Morning Ethics Warm-Up, 11/13/2019: Protests, Insults, Complaints And Threats

Started this at 3:15 am.

To be honest, I’m going back to bed as soon I  post it…

1. Today’s sample of Trump Derangement: Someone calling himself “Morgan Kilgore” (not hi s real name, however) just submitted a comment in all caps, to this post from May. It reads: TRUMP IS A CROOK AND ROBINSON SAID IT VERY PLAIN SIMPLE, UNLKE THE MUELLER REPORT..YOU TRUMP SUPPORTERS ARE A BUNCH OF FOOLS,LEAD BY A FOOL AND CONMAN.IF TRUMP TOOK A DUMP ON YOUR TURKEY DINNER,YOU WOULD STILL MAKE AN EXCUSE FOR HIM AND IT’S

The comment makes no substantive arguments and does not attempt to rebut the post, which is pretty air tight, frankly. I get a lot of these. (“Morgan” will not be joining our discussions.) The comment is also pretty typical of what the average Trump-obsessed Facebook user posts or “likes” on a daily basis.

2.  Freedom of speech watch: Jonathan Turley, who deserves praise for relentlessly flagging and criticizing the alarming increase in anti-speech advocacy from the Left, notes,

“The doublespeak used to justify the denial of free speech is particularly chilling. The students [at Stanford] insisted that allowing people to hear [ conservative pundit Ben Shapiro]  put them at risk: “WE are tired of Stanford Administration’s complicity in putting Black, Brown, Trans, Queer, and Muslim students at risk by allowing SCR to bring Ben Shapiro to campus”…The students declared their commitment not “to allow Shapiro’s talk to go uninterrupted.” In other words, we will not allow other students and faculty listen and have a discourse with Shapiro. What is striking is how these students believe that denying free speech is a noble act — a view fueled by many faculty members who treat speech as violence or a tool of oppression. That makes being a censor sound like being a civil libertarian. You simply declare, as did the Stanford students, that this is a “harmful event” with “harmful people.” Done.

Meanwhile, the New York Times continues to flack Andrew Marantz (Ethics Alarms post here) whom the University of California-Berkeley  featured as a speaker on free speech, which he seeks to limit while scoffing at those, like Turley (and me)  who advocate for the right as “absolutists.”

Kara Swisher, another Times writer, glowingly reviews Marantz’s book in the Times book review section. She writes things like,

  • “Trump spends much of his time labeling mainstream media an “enemy of the people.”

Sure, Kara, he spends “much of his time” doing that. And the news media’s decision to substitute partisan propaganda for objective news is a threat to democracy: “enemy of the people” is inflammatory, but not wrong

  • “I would argue that it’s only a short step from there to Charlottesville, where white supremacists marched and a protester lost her life.”

Let me correct that: “…Charlottesville, where a legal and peaceful demonstration against toppling statues was allowed to be disrupted by an illegal counter-demonstration which the police permitted to turn violent.”

  • “Marantz is right to worry. As I have written in my Opinion columns for this newspaper, I have seen firsthand how social media sites amplify villainous voices and weaponize them, too — and it’s not clear they can be controlled. The optimism of social media’s creators has been overshadowed by the cynicism of the vicious propaganda spewed on their platforms.”

Who decides what voices are “villainous?” In Swisher’s view, she and Marantz are among the anointed. That’s ironic, because I consider her and Marantz villainous…

3.  If the Supreme Court allows President Trump to kill DACA…GOOD. I regard “this is going to happen” stories, what I call “future news,” a variety of fake news. I do hope this future news story is prescient, however. It begins, “The Supreme Court’s conservative majority on Tuesday appeared ready to side with the Trump administration in its efforts to shut down a program protecting about 700,000 young immigrants known as “Dreamers.”

Sigh. No, they are young illegal immigrants, a material difference. Allowing them to gain citizenship would create a sanctioned incentive for non-citizens to sneak their children across the border, as the DACA program championed by President Obama enshrines the motive of breaking our laws to provide children with “a better life.”

Despite its opening, Adam Liptak’s article doesn’t give us any of the exchanges between the justices and the lawyers in oral argument that led to his prediction. It does highlight the President’s flip-flops on the issue. Having no core principles and not being versed in legal theory, the President once signaled a willingness to compromise on DACA in exchange for Democrats supporting the tightening of anti-illegal immigration measures. They refused. This little detail is left out of the Times report, of course.

4. ‘Hey, don’t you reporters know your job is to protect Democrats?’ Ex-Democratic Presidential hopeful turned Colorado Senate candidate, John Hickenlooper, is facing  complaints that he violated state ethics rules. In an interview on a local news channel, an angry Hickenlooper  insisted that reporters  should be defending him. “You guys should be protecting me on stuff like this. What’s the confusion? I saved the state money!” he said. As reporter Kyle Clark correctly pointed out, journalists’ duty is to protect the truth, not individual politicians. But it’s understandable how Hickenlooper could be confused. (Pointer: Tim Levier)

5. Speaking of quid pro quos and Ethics Dunces: Singer and songwriter Ellie Goulding (never heard of her!) was contracted to  sing at half time  for the Dallas Cowboys’ Thanksgiving game, which will be nationally televised.  Then she learned that the game annually serves as the “Red Kettle Kickoff” for the annual  Salvation Army charity drive.  The Salvation Army is a conservative Christian organization that regards marriage as a bond between a man and a woman, but its holiday charitable efforts have nothing to do with that issue. Nonetheless, the singer presumed to demand that the Salvation Army announce its public support for gay marriage, or she would withdraw from the game’s entertainment.

Why doesn’t she really make a powerful threat and threaten to jump off a bridge?

“Upon researching this, I have reached out to The Salvation Army and said that I would have no choice but to pull out unless they very quickly make a solid, committed pledge or donation to the LGBTQ community,” Goulding wrote. “I am a committed philanthropist as you probably know, and my heart has always been in helping the homeless, but supporting an anti-LGBTQ charity is clearly not something I would ever intentionally do. Thank you for drawing my attention to this.”

Coerced beliefs, coerced support, extortion.

Incredibly arrogant, foolish and presumptuous extortion.


32 thoughts on “Morning Ethics Warm-Up, 11/13/2019: Protests, Insults, Complaints And Threats

  1. #3 Since these “dreamers” have been in the USA for quite a while, why haven’t they or their parents taken the legal steps to become citizens of the United States, is there some kind of benefit to remaining an illegal immigrant.

    • They do not have any such option readily available. With an illegal entry and such a long time being here, there are few to no options to become legal.


        • … None? Maybe Trump? Obama made the Dreamers with an act of penphonery (actually an executive order) after the Dream Act failed to pass. Obama didn’t see the Democrats as the people unwilling to sit at the table, leaving Trump the only person with the opportunity to have that idea, and his approach to the Dreamers was to use them as leverage.

          • Good point HT; I didn’t ask the correct question.

            How many Washington DC Republicans have tied a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants (including the children that came illegally with their parents) in the USA to sitting down at the table and hammering out real immigration reforms?

            I think it’s been ongoing for a while now and the Democrats seem to push for a free path to citizenship without any immigration reforms.

            Am I remembering this reasonably correctly?

            • Well, the Gang of Eight was supposed to be a bipartisan group that was going to deal with both sides of the question: reform and enforcement. There was a backlash against the Republicans on that because it included “amnesty.” But, now, Democrats are pushing the Dream Act, but do not want to discuss enforcement.

              It really is ridiculous.

              One of the complaints in the Declaration of Independence is that King George was not passing laws for the immigration and population of the colonies. The Constitution explicitly gave that power to Congress…and they can’t get the job done.

              They can pass all kinds of stuff that is not provided for in the Constitution, but they can’t get done one of the things they are explicitly empowered to do.

              On the other hand, if the solution requires compromise and the parties can’t find an acceptable compromise, then maybe the law should not get passed.


        • The “dreamers” are politically useful to the Democrats like the “stateless Palestinians” are useful regionally and internationally as a political tool. A solution in either case would not be productive to those who are using them.

  2. 1. Why even bother, honestly? This is worthless except as an example of how those who hate Trump think – or don’t think and just rant. They’ve been doing this since the man was elected, when they hit the streets with glossy printed signs proclaiming “not my president” and put out articles as to “how to turn the holidays ugly and make sure you don’t get invited to any family events but that’s ok because if your family disagrees they aren’t your family. ”

    2. This is getting repetitious. It’s well-known that the left is all about double standards and wanting a monopoly on valuing things. When they say something, it’s free speech. When the other side says something, it’s hate speech.

    3. I agree, it’s time for this program to go, and the beneficiaries to be shipped back wherever.

    4. Yup, we know. See #2.

    5. Never heard of her either, she achieved most of her fame in the UK. If she doesn’t want to perform, then ding her for whatever the penalty clause says and hire someone else. This isn’t that hard.

  3. Number 2: The media criticizes Donald Trump for calling them the “Enemy of the People”, and the media thinks the solution is the give the president the power to put people in jail for what they say.

    What kind of stupid are these people?

    • Only if the president is a Democrat. These are the same people who said in in 2007 that the Senate should not consider any nominations that GWB made, then said in 2016 that the Senate should be given 60 days to act on a Presidential nomination or be considered to have waived its power to advise and consent. According to the left and their enablers in the media the president’s powers apparently change depending on what party he belongs to. A GOP president’s powers are severely circumscribed, to the point he should have to ask permission before exercising them, especially if he’s dealing with a Democratic congress that’s keeping the brakes on an imperial presidency. However, a Democratic president’s powers are almost unlimited, especially if he’s dealing with a GOP congress that’s holding up progress.

      • Democrats are given a ‘phone and a pen’ to commit penphonnery, amiright?

        Republicans are given a tin can (those still exist? Do they get them from the Smithsonian or something?) attached to a string that goes nowhere, and a sharp stick to inscribe on the clay tablet.

        • After the election of Obama in 2008, before he had even taken office, I remember seeing posts asking why we had to wait until January for him to take the reins and whether it was possible to allow him to run for a 3rd term then right then. The man had done nothing yet and his devotees already wanted to immediately make him president for life. Before January I saw all kinds of posts and comments to the effect that the day after the inauguration all Republicans should go to the nearest police station to turn themselves in and that the GOP should be outlawed. A certain cartoonist who I won’t name seriously mused about that, saying something to the effect of since the Nazi party is now outlawed in Germany and the Communist party is now outlawed in Russia, there was a precedent for outlawing the GOP here, as an organization that had done a great deal of harm.

          The left has never liked the GOP, which is understandable. The left has never trusted the GOP since the fall of Nixon, which is also somewhat understandable, on the grounds that if that party could produce such a president it was suspect. The left has hated the GOP since it went after Clinton and a year later defeated Al Gore, just barely understandable on the grounds that the attack on Clinton was never going to go all the way to removal and the 2000 election was an ugly fight that resulted in a win by someone who didn’t win the popular vote, leaving a lot of sore losers. The left has wanted the GOP gone since the GWB presidency, which in some ways was a disaster and left the left determined to not just win the next election, but push the GOP into permanent minority status or completely into the shadows. The left has declared jihad on the GOP since 2016, when it dared to run this orange buffoon and defeat their goddess. As far as they’re concerned, the last three years have just been one big mistake and one big nightmare, and they need to wake this country back up. This time they’re going to make damn certain that not only will the GOP never again hold power on a national level, but that no one will dare support them, for fear of being hunted down and destroyed. Of course this has made them into the tyrants they claim to oppose, but eh, sometimes you need to rule with an iron hand while leading the nation to where it needs to be.

  4. 1. At least Morgan Kilgore kept rule #10 of the Comment Policies by maintaining nice, tight grammar. “…lead by a fool…” What does element 82 of the Periodic Table have to do with anything?

  5. 5. ellie (who is she again?) should be allowed to decrease her exposure to a much larger and more lucrative audience (the USA) by resigning forthwith upon grounds of ‘irreconcilable differences.’

    She believes that Woke whim rules in the heartland, and the fly over fans of the NFL do not.

  6. #1 – I respond to the mindless facebook trolls with: Imagine if Trump took a young campaign worker to a party, got drunk, drover her home and left her to die in a car. I would imagine Trump voters are so partisan that they would send him to the United States Senate for 47 years.

    Of course that would get a “whataboutism” comment. It’s a very popular word today, but will suddenly disappear sometime after the democrats stop nominating the kooks and retake the White House.


    That must explain the lack of comments defending the impeachment campaign.

    None of the defenders can put together a coherent argument.

    • “None of the defenders can put together a coherent argument.”

      To be fair, the defenders of impeaching the President haven’t been able to come up with a coherent argument since November 2016; all we get are accusations, innuendo and lies. One exception to that is, their hate is coherent even without them using the word.

      Here’s what’s at the core of the extreme modern political left that’s controlling the Democratic Party.…

      If you repeat a lie often enough, people will believe it.

      If you repeat a lie often enough, it becomes the truth.

      If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it,
      people will eventually come to believe it.

      If you repeat a lie long enough, it becomes truth.

      If you repeat a lie many times, people are bound to start believing it.

      This the same kind of things that was put into practice by the master propagandist Paul Joseph Goebbels who was a German Nazi politician and Reich Minister of Propaganda of Nazi Germany from 1933 to 1945.
      Pledge of Allegiance & more…

      The soft coup we have been seeing from the political left is setting a brand new dangerous precedence that’s about as anti-American as it can be. What are these same Democrats going to do if they get the White House and the Republicans go full tit-for-tat and use this new precedence against the Democrats?

    • Yet there are certified EA commenters who could, if they were willing to submit them somewhere where they aren’t guaranteed to get “likes” and “loves.” I assume Phil Alperson could, to mention a recent drop-in.

  8. 3. Hopefully DACA is a perfect case for the SC to rule against. Congress had specifically rejected making such law, and Youngstown v Sawyer is still valid precedent, isn’t it?

  9. I feel this is a Constitutional Crisis caused by the courts. DACA failed to pass the legislature. President Obama decided to treat it as a law, even though it didn’t pass. At best, this can be considered an Executive Order and at worst should be considered an unconstitutional action. President Trump tried to undo the executive order, but was forbidden by the courts. It was claimed that the President lacks the authority to revoke Executive Orders. This is blatantly unconstitutional and the fact that a federal district and appeals court agreed with this really means we are in trouble in this country. What if this is allowed to stand? Have the courts declared themselves the true head of the executive branch?

    The Federal Court’s arrogant demand that the President must give the court a reason for an executive order and that the court must agree with it really seems unconstitutional. Quick, give me a situation where revoking an executive order would be unconstitutional? The only instance would be one where the executive order remedied an unconstitutional state that had existed. So, was the Obama administration’s immigration policy unconstitutional and DACA remedied this? No. So, if the courts are violating the Constitution, is it OK for the President to ignore them? If anyone should be impeached, shouldn’t it be those federal judges for trying to usurp the powers of the executive branch?

    • There is a crapton of federal judges who should rightfully be removed, but because of politics won’t be. The left has gained too many victories though the courts for them to let the courts be unbiased arbiters instead of an additional unchecked legislative and legislative branch. Much of what they rule on should be dismissed as a political question.

      Where to start? A judge having a ruling dismissed with prejudice is the higher court saying that not only do they disagree with the judge, that the judge is so wrong that they are forbidden from hearing more cases on the topic.

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