Ethics Warm-Up, 11/19/29: Rushing Around Hotel Rooms Edition

Started this post in a DoubleTree this morning, finishing it (I hope) this afternoon in a Hyatt.

1. Nauseating. The ACLU awarded Christine Blasey Ford the Roger Baldwin Courage Award.

There is no excuse for this, and it shows how deeply the once pointedly non-partisan Bill of Rights defense organization has allied itself with the political Left. The attack she fostered on Brett Kavanaugh violated the principle of due process and her unsubstantiated accusation of a dimly recalled sexual assault when the Justice was a teenager is the kind of abuse of justice that the ACLU once opposed. Writes an outraged Nina Bookout on Victory Girls,

What exactly did she do that could be defined as courageous?

  • Was it her allegations of rape that were never verified?
  • Was it her throwing high school friends under the bus?
  • Was it changing her stories in mid-stream, and then changing them again while testifying?
  • How about the fact that she needed Mark Judge to verify the date she was attacked because she can’t remember?
  • How about her beach conversations, the polygraph, and the weirdness about the second door?

If that’s today’s definition of courage by the ACLU, then we have yet another word with its meaning distorted in order to fit a desired narrative.

What Christine Blasey Ford did, with the tacit approval of the Left and encouragement from the likes of Diane Feinstein, is the very opposite of courage. It is spiteful cowardice.

Obviously, I think, Blasey-Fordis being lionized by the ACLU for applying the ends justifies the means approach by being willing to expose herself to deserved ridicule in order to smear a Trump SCOTUS nominee deemed to place the right to abortion at risk.

In this she is reaping the same benefits that came Anita Hill’s way when she ambushed Clarence Thomas with distant accounts of alleged sexual harassment.

2. Speaking of undeserving “heroes,” pundits are saying that it does not seem as if the NFL “trusts” Colin Kaepernick. Well, of course they don’t. The way he has packaged himself as a martyr for “social justice,” there is literally no chance that if signed as a back-up quarterback, he would devote his full attention and energy to playing football.

What I find amazing is the news media’s constant description of his kneeling stunt as “raising public awareness to police violence against African Americans.” How does a football player kneeling during the National Anthem call attention to anything other than a football player kneeling during the National Anthem? It doesn’t. My attention is drawn to police violence against African Americans when I learn about a genuine example of it, like the shooting of Walter Scott in the back as he fled an arrest. When inarticulate publicity-seeking  race-baiters like Kaepernick say their actions are meant to raise public awareness of police violence against African Americans and they cite Mike Brown, Tamir Rice, and other complex episodes, then they only call attention to their ignorance and unethical desire to demonize whites and police.

3. A perfect example of how censorship renders news reporting useless and communications impossibleFrom Fox News:

“The University of Pennsylvania canceled the remainder of the women’s volleyball team’s season after “offensive” and “vulgar” posters were discovered in the team’s locker room, the school said. “The decision to cancel the remainder of the season was made following the discovery of vulgar, offensive, and disrespectful posters in the women’s volleyball locker room earlier this week,” the school said in a press release. “These actions were in violation of team and Divisional policy and this matter has been referred to University administration for further review in accordance with University policy.”

M. Grace Calhoun, the Ivy League school’s director of athletics, said the student-athletes’ behavior “is simply unacceptable and will not be tolerated.”

The school hasn’t said what the posters were, what was vulgar about them, who, if anyone, they were aimed at, and why these posters, which apparently were seen only by members of the team, were so horrible that they warranted cancelling the team’s season. They must not have been offensive to team members, for then cancelling the season would punish the victims.  How do we know the posters didn’t say “Make America Great Again?” “Disrespectful” to whom, or who? If the cancellation is meant to send a message, the message is rendered incoherent by a lack of transparency.

4. Speaking of offensive— Fartgate? Really? REALLY? Are there no depths to which political reporting and punditry won’t sink? From Beth Baumann at Town Hall: “During an interview with MSNBC’s Chris Matthews, Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA) appeared to rip a massive fart live on the air.BuzzFeed News reporter Addy Baird sent a text to the Congressman to ask him to confirm or deny whether or not it was actually him who passed gas. Of course, Swalwell said he didn’t do it.”

Then CNN’s token conservative, S.E. Cupp, weighed in via Twitter, writing, “I hate to let the air out of these theories, but the inimitable laws of physics clearly point to Chris as the culprit. For one, Swalwell’s mic wouldn’t likely have picked it up in the noisy liveshot location…Second, the fart conveniently manifests when it goes to a one-shot, where Chris is off camera to let it rip without anyone seeing…Finally, it was likely acoustically amplified after bouncing off the back of Matthews’ chair..Unless you’re telling me that thing bounced through the echoey Capitol building, into Swalwell’s lav mic, through control to the main audio, then that is one magic fart. There is also, of course, the possibility that there was a second farter.”

Then conservative podcaster Stephen Miller (not the White House Stephen Miller) provided a video, tweeting, “I’ve isolated and slowed the moment of the fart. You can clearly see Swalwell brace forward, tense up for a moment, and then relax. He dealt it.”

Somehow the President of the United States managed to restrain himself, for once, but his classless son wrote, “Most intelligible thing to come out of Swalwell in years,” and dubbed the story “fartgate.”

Conservative pundit Ben Shapiro also could not stay out of the 7th grade gym class “fun,” providing six tweets on the topic. The best, in my view, was “Swallwell is the whistleblower.”

These people are a disgrace to civility and civilized discourse, and I don’t care what they say or think.  See: “A Nation of Assholes.”

5. Poll update: the poll on whether the 93 year-old former death camp guard who was still in his teens when recruited to assist in Hitler’s “Final Solution” should be standing trial for war crimes in Germany is pretty one-sided so far:

6. Media censorship! It’s not just for progressives any more! Craig Silverman, a long-time talk show host  on KNUS, a conservative talk-radio station in Denver, was fired midway through his three-hour show  after a segment criticizing President Trump. The station suddenly cut away to a news report, and the station’s operations manager walked into the studio and told  Silverman, “You’re done.”

The host had gradually become more critical of the President in recent months and has also annoyed executives by being a guest on other stations’ talk shows to expand on his critiques.

I cannot imagine frequenting, much less trusting, any news media outlet that would fire a pundit for a non-conforming opinion. Democracy dies in conformity.


32 thoughts on “Ethics Warm-Up, 11/19/29: Rushing Around Hotel Rooms Edition

      • The election of Trump shows that elections of Republicans can be democratic. The treatment of Trump seems to show that elections don’t matter. The people can elect anyone they want, but if they elect the wrong person, the government will make sure that mistake is rectified. It looks like we have a Lt. Colonel who decided he didn’t like the President’s foreign policy and started impeachment proceedings against him. We have 5,6,7…I don’t know how many head FBI executives who fabricated evidence, lied, and leaked classified information, and investigated every facet of the President’s life to try to remove the President. We have how many Justice Department and State Department officials who have willfully obstructed the President’s orders if not blatantly tried to have him removed from office? The bureaucracy even raided the office of the President’s personal attorney and leaked files they seized. How many Federal Judges have cancelled his executive orders merely because they don’t agree with them. How many federal judges have ruled that the President can’t cancel an executive order if the judges disagree with the decision? How many judges ruled that it is OK to spy on a Presidential campaign as long as they don’t like that candidate?

        Democracy may not be dead, but it isn’t very healthy. I have begun to see lots of posts along the lines of “What do we do when elections stop working. What do we do when we can’t change things no matter who we elect?” Looking at the last 3 years, how many people need to be removed from the government before elections matter? 2000? 3000? 10,000? 100,000? Maybe have a poll!

  1. 3. We can only hope that one of the now idled and grounded players will try to make the follow-up to the story go viral, and tell the whole world all about those vulgar, offensive, and disrespectful posters. Maybe she’ll have photos from her cell phone. But I hope the player, whoever she might be, will forever be known only as “the whistleblower.”

    (Unless some referee who visited the now grounded team’s locker room saw the posters first, and was somehow involved – offended, maybe? – in the onset of the secret outrage that obviously ensued from someone’s viewing of the posters. It would be more fitting for a referee to be the whistleblower, because…well, after all, a whistle is the tool that referees typically use. [Would that be irony?])

  2. Only tangetially related to the political punditry story

    With all the pundits slicing and dicing every word in the hearings I cannot understand a couple of issues. Maybe others here can help me out.

    1 Col. Vindiman stated he was concerned that Trump’s request to investigate Burisma and the Bidens would undermine bipartisan US policy to support Ukraine with aid . If pushing back Russian aggression was vital to our national security why would a request to investigate allegations of Ukrainian involvement or compromised acts toward Burisma would threaten that vital support unless the Democrats decided protecting Biden was more important than protecting national security.

    Amb. Yavonavich was said to be an expert on anti-corruption and was extremely close to the former president Poreshenko. If Zelentski ran on an anti corruption platform an beat Poreshenko with 70 % of the vote doesn’t that suggest Poreshenko who fired the prosecutor general was generally seen as corrupt by the electorate which calls into question Yavonovich’s own assessment of Poreshenko?

  3. #5. If the have the evidence that he is who the claim he is then yes by all means let it go to trial and let the facts fall where they may.

    Not part of the question bur; If found guilty, that’s when his age at the time of the crime should be taken i go account, NOT BEFORE!

  4. Michael Bloomberg recently announced running for the Democratic nomination.

    He is almost right on one issue.

    Arguing that stop and frisk is an essential part of his campaign for responsible gun laws, Bloomberg criticised both the NYCLU and the NRA, equating them as “extremist” organisations of the left and right respectively. He compared the lack of courage of some elected officials in Washington to stand up to the NRA and “pass common sense gun laws,” to some in New York City who don’t have the courage to stand up to the NYCLU and “support common sense policing tactics like stop and frisk.” Here is the video of the Bloomberg speaking on Tuesday.

    And here is what he had to say on the subject in 2012: “Let’s be clear: the NYCLU’s priority is not protecting our safety. It is protecting their ideology, And in that regard, they are no better than the NRA. One group views the Second Amendment in absolutist terms; the other group views the Fourth Amendment in absolutist terms. Both groups, I think, are dangerously wrong on the Constitution.”

    Here is what Aubrey Bloomfield wrote.

    Comparing a civil rights advocacy group that opposes a racist and ineffective policy with what is essentially a bunch of crazy, yet powerful, people blinded by their love of guns who oppose sensible gun control is so ridiculous that its almost laughable, or would be if it wasn’t the mayor talking.

    Who says that “stop and frisk” is a racist, ineffective policy. I mean, its supporters say it is a common sense, sensible policy needed to deal with the epidemic of gun violenc. Who would oppose such a policy, other than people blinded by their love for being free from unreasonable searches and seizures and being free from racial profiling? Do they really want kids to die?

    Bloomfield really does not see the similarities.

    Obviously, I think, Blasey-Fordis being lionized by the ACLU for applying the ends justifies the means approach by being willing to expose herself to deserved ridicule in order to smear a Trump SCOTUS nominee deemed to place the right to abortion at risk.

    There is a preponderance of evidence that the Blasey Ford bitch made it all up.

    • Comparing a civil rights advocacy group that opposes a racist and ineffective policy with what is essentially a bunch of crazy, yet powerful, people blinded by their love of guns who oppose sensible gun control is so ridiculous that its almost laughable, or would be if it wasn’t the mayor talking.

      “Comparing God-fearing girls with random birthmarks with what are essentially devil-worshipping witches is so ridiculous that it’s almost laughable, or would be if it weren’t the Chief Magistrate talking”

      – Martha Corey, 1692

    • “sensible good control” is arguably infective as well. I’ve yet to see a study that shows bans on capacity, ‘military style’ or ‘universal background checks’ make any iota of difference, and there’s plenty of examples in the ‘most deadly’ from recent history that the proposed ‘common sense’ regulations were either already in place at the locality or time, or would have no effect on the known circumstances.

      • Of course not.

        they would not stop criminal gangs like the Crips, the Mafia, or MS-13 from possessing these firearms.

        What about shutting down criminal gangs?

        Law enforcement in the U.S. has been trying to shut down gangs for what?

        Two hundred years?

  5. 5. I am one of those in that minority.

    At some point, there has to be a sense of responsibility. Dey needs to be held accountabie, but he also deserves due process. Maybe he isn’t fully responsible in a criminal sense. Maybe the brutal coercion of the Nazi regime is a substantial mitigating factor… but it doesn’t change the fact that he WAS a cog in the machine, however small and insignificant, and therefore he DOES bear some moral responsibility as well (at a bare minimum).

    It’s not like I’m wishing he ended up like some of the Dachau guards who had the misfortune to run into the 45th Infantry Division during the liberation of that concentration camp (look up “Vengeance at Dachau” and “Boston Globe” on Bing or some other search engine for the details). As I said earlier, he needs to face due process, something which is questionable in the way Germany set up their ex post facto law.

    But all that said, we should keep this in mind as well: The GIs of the 45th ALMOST got in serious trouble (as in facing court martials) for their… overreaction to what they saw when the liberated the concentration camp, shall we say?

    There still was an effort to get accountability, although in that case, it seemed to be more a case of the process serving as punishment.

  6. 1. This is even more ironic given that the ACLU supports “Ban the Box” initiatives that would forbid employers from even asking prospective hires whether they’ve ever been convicted – with full Due Process protections, by a unanimous jury – of a crime. Remember the argument “it’s a job interview, not a trial?” Well, apparently they’re not so keen on even the most rigorously proven cases being used against applicants for jobs, unless they’re from the wrong party, in which case any wild accusation will do.

  7. 1. Anita Hill is making a fine living preaching to the woke college campus to college campus. Blasey-Ford has a similar future in store as this is all about organizational virtue signaling and living martyrdom (as she was no doubt promised).

    Facts are irrelevant to these partners in propagandistic crime. Demonize anyone anything to the right of AOC. Full stop.

  8. #4 I think it’s a dumb funny story and a nice distraction from the usual bitterness and enmity that is the daily news cycle.I don’t think we need to take this issue too close to heart. And about prominent people commenting on it on Twitter, Forget it Jake, it’s Twittertown. Personal take, I think the sound came from the studio, because inside that large marble room, sound disperses all throughout. It probably could not have reached the lapel microphone with such crispness and clarity.

  9. Are your polls a meta test for the ethical utility of polls? You’ve said many times here that polls shouldn’t be trusted and yet you use them a lot in what I would call very non-objective ways. I remember an experiment on the transferability of confirmation bias where two classes being given the same lecture by the same professor and one class was told that he was an unfunny hard ass white the other being told that he was humorous and charming. The classes were then polled about how they felt about the teacher and the results more or less lined up with whatever they were told before the class. That’s what these polls look like to me. “Here’s what I think, now here are some un-nuanced and emotionally loaded options for you to choose from.” For example, in the most recent poll you called the guy a teenager, that’s literally true but also misleading. Our society would recognize him as an adult and he would be held to adult and not teenage kid standards. But the phrase “No. An adult (18 years of age) required to do the Nazi’s bidding should not be held accountable” probably wouldn’t have the same emotional appeal would it? For the record, I think the ethical response is that “No. But not because he was only 18, but because it was 75 years ago and due to the vagary of time on evidence there has to be a statue of limitations because the alternative is to convict people using evidence that may very literally be rotten or expired.

    I had a Sgt that hated when Marines walked and talked on cell phones. He preached about it, and then one day casually walked around with a cell phone waiting for people to jump down his throat and in doing so show they’d absorbed the value he was trying to instill. Given your previous disregard for polls, maybe this is that. For the record though, no one jumped down his throat – most people assumed either that he was the Sgt and could do whatever he pleased (hypocritical or no) or that what ever he was talking about must have been important enough to override his previous stated position.

    • Several things: 1) I don’t use polls to show “what’s right” but rather to show want this narrow cross-section of the public think. The readership here is anything but a valid sampling, since readers of this kind of blog are smarter, more educated, more informed, more aware and more serious than the “average” American. 2) In the war crimes trail, I use teenager to mean a person without power, experience, the wisdom one expects of an adult, and perspective. Whether a nation chooses 15, 18 or 21 to define adulthood is immaterial…such laws don’t change biology or brain chemistry 3)Ann Althouse’s polls usually have 8, 9 or more options. I find slicing up opinion that thin only highlight’s the deception of polls. In the seminars I did in New Jersey, I poll lawyers on many things. On an issue like “Is putting your murder defendant client in glasses during the trial because studies show that juries have a harder time believing people with glasses are violent unethical?” the options are Yes, No, and It depends. In other words, does your ethics alarm ring, or not?

      4. A murder is a murder yesterday or 75 years ago. The question in the poll on the teen guard is: Was this really murder? (during a war, under coercion, lacking autonomy)?

  10. Damn I got so tied up in polls that I didn’t comment on the best part of the post.

    “Democracy Dies in Conformity” is amazing. Not only does it turn the WaPo’s grandstanding tagline of it’s head, it reeeeaaaly nails the core of what’s killing the left and by extension, journalism. Masterful turn of phrase – 100% gonna steal this one for the group chat.

  11. Re: No. 2; The Untrustable Kap.

    I don’t know if you were referring to this article by Kimberley Martin over at Yahoo! Sports but here is her take on Kaepernick:

    She echoes the sentiment: She thinks the NFL wasn’t serious about giving Kaepernick his due in the tryout. Yet, she omits that Kaepernick changed the agreed upon venue because the NFL would not permit full press coverage. So, Colin moved it to another venue, invited the media (most of whom ignored it) and did his thing. The NFL bungled it again. Despite wanted to cave to the Jay-Zs of the world to curry favor in the Black community, the NFL ended up with egg on its face, allowing this bozo to control the narrative. The NFL should have said, “Uh, thanks but no thanks. We’re good. If you wanna try out next year, come to Spring training and we will see what happens.” They may have been required to give him this try out with the arbitration nonsense but who knows.

    Martin also ignores that Kaepernick showed up at his tryout wearing a Kunta Kinte shirt – Kaepernick apparently thinks his multi-million dollar endorsement deals with Nike and other companies renders him 40 years a slave or something, especially where he is trying to get ANOTHER multi-million dollar NFL deal for a player of questionable talent, and a major distraction.. Alex Haley would be proud. No, that’s not a political message. That won’t be a locker room distraction. Nope. Where can I sign him?


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