High Noon Ethics Warm-Up, 3/19/2020: O.J. Being O.J., Honestly Unethical Journalists, A Zealous Defense Lawyer, And Pandemic Jerks

Y-y-yup!

Started this one at precisely 12:00. Finished at exactly 1:30 pm.

An administrative note: I don’t censor comments by the regulars, but I’m going to be more aggressive in sending off-site notes of displeasure when homophobic, sexist and gratuitous ad hominem insults turn up. (Note: it is always acceptable to refer to someone as an idiot who has written something idiotic, if you explain why it’s idiotic.) We’ve never had a problem here with racist language (in part because I keep spamming comments from the Chimpmania mob), and I will continue to allow wide latitude regarding comments that are self-indicting (making fun of Hillary’s legs, for example, is a jerk move). But while no forum where intelligent participants exercise sharp critical judgment on lazy assertions and knee-jerk positions will ever be “safe,” no one who comes here should ever feel personally attacked or denigrated. I need to do a better job making sure of that. All assistance will be appreciated.

1. Wuhan Virus jerk update:

  • This (Pointer: valkygrrl):

I assume everyone now knows that O.J. is a stone-cold sociopath, but it’s considerate of him to keep reminding us. At least he didn’t say that he was furious that the Wuhan Virus restrictions on travel were impeding his search for Nicole and Ron’s killer.

  • “You know: morons!” Jennifer Rubin, the completely Trump Deranged NeverTrump conservative whose constant eruptions of hate and anger regularly embarrass the Washington Post, recently wrote that more Republicans than Democrats would die in the pandemic because the former slavishly follow Fox News. Uh, no.  If she’s right, it will be pure demographics. The Millennials  appears to be, like all of its predecessors at a similar age, dumb as bricks. CBS reports that the kids are flocking to Florida for Spring Break, while posting and saying things like this from Brady Sluder, spring breaker from Ohio and moron: ,”If I get corona, I get corona. At the end of the day, I’m not gonna let it stop me from partying. We’re just out here having a good time. Whatever happens, happens.”

This does explain the intellectual basis for Bernie Sanders’ support, however.

2.  My Part III dilemma. I admit to procrastinating in my efforts to complete Pandemic Ethics Observations Part III : Journalism And Politics  (Part I is here; and this is Part II) because a) reviewing the material makes me angry and b) the volume of material keeps increasing. For example, The Washington Post has apparently decided that any rant-in-print claiming that President Trump is responsible for the spread of the virus in the U.S. and is endangering us all by his continued existence , against all logic and fact, must be given prominent placement on its op-ed pages. Here, for example, is a screed by a member of the Weld for President team, issued hours before the candidate ceased campaigning. As far as I can see, these things have no function except to give Trump Deranged members of the Facebook Borg something to post because they lack the wit and skill to make their own arguments.

Then there is this, yet another attack article by Kellyanne Conway’s husband, George.. [Aside: If I were the President, I’d tell Conway that she can either muzzle hubby or resign. There are limits to how much a spouse can be allowed to undermine a husband or wife’s job, and those limits were passed by George Conway long ago. Conway’s only basis for the attention he receives is who he’s married to and her prominent role in the Trump Administration. One way or another, this is his wife’s problem to solve.]

Ann Althouse wrote of George’s latest today: “I’m blogging this solely to say I’m not putting up with this kind of bullshit anymore. We’re coming together, we’re fighting a great worldwide battle. Ask yourself, before you hit “publish”: Am I helping? These people like George T. Conway III who are doing their same old routine in our new, painful circumstance do not deserve to be read. Ask yourself before you read something: Is this helping? And don’t click on that link.”

It isn’t just now, though. The efforts to tear down the President have been destructive from the beginning. They’ve never helped, and they weren’t intended to. Their purpose has always been to promote failure and chaos.

3.  “Nah, there’s no mainstream media bias!” During CNN primary night coverage this week,  liberal political commentator Alexandra Rojas was on a panel  hosted Anderson Cooper, chief political analyst Gloria Borger, former Obama aide and senior political commentator David Axelrod, and former governor of Virginia and CNN contributor Terry McAuliffe. (Note the political diversity). As results showed Joe Biden thrashing Sanders, Rojas said,

What I think that means right now is that millennials, we want Donald Trump to be defeated too. I think there is nobody here that does not want Donald Trump to be defeated.”

Nobody on the panel corrected her.

The surprise is not what Rojas said, but that the group was honest enough not to pretend otherwise. How much more evidence will it take to make Democrats and progressives dig deep, find their integrity, and admit the obvious?

4. Contribution Ethics: a) All 30 Major League baseball clubs have established $1 million funds to cover the lost wages of their game day and event staffs during the league-wide shutdown.

b)  Mike Bloomberg can spend his money any way he wants, but we can make certain judgments about him based on his choices. Americans are at risk, but Bloomberg has pledged 40 million dollars to international efforts, while the memory of his wasting 500 million on trying to buy the Democratic nomination is still fresh in everyone’s minds.

5. Now THIS is a quick-thinking  lawyer! Texas defense lawyer Michael Mowla convinced a Texas appeals court  to delay the execution of his condemned client John William Hummel this week by arguing that gathering so many people could create a risk of exposure to the Wuhan virus. In his supplemental motion for a stay,Mowla lawyerpointed out that executions involve a substantial number of people including correctional officers, a spiritual adviser, family members of the inmate and the victims, attorneys, prison officials, physicians, witnesses and journalists. “Gathering all these people in one location presents a substantial risk of transmission of COVID-19/Coronavirus if anyone is infected,”  he wrote.

It worked.

“In light of the current health crisis and the enormous resources needed to address the execution,” the Court ruled, and the execution was stayed for 60 days.

Hummel  fatally stabbed his pregnant wife, killed his father-in-law with a baseball bat, and evidence indicates that  he also killed his 5-year-old daughter with the bat.

Now his lawyer will have another two months to dream up another way to save him.

25 thoughts on “High Noon Ethics Warm-Up, 3/19/2020: O.J. Being O.J., Honestly Unethical Journalists, A Zealous Defense Lawyer, And Pandemic Jerks

  1. Gen X appears to be, like all of its predecessors at a similar age, dumb as bricks.

    Gen X is now roughly 40 to 55 years old. The kids in Florida are either late Millienials or early Gen Z.

  2. 3. In fairness to CNN, since the SPLC has essentially identified any living thing supporting Donald Trump or opposing the SPLC in any way as a living hate crime, they can’t cover a political party or its candidates without supporting hate. So, they have that out.

  3. Re: No. 2 (well, kinda, but not really, but . . . )

    So, Pres. Trump is a racist and an ethnicist. He refers to the current virus as the Wuhan Flu and says it originated in China. Now, we are reduced to arguing over whether use of “Wuhan Flu” is racist. Check out this exchange caught on camera by C-SPAN:

    https://www.cnbc.com/2020/03/18/coronavirus-criticism-trump-defends-saying-chinese-virus.html

    Simply mind-boggling. She seriously believes that a dozen or so incidents nationwide directly implicate the President and “Wuhan Flu,” with no sense of irony that by doing so she is taking instruction from BEIJING – the one country responsible for the entire mess, and unquestionably one of the most secretive and fact-withholding governments on the planet whose racist history is irrefutable.

    jvb

    • I said just the other day, the Chinese learned from the prior three years of Russia, Russia, Russia, that the news media will do their bidding to sow chaos and discord in America. All they need to do is suggest that Trump is a racist by calling the Chinese Flu and they will need to only sit back and watch as the media works to ensure that slow witted Biden is who they will deal with next year.

      Obviously, the Biden campaign is coordinating with the Chinese because he is using their talking points . They didn’t give Hunter a billion dollars out of the goodness of their heart. (sarcasm alert)

  4. #5. To underscore that the delay was not put in place merely to gain another couple of months to dream up a new appeal, the judge should have ordered that no appeals of the verdict or sentence would be accepted, that the delay was to protect the general public not the condemned man.

    Also, the attorney failed to mention the numerous protestors, for and against, that would assemble at the prison as the execution drew nigh..

    • My grammar is far better when I compose in Word first and then paste it here. I am often embarrassed at the mistakes I make when I create my comments on my cell phone.

    • On most occasions when I comment, I write it up in MS Word, read it, proof it, and then copy and paste into WordPress. Word highlights some spelling/usage/grammar things. Those who frequently have editing issues might wish to do something similar.

      • When I’m on top of my game, I read others’ comments before I post, too, and, sure enough, this time I missed Chris Marschner’s post which makes the same point.

  5. Here is an article worth mentioning.

    http://reason.com/2020/03/19/the-fear-the-panic-is-a-bigger-problem-than-the-virus-says-new-yorks-governor/

    “The fear, the panic, is a bigger problem than the virus,” says New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who is resisting calls for “shelter in place” orders as a way of curtailing the COVID-19 epidemic. Telling New Yorkers they must not leave their homes “scares people,” he told The New York Times yesterday, and he will not approve such edicts in New York City or elsewhere. “That is not going to happen,” he promised, contradicting warnings to that effect from New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio.

    • I said to my wife that the call to “shelter in place” is fundamentally wrong. What if you are in a spot a pot or in Walmart when the order comes down? The correct statement would be to “stay home”.

    • Among the stupidest things Trump ever did was being gratuitously disrespectful to the Bush network, even dumber than impugning McCain’s heroism. That’s a large, loyal group of powerful people, and they have been attacking him from every angle ever since.

      • Yes, that is typically juvenile Trumpism. Anyone who disagrees with him in the least jot or tittle gets both barrels at the same time.

        How he made it as far as he has in life will remain one of life’s great mysteries…

  6. The attorney’s appeal is more right than you may realize. Outbreaks of life-threatening disease pose a serious threat in a prison environment. Many inmates are housed in large dormitories and eat in relatively small dining areas, making disease transmission almost impossible to stop once it gets a foothold.

    Adding to the threat, inmates concerned about catching illness may resort to violence against fellow prisoners suspected of being ill, knowing that assaulted inmates will be moved out of their housing area.

    As a final problem, correctional staff are responsible for ensuring that inmates receive all necessary medical care. A disease that is still largely as mysterious as Covid-19 is runs the risk that numerous inmates will require transportation to hospitals or to medical facilities that are more well-equipped than a prison infirmary. With a highly-contagious illness, this could quickly overwhelm the prison system’s ability to safely transport and monitor these inmate patients.

  7. I’m becoming increasingly convinced that the main harm from the Wuhan virus is likely to be the economic damage caused by the often mindless and media-driven hysteria surrounding the situation, TDS-infected media being a major contributor. Any pandemic can affect business as usual to some degree, of course. This health problem is not, however, inherently an economic/financial crisis, but is well on its way (if it’s not already past the point) to needlessly triggering one severe enough to result in much greater overall harm to national and global life and health by way of wrecking economies. The financial markets have been signalling this, and it’s truly frightening. It’s also apparent that certain deranged demographics would seem to be happy to see this happen if it meant people would blame and punish Trump in the election. We would presumably all then be content in our egalitarian misery.

    Even well-meant but ill-considered actions may trigger unintended consequences that could ultimately make things worse. Here’s an interesting opinion on some of the issues:
    https://reason.com/2020/03/18/will-aggressive-covid-19-control-measures-cost-more-than-they-are-worth/?utm_medium=email#comments

    • Hmm… let’s see:

      Government: Ooops, we overreacted a bit to Kung Flu (sorry, I just gotta tweak any “woke” readers out there).

      People: What do you mean?

      Government: Well, we didn’t have to destroy the economy after all. It turns out the virus is no more deadly than influenza, and 50% of the deaths attributed to Kung Flu could’ve been by one of several viruses and microorganisms found in the remains.

      Sorry!

      People: So you’re bringing back all those jobs, right?

      Government: Nope, not in our power. We just blew it a little. Again, sorry!

      People: So you’re going to pay my bills?

      Government: No can do, man. We bankrupted ourselves as well as you. But look at the bright side — we kept that virus down!

      Government: Now, you’ll have to excuse us while we sell the rest of the country to China. We asked them if this was all a plan, but they said no, just a happy accident.

      Have a nice day!

        • Yes, I’m somewhat ashamed to say. Schadenfreude may be unethical, but it’s also extremely satisfying, especially when so many on the Left are trying to find some plausible excuse to call every ethnic reference “racist,” even when “race” isn’t actually at issue.

          The idea that things like “Kung Flu” are racist is more than just absurd, it’s around-the-bend idiotic. I will have no mercy on those who embrace such tactics, ethics be damned (or at least be back-seated).

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