I’m working on Part III of the Wuhan virus ethics series, so I’m going to try to keep related matters to a minimum here. A couple links you can check out to relieve me of the necessity of commenting on them: Here’s Ann Althouse writing about her “social distancing” without, apparently, any awareness that the average American is not retired, financially well off, with a spouse, with grown children, who are happy blogging and reading all day. And here’s Ruth Marcus, long one of the more blatantly biased (and dim) members of the Washington Post’s editorial board, authoring an op ed with the head exploding headline, “Why Joe Biden is the antidote to this virus.” I intend to keep this utter crap on file for the next time someone argues that degrees from elite institutions are evidence of intellectual ability. Marcus has a Yale and Harvard Law degree.
1. Rich people have a right to their wealth; it’s a shame, though, that their riches can’t buy IQ points, or the wisdom to know when to shut up. Laurene Powell Jobs, widow of Steve , told the New York Times,
“It’s not right for individuals to accumulate a massive amount of wealth that’s equivalent to millions and millions of other people combined. There’s nothing fair about that. We saw that at the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries with the Rockefellers and Carnegies and Mellons and Fords of the world. That kind of accumulation of wealth is dangerous for a society. It shouldn’t be this way….I inherited my wealth from my husband, who didn’t care about the accumulation of wealth. I am doing this in honor of his work, and I’ve dedicated my life to doing the very best I can to distribute it effectively, in ways that lift up individuals and communities in a sustainable way. I’m not interested in legacy wealth building, and my children know that. Steve wasn’t interested in that. If I live long enough, it ends with me.”
What a stupid, ethics-challenged, smug and selfish person. The tell is offering the non-argument that people being able to make as much money as they can and want isn’t “fair” and that it “shouldn’t be that way.” How articulate and persuasive!
2. More sarcasm: What great public schools we have! In Lincoln, Nebraska, a group of teenagers, 14, 16, and 17,were trying to kill an opossum “because it was gross.” (They later told an officer that they thought the creature was a dog.) The animal rolled over and appeared to be dead, so its assailants left it on the ground. You know the rest.
Neither these kids parents, nor their teachers, nor the community nor culture, managed to teach these future burdens on society about “playing possum,” what a possum looks like, what a dog looks like, an why you don’t kill animals for fun. But I’m sure none of these matters were on any standardized tests.
Yes, it does matter.
3. Abuse of the bar disciplinary complaint process. Attorney Joseph Gioconda sent a letter of complaint to New York’s Grievance Committee for the Second Judicial District stating that “[a]t a minimum, Attorney/Senator Schumer’s statements appear to be improper conduct that reflects upon his character and fitness to practice law in New York.” The conservative National Legal Policy Center also filed a complaint arguing that Schumer’s “conduct . . . is prejudicial to the administration of justice.”
As I pointed out when some legal ethicists let their Trump derangement get the better of them and filed an ethics complaint against Kellyanne Conway, lawyers in the practice of politics and related matters are not practicing law, and using the legal ethics rules as apolitical weapon is itself unethical. The equation is different when the lawyer politician violates laws, however—as when Rep. Matt Gaetz attempted to intimidate Michael Cohen before he gave testimony to a Senate committee, and when Bill Clinton lied in a courtroom under oath. Politicians with law licenses shouldn’t be subjected to special limitations because of their bar memberships, other than as a matter of professional honor and character. Schumer, who threatened two SCOTUS justices on the steps of the Supreme Court, deserved to be punished as a U.S. Senator, by the Senate. (Pointer and Facts: Res Ipsa Loquitur)
4. Totalitarianism? What totalitarianism? New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio,who recently declared a state of emergency in New York, told MSNBC interviewer Joy Reid,
“Here’s reality: This is a war like situation. We’re in a wartime scenario with a Mar-a-Lago attitude being used by the federal government. It’s so laid back, and I don’t understand it and — by the way, testing, how about ventilators, where is the federal government making sure our hospitals have the ventilators we’re going to need? Where is the federal government when it comes to surgical masks? This is a case for a nationalization of crucial factories and industries that could produce the medical supplies to prepare this country for what we need.