate identity tribes, and she want’s the job. Sounds to me like she’s the perfect Democratic Party nominee for modern progressives to latch onto in their last ditch effort to destroy the United States. If they win, they win big; if they loose, they’ll blame it all on Trump and another election conspiracy theory (they’re building the foundation for that right now).

  7. #2 all you need to know about the media is the terminology they use. The explanation of what Trump “did” with Ukraine is always termed as or similarly to “pressuring a foreign government to go after a political opponent”. Never alluded to is that actually, this could very well be Trump, investigating corruption by our people in other countries. Which is what the Democrats have been screaming at the top of their lungs to occur for years now.

  8. 3. Can-con. Yay!

    One of the things I dislike in a multi-party system is that if you aren’t first or second in the polls, there’s precious little chance of you actually winning anything, and so you’re relatively more free to say or do anything with very little consequence. Right now we have in polling order: the Conservatives, the Liberals, the NDP, the Greens, The Bloc, and the PPC. Despite the Greens always being a distant fourth or fifth, they always…. tried…. for lack of a better term. Their financial plans were usually properly costed, they tended to be pretty candid, I’d never vote for them, but I could at least respect the effort. This…. This is disappointing. Juxtapose that with the dumpster fire that is the PPC and it doesn’t seem quite so bad, but it’s still bad, and we should say so.

    In international news, that wasn’t the only cup related political gaffe over the weekend. Sky News out of the UK ran a story about how an aide came up and wrenched a single-serve cup out of Boris Johnson’s hand in front of the press corps, because she didn’t want pictures of Boris with icky environmentally-unfriendly products. They have since, we are told, purchased a reusable cup for his delicious, delicious bean juice.

    • Sadly, they turned it over to the NKVD for questioning about its associates. Subsequently, a number of Styrofoam clamshell containers and sheets of bubble-wrap have disappeared nearby in early morning hours The cup itself was sent to the front lines in Texas.

  9. 1. First Amendment is for her and those who do rightthink, not for everyone else.

    2. The Democrats believe that results are the only thing that matters. Removing Trump and getting someone they approve of justifies any action, however marginal.

    They are clearly willing to ignore due process, suppress speech, and engage in any action, legal or illegal, to get him removed. They are convincing themselves that Trump is an existential threat to them and what they believe represents “our country.” The fact that their image of America is essentially big cities full of “woke” Leftist sympathizers and intentionally excludes everyone else as unworthy of citizenship just shows how far the mask has slipped.

    In fact, the mask is now an ankle decoration.

    3. “Green” is just another word for “totalitarian.” If you keep that in mind, doctoring a small thing like a straw makes perfect sense.

    Apparently, they haven’t figured out Animal Farm was not a how-to manual.

    4. When are we going to stop giving people a pass for “being corrupted” by something that is self-evidently a violation of the Constitution? I think the city’s public is absolutely blameworthy.

  10. 4. This makes me wonder whether the federal government, or any other level of government, will ever do in virtue-signaling hostility to Antifa what the San FranFreako government did in virtue-signaling hostility to the NRA. And, why aren’t the violent gangs in this country given similar official “branding?” I guess the politicians are just too much like them…sneaky oppressors, whimpering cowards when countered with effective force.

  11. #1 — I am really getting so sick of this moronic idea that we need to be protected from “bad” speech, where “bad” is defined as any idea that is uncomfortable to establishment norms.

    We can easily see and understand that other countries will have an interest in our politics. Who is elected president of Ivory Coast is of little import to most of the world, but who is elected president of the United States of of great importance to almost the entire world. There are reasons for this, but they are not that important here. This is not to say that we should be ok with foreign entities giving material support to candidates for office, but disseminating information, even false information, which I do not grant is happening at any large scale, is well within the norms of our society.

    So, we really started to see this at an official level with the DNI report (https://www.dni.gov/files/documents/ICA_2017_01.pdf) that came out in January 2017 (this was the whole “17 intelligence agencies agree” hoax that the Muller report ended up debunking — turns out there was no collusion found). They devoted a huge section of that report (look at Annex A) to show that RT “Seeks To Influence Politics, Fuel Discontent in US”. If you look at examples of the stories that are so off limits they are things like:

    RT broadcast, hosted, and advertised third party candidate debates and ran reporting supportive of the political agenda of these candidates.

    That is right, they are calling out RT for hosting debates for candidates that US Media refused to platform. So like Green and Libertarian party debates

    The RT hosts asserted that the US two-party system does not represent the views of at least one-third of the population and is a “sham.”

    This is objectively true. The US in Oct 2016 was reported to have 200 Million voters, the popular vote shows that there were ~129 Million votes cast, which puts the number of registered voters who either did not vote, or did not have their votes counted at 65% (200 million registered voters / 129 million actual counted votes = 65%). That is not to mention the other 120 Million people in this country who are unable or unwilling to vote.

    RT aired a documentary about the Occupy Wall Street movement on 1, 2, and 4 November. RT framed the movement as a fight against “the ruling class” and described the current US political system as corrupt and dominated by corporations.

    This might be framed in a way that the mainstream might not like, but it is hard to argue that this is not an accurate description of OWS.

    RT’s reports often characterize the United States as a “surveillance state” and allege widespread infringements of civil liberties, police brutality, and drone use

    Again, hard to argue with that viewpoint. I would say that describes the framing that easily ⅓ -½ of this country would accept as accurate.

    The point is, if we are a free country that espouses freedom of expression then it is hypocritical at best for us to chastise others for engaging in free speech, even if that speech is in their individual interest. Of course Russia is going to have media that spins narratives to their frame, just as Fox news, MSNBC and CNN spin narratives to their frame. Just like the BBC spins narratives to their frame. As free and rational beings it is our obligation to take in information and decide for ourselves which frame we want to accept.

    If you ever serve on a jury you will likely hear that it is the job of the jury to decide what the facts are. Lawyers present evidence to support their case, the jury makes a decision as to what the facts of the case are, and then apply those facts to the law and decide if the charge is justified. Just like that, it is the voters who get to decide which information they wish to absorb when they are deciding on who to empower with the responsibilities of office. To even suggest that the voters are not sophisticated enough or too stupid to determine for themselves what their information sources will be is anathema to our system. Instead we are hearing that corporations like Google and Facebook, CBS and CNN are the “gatekeepers” of what information should not be allowed. They are now literally saying that only they — public officials — should be allowed to have a platform. Read that again… They are saying that only elected officials and their appointed functionaries should be allowed to have a national audience to present their viewpoints. Any dissenting viewpoint is wrong think and it is incumbent on these “gatekeepers” to keep it out of public discourse.

    I don’t care if Russia has an opinion on who should be president. I don’t care if they make that opinion known (lord knows we do it). I don’t think that Wikileaks exposing widespread corruption in our media and political parties is a bad thing. If Kamala Harris and Rachael Maddow do not agree, they are free to spout their opinions as well, but to come out and say that the opinions of half the population are so dangerous that no rational person can safely hear the ideas is so beyond the pale that they truly sound insane. Meanwhile we are repeatedly assaulted with idiotic readings of banal comments and actions. The president asking a foreign leader to lend cooperation in legally predicated investigations (https://www.cnn.com/2019/05/02/politics/barr-investigation-russia/index.html) suddenly becomes “The president, blackmailing a forign leader to make up dirt on a political opponent”. Nevermind that this is exactly what they did (https://www.politico.com/story/2017/01/ukraine-sabotage-trump-backfire-233446) in the 2016 election.

  12. My previous comments aside, Jack, I am living that lesson you explain, using the Nats’ game to illustrate, like never before. I am still The Lucky-est Man. I owe you an email.

    • And Max Sherzer is The Iron Horse reincarnate, don’t you think? Such a throw back. And a Kraut as well! My favorite player in baseball today. And, sigh, the Diamondbacks traded him away for nuttin. Sigh.

      • Scherzer is truly a beast. Woe to any batting order who has to face him. I have long said, somewhat facetiously, that a guy with eyes of dissimilar colors is actually a “fused twin” – two men in one. How else, or better, to explain his “superhumanness?”

        But while we’re on the subject, last night’s starting pitcher for the Brewers is another beast. (I don’t recall his name!) He seemed to struggle to throw under 100 mph.

        • Brandon Woodruff?

          I just hope Max has a really long, Tom Seaver or Nolan Ryan like career. Neat kid. I’d forgotten about the eye thing.

          • Woodruff – that’s the guy. Wishing I could have thrown heat like that in my playing days. But, no – upper body wasn’t strong enough – or, I never got my total body mechanics just right (which is more likely my case – but only when pitching – my mechanics for hitting enabled me to hit consistently well over 300 feet, and curve balls, while still in Little League). But I did throw a good, sweeping curveball…which is not really an advantage, if the umpire is not good. Or if, like in my case, you don’t have good pitch control.

            I enjoy Scherzer, too – fun to watch – and hope the same for his longevity. But still, I’ll be rooting for the Dodgers…someone has to beat the A’s or Yanks, or Twins. (hoping for the Astros, actually, but Eeyore-pessimistically)

  13. To all 4 items. The strategy is clear: marginalize, demonize, exclude, criminalize.

    No matter what is required, do it.

    Alinskyite communists and enemies of civilization one and all.

    Sorry AT, it is that simple. No deconstruction needed.

    • Interesting that there isn’t anything in that tweet that resembles facts about high crimes and misdemeanors; but still, “this bastard must be removed from office”.

      These people really don’t give a damn about truth and justice, Constitution be damned!

  14. #4 “… Yet a majority of that city’s public applauded, because they have been corrupted by their elected officials.”

    That’s backwards, I’m afraid. A majority of San Francisco’s voters have been corrupted for some time. They chose this mayor, London Breed, (a virtually politically inexperienced but puppe…excuse me… a beneficiary of the real estate developers who rooted huge half-untenanted hi-rent hi-rises all over the city (viz. the 650-foot sinking and tilting Millennium Tower, one of the tallest reinforced concrete structures situated in a seismic zone 4 region, on a collision course with the roof of the brand new busily populated-24/7 intercity transit building), to do exactly what she is doing. The Supervisors bicker among themselves – to the point of stalling seriously needed projects – but align as one as far as the Outside World is concerned, progressives all. They were voted in as well.

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