Sunday Evening Ethics Cool-Down, 2/16/2020: Silent Sam, Creepy Michael, Sinking Joe


1. The Silent Sam saga continues. The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill  reached an agreement to give its toppled statue of an anonymous Confederate soldier (there’s a similar statue in down town Alexandria, Virginia, about a ten minutes drive from where I type this) to the North Carolina Division of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, along with a $2.5 million trust to display it somewhere other than on a  campus.

But professors, alumni and students accused the university’s board of governors of entering into a corrupt deal with a “white nationalist” group, so the  judge who originally approved the agreement voided it, finding that Sons of Confederate Veterans lacked the legal standing to enter into the pact.

For the record, I don’t understand what kind of “standing” any group needs to come to a contractual arrangement. I don’t understand why the school can’t give the thing to a museum  without having to pay 2.5 million bucks for the privilege. I don’t understand how the University allowed a bunch of vandals—the statue was illegally pushed over by student protesters who were never punished—to trigger this problem in the first place.

I don’t understand why a work of art showing a realistic representation of actual historical figures, for there really was a Confederacy, there really were soldiers who fought and died for it in the belief that it was a patriotic duty, and there really is a value to the culture, and especially education, in remembering controversial events and times, is viewed as so dangerous that it must be hidden from view.

James L. Leloudis, a professor of history at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, is supposed to be explaining things to people like me when he said, “The people who erected the monuments went out of their way to make it clear that they honored the living as well as the dead, and most particularly, those ex-Confederates who returned from war and committed themselves to the long, bloody and ultimately successful effort to re-establish white supremacy.”  For example, when “Silent Sam” was  dedicated, a former Confederate soldier named Julian Carr delivered a speech praising the Confederate Army for saving “the very life of the Anglo Saxon race in the South” and recalled that he had “horsewhipped” a black woman “until her skirts hung in shreds” because she had publicly insulted a white woman.

Isn’t that fascinating! How times have changed! That certainly explains how Jim Crow took over, especially once President Woodrow Wilson encouraged the effort after his election in 1912. But now “Sam” looks at a very different South! You, see, students, the reason….Sam? Sam?

2. “Nah, the mainstream media isn’t so rotted through with blind Trump hate that they make utter asses of themselves!” Soon to be former lawyer Michael Avenatti was convicted Friday of attempting to extort millions from Nike. He was also arrested for domestic abuse in November of 2019. You will recall that he was briefly regarded by the “resistance” news media as a hero for promoting the lawsuit of an opportunistic porn star with the flamboyant name “Stormy” who had extorted money from Donald Trump after a sexual dalliance, and this became Plan K in the parade of bogus impeachment theories. So eager were  those infected by the rampant Trumphatredvirus to grasp at any  theory, however crack-brained, to remove the elected President without having to defeat him in an election—you can see now why that last part seemed hard—that they couldn’t see that Avenatti was a self-promoting con artist as obvious in his manner and aura as Professor Harold Hill.

I could see it. I’ve dealt with a lot of slimy lawyers. On Fox, Tucker Carlson quickly dubbed him him the “creepy porn lawyer.” You see, if confirmation bias hadn’t digested you brain, it was obvious.

Yet he was featured on CNN 74 times over the course of 10 weeks. MSNBC gave him  57 interviews during the same time period, including  seven in one day. You see, he could be counted on to say horrible and embarrassing things about the President; he was like a one-man House impeachment. Over all, Avenatti  appeared on TV 147 times. Anti-Trump media figures and opinion makers fell in love.

  • CNN’s fake media watchdog Brian Stelter told Avenatti in 2019, “Looking ahead to 2020, one of the reasons why I’m taking you seriously as a [2020 presidential] contender is because of your presence on cable news.”
  • ABC’s “The View” co-host  and #1 Idiot Joy Behar thanked Avenatti for “saving the country.”
  • CNN contributer Ana Navarro said on the air that Avenatti  was “like the Holy Spirit.”
  • Bill Maher, always a keen judge of those with as much legitimacy as he has, pronounced him “Donald Trump’s worst nightmare.”
  • MSNBC’s Stephanie Ruhle said,  “The Democrats could learn something from [Avenatti]. [He’s] messing with Trump a lot more than they are.”

Talking yesterday to CNN’s Anderson Cooper who feted Avenatti often—left-biased legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin–James Carville would call him a hack—at least had the integrity to say, “You know, I feel kind of snookered, because I took him seriously.”

And why was that, do you think, Jeffrey, Anderson, Ana, Brian, Stephanie, Joy, Bill and the rest? What have you learned?

3. Find your honest reporting where you can get it. Interviewing Joe Biden, Univision’s Jorge Ramos, the celebrated (and pro-illegal immigration) Spanish-language reporter, confronted Biden on his attacks on President Trump’s immigration policies as “an assault on human dignity,” and “cruel and callous.” Biden has said that he and Barack Obama “didn’t lock people up in cages. We didn’t separate families.”

“At that debate in Houston, you said this about the Obama-Biden administration, and I quote, ‘we didn’t lock people in cages,’ but you actually did,” Ramos told Biden. “We found a picture of an eight-year-old boy from Honduras….This was in 2014 at a detention center in McAllen, Texas,” Ramos continued, handing Biden a photograph of a child detained in an immigration facility. “Many people will say these are cages.”

Presented with evidence of his lie, Biden said, “Yes, yes, yes and what happened was that all the unaccompanied children were coming across the border. We tried to get them out. We kept them safe and get them out of the detention centers….that were run by Homeland Security and get them into communities as quickly as we can.”

Then he attacked Ramos, saying, “You know you’re not telling the truth here about the comparison of the two things.”

Biden’s campaign is dying fast, and journalists, smelling blood in the water, are circling for the kill. Biden should, if he cared about his party’s chances of avoiding running a socialist with Communist aspirations against Donald Trump, would graciously resign and allow a more moderate and sane—that wouldn’t be hard—alternative to Sanders pick up his supporters. He’s not going to do it, because he lacks the ethical character to do it.


18 thoughts on “Sunday Evening Ethics Cool-Down, 2/16/2020: Silent Sam, Creepy Michael, Sinking Joe

      • Update: found 11, two where I failed to delete part of a sentence that I had re-written a sentence that I had changed. That’s always nice and professional. Fixed.You know, I was telling Grace yesterday that not learning to type has haunted me just like my mother said it would…

        • Is there a subject missing from paragraph 4 of item 2?

          Thank God my mother, an expert typist and shorthand-ist insisted my brother and I learn touch typing. Given the ubiquity of computers, more kids should learn it young. But maybe kids these days will be jst using phones from here on out.

          I really should learn the top row sometime though. Numbers, etc. would be nice to do by memory.

          • She was an expert STENOGRAPHER! I forgotted. Was a medical secretary at the University of Chicago Hospital and Medical School.

            She was also right that I’d regret quitting taking the piano. Been back at it for twenty years but I missed forty.

  1. Was the polar bear up top photo-shopped? We know from the WWF ads and countless envviro-whacko posts that the ice is melting and the bears will drown. It almost looks like it is swimming in that photo.

  2. !)The group claimed to have some sort of ownership interest in the statue from somewhere and were suing to do something or other with it. I thought UNC made the best of a bad situation by making this deal with them.

    My initial reaction to hearing about the ruling was ‘Oh, well, then they will just have to put it back on campus, I guess.’ Wouldn’t that be a hoot! Talk about unintended consequences.

    I think that, by law, UNC has to do something with the statue. They can’t destroy it, it was removed illegally from the campus, and I don’t think they are allowed to just stick it in the corner. Naturally, the local museums don’t have the guts to accept it as an exhibit. Witness one of the provisions of the settlement was that it the group was not permitted to put the statue in any of the 14 counties where there is a UNC campus. Guess it is just that contagious or something.

    Stay tune for more inanities out of North Carolina on this matter. And that’s not even counting the statue or sculpture or something that was removed from Duke under cover of darkness…..

    • Silent Sam is not a statue to the Confederacy. It is a statue memorializing the 287UNC students, faculty, and other employees who died in the war.

  3. I don’t understand what kind of “standing” any group needs to come to a contractual arrangement.

    They don’t, but this was not a contractual agreement, but purportedly a settlement for a lawsuit filed by the SCV mere hours before that settlement was approved. A lawsuit does require standing

    But of course, the SCV never had an ownership interest in the statue, not having been involved with its procurement. The United Daughters of the Confederacy were the ones who assisted the UNC in raising the money for the statue originally. The SCV bought the interest in the statue off them. But apparently they didn’t have that kind of money just lying around, so the UNC architects of the deal arranged to gift them $74,999 of the university’s money – $1 short of the amount that would require Board of Governors approval- so they could buy those rights. Let me run that by you again: the university’s fiduciaries gave the university’s money to a third party to facilitate that third party suing the university.

    Of course, the idea that the UDC ever had an ownership interest in the statue is based on a farfetched legal theory about one word in its dedication speech turning it into a conditional gift, which isn’t how conditional gifts work in NC law. Even if that theory held water, of course, it would in no case entitle the SCV to $2.5M on top of the statue.

    So basically, forget the statue, forget the politics, this was basically a case of one faction in the university administration trying to make a whopping big gift of university money by disguising it as a lawsuit, and getting caught at it.

  4. Anyone who would characterize the Sons of Confederate Veterans as a “white nationalist” organization is either being deliberately dishonest or willfully ignorant. The SCV is a 501c3 historical and educational organization. They are about as menacing as your local Rotary club. I am a member of the SCV, as well as the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War (SUVCW) and the Sons of the American Revolution (SAR). As soon as I can fully document the genealogy, I will be joining the General Society of the War of 1812 as well. All these are heritage organizations with membership based on genealogical descent. My local SCV group has taken on the sole ownership of (and maintenance responsibilities for) a large confederate cemetery that local government decided was too controversial for its PC sensibilities. This cemetery contains the remains of both black and white confederate veterans. When working at the cemetery, we regularly meet visiting descendants of “our” veterans who appreciate what we are doing to preserve their memory. We are honored to do so.

  5. I am glade you allso cher the lake of a proofreading Gene. It makes me feel Les stewpid when I notice my own typos the second after I post a comment.

    If there is anyone who reads this column who is still considering voting for Joe Biden, please look up the video from 2017 wherein he was talking about children loving to feel his hairy legs and how he loved their jumping on his lap. It’s one of the creepiest things you will ever watch.

    • There’s still a chance that the voters of South Carolina will embrace Joe Biden. And if they do, Biden is going to hold those voters uncomfortably close for an awkward moment, bury his face in their hair, and inhale deeply.

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