On The Recent Steele Dossier Revelations: An Open Letter To An Un-Named Former Ethics Alarms Commenter, Written In Disappointment And Disgust

Dear You Know Who You Are,

As you remember, well over a year ago you staged a grandstanding, insulting exit from participation on this blog, declaring that I had “drunk the Kool-Aid.”  Your false claim was provoked because I had successfully navigated through  lies, calculated disinformation and lawbreaking—engineered by those within and without the U.S. government—to conclude that a coordinated effort had been and was underway to overthrow the elected President of the United States. At this point, the fact that your accusation was based on your own blindness and bias is not subject to rational denial or debate.

I knew that at the time, of course. I also felt, and feel, that for you to behave that way, in public, here, was a personal as well as a professional betrayal. We had, I thought, a cordial and mutually respectful relationship. We had exchanged details about the high and low points of our lives face to face.  We are in the same field and profession. I trusted you.

I have provided you some slack in my ultimate judgment on your character because I know that, as we say here often, bias makes us stupid, even the best of us. I have seen this particular bias make many people, even some smarter than you, as difficult as it may be for you to conceive of that, both stupid and  destructive, apparently without a glimmer of self-realization. I recognize that it the phenomenon is, at this point, indistinguishable from an illness, one triggered by emotion and group-think. Thus I am, up to a point, sympathetic, just as I am regarding so many of my Facebook friends who figuratively make asses of themselves every single day  because they are addicted to “likes” and peer approval. Some of them are even lawyers, but you know…lawyers. That is a professional group, along with historians, politicians, historians, scholars, psychiatrist, educators and, of course, journalists, that has broken its duty of trust with the public as it joined a dangerous and unconscionable effort to break our democracy.

But they aren’t ethicists. Foolishly, I still expect more of them, though I have been repeatedly disappointed over the past three and half years. I definitely expected more of you. I even get your newsletter, gullible sap that I am.

The “Kool-Aid” that you claimed I drank was the developing evidence that powerful forces within the Justice Department and the FBI had conspired, even before Donald Trump was elected, to sabotage first, his campaign, and second, his presidency.

Here’s  a recent CBS report by Catherine Herridge.

“The FBI was warned sections of the controversial Steele dossier could have been part of a ‘Russian disinformation campaign to denigrate U.S. foreign relations’…”
“… according to newly declassified footnotes from a government watchdog report. The December report by Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz examined the FBI’s investigation into alleged coordination between the Trump campaign and Russia as well as the FBI’s four surveillance warrants for former Trump campaign aide Carter Page…. Several footnotes in Horowitz’s report were redacted, and Republican Senators Chuck Grassley and Ron Johnson pushed for the declassification of four footnotes related to the Steele dossier… Footnote 350 in the IG report addresses the FBI’s knowledge of Russian contacts with Steele and the potential for disinformation. Steele had ‘frequent contacts with representatives for multiple Russian oligarchs, we identified reporting the Crossfire Hurricane team received from (redacted) indicating the potential for Russian disinformation influencing Steele’s election reporting.’…”

Glenn Greenwald had more in  a report at the end of last year, well over a year after I had been writing about the same issues—you know, “Kool-Aid.” It began,

Before evaluating the media component of this scandal, the FBI’s gross abuse of its power – its serial deceit – is so grave and manifest that it requires little effort to demonstrate it. In sum, the IG Report documents multiple instances in which the FBI – in order to convince a FISA court to allow it spy on former Trump campaign operative Carter Page during the 2016 election – manipulated documents, concealed crucial exonerating evidence, and touted what it knew were unreliable if not outright false claims.

If you don’t consider FBI lying, concealment of evidence, and manipulation of documents in order to spy on a U.S. citizen in the middle of a presidential campaign to be a major scandal, what is?

Oh, I don’t know, maybe using the same methods and people to attempt a successful impeachment?

But I digress.

I thought you might have had the decency to apologize and retract your exit statement then. Shame on me.

You can restore a shred of your personal and professional integrity, my erstwhile friend, by belatedly coming back here and admitting you were both wrong and unfair, and attaching the admission to a Level 1 apology. (Let this be your guide.) I’ll generously post that as a Comment of the Day. You have until the end of next week, though you should have registered this months ago if you possessed the ethical traits you get paid to inculcate in others.

It’s a generous offer. If you have any integrity at all, you will accept it.

I won’t be holding my breath,

Signed,

Jack Marshall, Ethics Alarms Proprietor.

 

100 thoughts on “On The Recent Steele Dossier Revelations: An Open Letter To An Un-Named Former Ethics Alarms Commenter, Written In Disappointment And Disgust

  1. I’ll join in your hope your friend comes to his/her senses, but it is likely in vain.

    Nearly all lawyers I’ve known have been more interested in professionally persuading people they’re right, irrespective of what is just or true. And to a large degree this is understandable, because the practice of law doesn’t always favor justice or truth over what is or isn’t legal. This does not mean lawyers in their professional practice are unethical or evil, but it often appears so to the general public. Thus the proliferation of mean spirited lawyer jokes.

    It is when the drive to be right irrespective of truth or justice personally overwhelms, however, it becomes egoism. It is easy to see why so many on record for so long in such a public manner cannot retreat in the face of the objective facts, but insist against all just and true evidence that they are right. To be wrong would be to throw their very public personal credibility investment away. In this case it has taken the form of TDS.

      • It is easy to find his consulting website. Charles H. Green. I would be interested in his opinions at this point on political matters. None of that appears on his professional site though.

        If you google his name you can find his articles in the HuffPost: Ferguson: Facts, Phrases and Memes Is one. It is a strange exercise in ‘liberal sophistry’. He has written quite a bit and has some books out. He also has quite a number of videos on YouTube.

        Sadly, none of it seems very interesting. In my opinion if someone is ‘ensconced’‘ within liberal systems — and CHG definitely seems to be: his livelihood depends on it — you have to ‘toe the line’.

        You can’t really speak the truth, you have to parrot all the politically-correct determined phrasings. I venture to say that he opted not to continue here because there is a danger in being associated with people who are not thinking in ‘lock-step’.

      • PS: There is a potentially very interesting conversation about what *Kool-Aid* is and of course who drinks it. My view is that the reigning liberal system of thinking is a particular type of Kool-Aid. And if you don’t drink it, that is the real crime. And punishment for not drinking it, and not reading from its various compulsory lists . . . can and will cost you your career and everything you have worked for.

  2. While I appreciate the satisfaction a Nyah Nyah gives this open letter seems to violate the golden rule.

    If Cha, I mean the unnamed person does not follow the blog anymore then the letter can be interpreted as a way to embarrass someone behind his back. A private letter might have been a better choice.

    • I published the “Nya Nya” some time ago. The insult was public, and ethically the apology has to be. Golden Rule? If I ever behave that badly toward a friend and colleague, I would want to be confronted as powerfully as possible, and to be made to do the right thing if I somehow couldn’t come to that point on my own. He had ample time to do that. He has my private email.

      And believe me, Chris, when I say I gain no satisfaction from having to write that letter at all.

      • Your explanation makes sense. I try to pattern my behavior from what I learn here. I know how satisfying it is when the evidence is established to prove your points amd how easy it is to do an end zone dance.

        • Oh, it’s tempting, all right. It’s especially tempting when every week I see the equivilent of an anlysis of an issue I entered hear highlighted on massive blogs days after I posted on it. The post here was clearer, sharper,and earlier, but Ethics Alarms is still “becalmed in the doldrums,” traffic-wise. I have, I think, yielded to the temptation to say “I told you so” maybe five times in more than ten years and after over 11,000 posts.

          Yeah, this incident bugged me, and it continues to bug me. I analyzed the data and spent a ridiculous amount of time picking through the right wing conspiracy theories and the Left wing disinformation. I Then I worked to try to clarify it all for readers here, because I consider that my job: it’s an ethics story. And I, and the blog, was punished for that.

          I can’t shrug that off. I’m not wired that way; never have been. Three theaters mistreated me and my staffs in 40 years of directing, they all knew it, none ever apologized. To this day I have never set foot in their spaces, or done anything but work to discourage any artists from working with them. There are other examples.

          • I have given your point considerable thought and have come to the conclusion that when a public insult is made it can ethically be given a hearty I told you so while serving them a healthy portion of crow to consume also very publically.

            I believe the ethical person has a duty to minimize a behavior in another who publically seeks to diminish the ideas of others. That can include a very public dressing down. Had the original insult been privately made then the dressing down must also be done in private.

  3. Jack,

    You’re not inviting reconciliation; you’re asking someone to grovel back on their knees while you force-feed them mouthfuls of humble pie, all so you can be “right.”

    In your mind, you won. Why isn’t that enough?

    • “In my mind”? It’s not about winning. The issue is that I do not tolerate being mocked and vilified for doing my job the best I can. When I wrong someone, I apologize and try to make amends. When I am factually wrong, I acknowledge it. I am requiring that a colleague in my field treat me the way he trains others to conduct themselves, and gets paid to do so.

    • I have to agree with Neil, Jack. Charles was a dyed in the wool liberal, just like I’m a dyed in the wool conservative. Everything he saw, he saw through that lens. I think during the Obama administration it was one thing here, although you criticized bad decisions on Obama’s part (and there were a lot of them) you never attacked him on anything other than substantive grounds. You were also supportive of him in his role as president, because it is your basic belief that the office is entitled to a certain level of support, no matter who holds it.

      I only got here during the Obama administration. If I’m not mistaken, the blog didn’t exist in its present form for the GWB admin, or at least for very much of it (also social media didn’t really get off the ground until almost the end). I think a lot of the regulars here might think differently of you if it had, and, presumably, you would have arced from defense of GWB in the aftermath of 9/11, to “hey, what’s going on here?” as he geared up for Iraq, then to “this went right initially, but now it’s going really wrong” as Iraq became more of a mess, to defense again, as he was unfairly treated with regard to Katrina, to “the GOP deserved it” (which they probably did) after the disastrous election of 2006. I’m sure Cindy Sheehan, Katherine Blanco, John Murtha and a few other lefties would have come in for duncehood, but I’m sure GWB and his people would have rotated through a lot more, for the simple reason they were the administration and the ones making most of the mistakes, and boy howdy did they make some doozies.

      I think your centrist credentials would be a lot more firmly established in the minds of some, and they’d be willing to give you the benefit of the doubt. I also think a lot of the libs here (and, for a while, some of us conservatives) agreed with you when you said Donald Trump must not be elected and that he would turn this country into a nation of assholes. Heck, I was ready to make my own (quiet) exit when you said the only ethical course was to vote for (yuck) Hillary. I know you gave your reasons for saying that, but I still didn’t like it. I think a lot of the libs here paid minimal attention to your course correction away from voting for Hillary, because most of them, in fact most folks generally, didn’t think it mattered, because all the polls said Hillary was a shoe-in. The rest is history, and when most of us got over the surprise, I think a lot of us expected the Trump presidency simply to begin, and you to continue pointing out his missteps, and boy howdy were there going to be a lot of those. I don’t think we expected not just political opposition, but active resistance to his very existence and legitimacy to spring up so quickly and so aggressively. It came as a shock that there were ugly protests in New York the day after the election. However, once the flame of resistance was lit, a lot of the liberals jumped on the bandwagon and said, a la Charles Blow, that this man and his presidency were morally repulsive, and they were going to fight him every way they could. He wasn’t just the opposite side politically, he was the enemy of everything this country was supposed to be, and it was their political and moral duty to stop him cold, and ultimately remove him from office before his term was over.

      You merely had the restraint and, corny as it may sound, the wisdom, to point out that this was not the way things were supposed to be run in this country according to the Constitution. You also pointed out that deviating from the way things were supposed to be done in the name of undoing an election was objectively not a good idea, because it would make it harder to make deals, set potentially bad precedents, etc. You also made the point, which I believe has always been your principle, that elected presidents are entitled to a chance to try to make things work. This did not compute with a lot of the liberals, who, I think, missed your pivot at the end against Hillary, and paid more of their attention than they should have to your message that nominating Trump was a bad idea and he must not be elected. Several of them expected you to jump right on the bandwagon and turn your formidable analytical talents and ethical gravitas to the task of getting him out of office, the sooner the better, today would be great, within the hour if possible. You didn’t, and I think a lot on the left lost their respect for you. I’m not going to name and shame, but if I say that several of the leftward leaning commentators here became out and out hostile and determined to step on any support for the president, here or anyone else on the net I think everyone will get the point. I also don’t think I need to identify those who engaged in those 100+ post threads. The definition of a fanatic is someone who can’t change his mind and won’t change the subject. What kind of person posts that many posts? If someone is that kind of person, what makes you think he’s going to bow to you and apologize when he probably doesn’t think he did anything wrong?

      I’m friends on facebook with a few died-in-the-wool liberals, and we don’t read one another’s feeds and certain subjects are off limits, because none of us are going to change one another’s minds, no matter what we say. You’re not going to change Charles’ mind, or Chris’s mind, or the minds of any of the other departed liberals who I will not name, any more than I’m going to convince the jerk who used to harass me every day in high school or the other guy who I used to butt heads with at CCD, or the woman who used me as an emotional sponge and threw me aside with slightly less care than you’d use for a sponge that they were wrong. I don’t want apologies, I don’t want revenge (well, maybe I do, but, when I’m not angry or triggered I know damn well that I’m not going to get it). I don’t want reconciliation. What I want is what I already have now – these people OUT of my life, never to return. Charles is out of your life, never to return. Forget him and move on. You may see this as an ethical failure on his part. It may well be. The fact that he acted as he did is a refection on him, not on you. Close the record and be done with it.

      • And this is agreeing with Neil how???

        The Bush Presidency commentary was all on the still unaccessible Ethics Scoreboard. To summarize: The Democrats began tugging on the loose threads of the Democracy with their “Bush stole the election” tactic. Bush had to attack the Taliban. With Iraq openly defying the cease fire agreement and blocking inspections, the US had legal justification to go into Iraq. Bush didn’t “lie” and the UN was corrupt and worthless in not backing the Bush invasion. Was it wise? Probably not. Did the fact that the campaign was botched or that there were no WMDs found mean it was a bad call? No. (Consequentialism). The GOP was so incredibly corrupt in Bush’s first term that the party deserved to lose Congress. The news media was completely hostile to Bush, beginning its evolution into total partisan hacks. Katrina was a media led partisan attack unmoored to facts, and Bush enabled it by repeated blunders, like having a useless boob as head of FEMA. Yet that gang beating worked, and after that, Bush’s public trust was shattered. Again, his moves and speeches were often clumsy, and he, like Obama, didn’t fire people that should have been fired. The 2008 meltdown was a bipartisan fiasco, maybe even a little bit more democratic, as Barney Frank and Ted Kennedy pushed the bad credit mortgages that crashed the economy, but it was still Bush’s economy, and Bush’s SEC that was asleep at the switch.

        • Sounds about right. I only got around to agreeing at the end, agreeing with him saying that you aren’t going to get Charles to come back here to eat humble pie, so move on.

          • That’s not the idea. This is: I am eager to read legitimate, substantive, fair and logical arguments. That’s what two of the most intense and and helpful progressives here, Ampersand and tgt, usually provided, plus Still Spartan at her best, Jan Chapman,and Windy, some others whose names escape me at the moment. I’m grateful for such commentary. I will not be lied to, or gaslighted, mocked, or insulted by suggestions that I have a political agenda, or am manipulating facts, or am mouthing talking points from Fox News, or do not do my due diligence, or am gullible, and as Kevin Klein says in “A Fish Called Wanda,” “Don’t call me stupid!”

            • This site is not well served, and this nation is not well served, by one-sidedness. I don’t remember Ampersand, tgt had some interesting points, but I found his unyielding atheism got my hackles up, although he never turned to the usual condescending insults about the sky fairy, etc. that are the stock-in-trade of most religion-haters. Still Spartan, although sometimes we butted heads, I believe was at heart a decent person. Jan Chapman I do not remember. Windy I know I clashed with at least once. The rest of the libs, eh, although my days of ripping into and vilifying others here are over.

    • Come on, Paulie. Even reading between the lines, I don’t see Jack suggesting Charles should commit suicide. Query: Even among ethicists, never mind lawyers, would such a suggestion be ethical?

      • And never mind any score settling among the EA crowd, I sure hope John Brennan is indicted and gets some jail time.

      • But Paul has a valid analogy, in that Tom is telling Frankie that they both know he did wrong, he breached a trust, and there are unpleasant consequences for that which he is expected to accept. Ditto.

        • Jack,
          You’re okay with The Godfather analogy? Then, to quote Tom later (to Michael) “Is it worth it? I mean, you’ve won. Do you want to wipe everybody out?”

          No one outside of the mafia would consider that kind of ultimatum fair, which is exactly the point. Frank accepted the “deal” because it was the least unethical option in a zugswang (sp?) he’d gotten himself into.

          Ethically, you will have defeated out all your enemies. But, like Michael, you will also sit alone.

          • Yes, NOW you have made the ridiculous and inflammatory analogy between requiring someone to kill themselves, and requiring a public apology. I assure you that a public apology never kills anyone. I know: I’ve done them.

            • Jack,
              You didn’t ask for an apology, you demanded one. You didn’t offer reconciliation, you offered to accept someone’s groveling. You’re asking for something approaching “justice” for a perceived wrong, but that will only breed more animosity from the person who “wronged” you. Even if the commenter in question accepted your terms and made the apology, it would do nothing to mend your relationship. You’d be satisfied and they’d feel resentful for having to cow-tow according to your standards.

      • Sheesh OB, I wasn’t suggesting that at all. The parallel I attempted to illustrate, admittedly a bit clumsily and with too much room for interpretation, was the offering of a “mutually acceptable” method of atonement.

        I once had a good friend (roomed with him twice for a year each time and a better Julie Principle example you’ll never find) with whom I had a rather ugly falling out 27 years ago.

        He was never in very good health, physically or mentally, but we were good pals, for better or the far more frequent worse.

        We had mutual friends, and whenever I asked after him I’d hear that he never passed up a chance to rip on me, always immediately followed by my cutting him a new one….which was necessary for some much needed balance and perspective…right?

        It was always in the back of my mind there’d be a chance to reconcile. Doing so wasn’t in his skill set; were ever to happen, I knew it would fall to me. He died five years ago come May.

        Jack’s come halfway; I hope unnamed does as well.

  4. On a lighter note regarding the state of things here at EA, The Daily Mail just published an all time typo/malapropism that makes any by our host pale in comparison. They quoted the surgeon general as urging “Americans who are at risk of overdosing on opioids, as well as their family and friends, to carry an anecdote for overdoses.”

    Even being a writer of fiction, I guess I’ve underestimated the power of story telling. And who among us has not at one time or another overdosed on their family and friends?

    Jeeze Louise, don’t newspapers have proof readers anymore?

  5. Jack, have you ever considered fleeing the Acela corridor? Mrs. OB and I fled the northeast in 1975. A great move. The groupthink and smugness of the allegedly best and brightest is pervasive there. You just have to get away, physically. Standard issue northeasterner lefties, but I repeat myself, are always right. They know everything, particularly that anyone outside the northeast is a contemptible idiot. You know, deplorables. Run away.

      • Unfortunate. As many John Wayne and other westerns as you’ve watched, I’d have thought you’d go west at some point.

    • “The (Standard issue northeasterner lefties) groupthink and smugness of the allegedly best and brightest is pervasive there.”

      Pick yer poison, but speaking for myself out here in WESconsin, and without a second thought, I’d overwhelmingly prefer to deal northeasterner lefties than with Bay Area Lefties!

      • Are you referring to San Francisco Bay Area lefties or Bay Areas of Lake Mendota or Lake Monona lefties? Wasn’t Madison irrevocably made a part of New York City and its environs during the ‘sixties when all those kids from Brooklyn and thereabouts started flocking to Badgerland to party and stay out of the draft?

            • “Dangerously close to the U.P. and Yoopers.”

              In an uncomfortable departure with my usual unquestioning adherence to your boundless wisdom…the selfless nature of my Über Lefty Hancock, MI dwelling SANE (READ: Non-judgmental) in-laws deserve mention.

              The rest of ’em? If my car’s in the ditch, I’m going with the 1st 40 names in the U.P. directory…

  6. “You can restore a shred of your personal and professional integrity, my erstwhile friend, by belatedly coming back here and admitting you were both wrong and unfair, and attaching the admission to a Level 1 apology.”

    After what I’ve seen over the last 3+ years I just can’t imagine someone that’s left of the political divide and apparently consumed with anti-Trump thoughts actually going out of their way to publicly admit they were wrong and openly apologize. I predict the cowardly echos of crickets to continue indefinitely, but I sincerely hope I’m wrong.

    To the person being addressed in this particular blog…

    “This is not a joke and it’s not an insult, it’s a question that only you can answer for yourself. Are you suffering from what I call Acute Propaganda-Induced Anti-Trump Hysteria Syndrome (APIATHS)?”

    “I’ve run across a plethora of people, friends, acquaintances, over the last three plus years that have deeply ingrained beliefs that can’t be justified by anything substantial except their hate. Many of these people get quite emotional when confronted with facts that contradict their beliefs, these beliefs are ingrained like religious beliefs…”

    Testing for Acute Propaganda-Induced Anti-Trump Hysteria Syndrome.

  7. I don’t understand the rose-tinted expressions when it comes to Charles, I don’t think that he added much, especially when compared to Jan, Spartan or tgt.

    More than being consistently wrong, I thought he was insufferably boring and intellectually incurious. Not only was his style of writing was dry, but I knew exactly what he was going to say, why he was going to say it, and his responses to any dissension from his point of view: He didn’t have a single, solitary unique idea in his head, and he took his marching orders directly out of the DNC handbook. His ability to ignore inconvenient points to try to swivel to safer areas that concerned no one other than him was legendary.

    Usually people are more complex than strict top-to-bottom party line adherence, Charles wasn’t. There were no interesting points of view, there was no reflection, hell… there was no self-awareness. Charles is similar to Alizia and Steve in that they exhibit behaviors that fail the Turing test. They do it from remarkably different points of view, and in remarkably different ways, but at their core, they are people deeply, rigidly, terminally adherent to a particular ideology. Charles just had less staying power.

    I remember, just before he left, we were having a second amendment discussion, and I asked him (and I’m paraphrasing, because as a Luddite, I can’t figure out how to search posts on here efficiently enough to bother); “If this is about common sense gun control, and you aren’t supportive of banning handguns, could you give me an example of a gun-control policy that you wouldn’t support.” and he responded, and I think it was serious, although from someone with more wit than a pile of sand I might almost assume satire, with (again paraphrasing): “A law that would restrict toys and replicas, like water guns.”

    While I think the blog suffers from not having left leaning dissent to an otherwise right leaning commentariat, Charles is probably the last person I’d choose to reach out to. But that’s just me.

    • Well, I wasn’t exactly reaching out. When someone does one of those “Good day, sir! This and you are not worth my time,” they are self banned thereafter. An apology doesn’t ensure the restoration of commenting privileges. In the case at hand, it’s a two stage process 1. “I was wrong, and a jerk, and I apologize.” and then 2. “I will be good. Can I have another chance, please?” #1 does not guarantee a positive response to #2, but #2 won’t even be entertained without #1.

      Almost no one has been allowed back after an explicit self-ban; I had the same rule as an organization leader when someone would quit then say the next day, “I didn’t mean it.”

      • I suppose I’m confused by the motive then… If this wasn’t an attempt to reach out, it was… what? Vindication in blog form? An example of how other banned people might be able to make their way back? A cautionary tale for people treading the edge?

        • Is that really so hard to figure out? The commenter is obligated to acknowledge wrongful behavior were it was engaged in, because an accusation that was unfair and unjustified when it was made was in fact, also wrong. If someone owes me money (as several clients to nwo) I send them a reminder. I’m not “reaching out.” I’m saying, “In case you forgot, you still owe me something. Pay up.”

          It was on part a post noting recent developments on the issue, which were itself an ethics development that EA had not yet noted. It was not a demonstration of how to make one’s way back, because, as I just wrote to you, an acknowledgement and an apology for the conduct won’t accomplish that when a commenter throws a tantrum here, however courtly. Maybe a bit of a cautionary tale. Mostly a different way of making an always valid ethics point: when you do wrong, have the guts to admit it and say you’re sorry in a timely fashion.

          And thanks for giving me a change to clarify this: the fact that the original mike-drop was based on crap is not the issue, nor is the fact that subsequent developments have proved it was crap beyond a shadow of a doubt. The latter would be consequentialism, and the former would be punishing someone for being wrong. The offense was the exit, the claim that I am in thrall of some cult and incapable of being sufficiently professional and careful to avoid herd mentality, and that the forum here was no longer worthy of the commenter’s sainted presence. That would be an offense even if subsequent developments proved ME wrong. Anyone can make a mistake in analysis; I’ll never blame anyone for that.

          • Bottom line, the guy was rude and an idiot, but we all knew that a while ago. Sainted? Ha! Maybe if you believe in the concept I am working on of the “dark saint.”

      • When I used the word rigid, it was in this context:

        “but at their core, they are people deeply, rigidly, terminally adherent to a particular ideology.”

        Which ideology do you think I rigidly adhere to? My point was that most people have issues that they break away from the ideology on. I think the closest thing to an ideology I have might be libertarian, but I don’t like the libertarian position on things like socialized healthcare, and that’s just an obvious low-hanging fruit. Obviously, I lean right, but the libertarian in me really has issues with conservative reefer-madness-madness and I think the left has some really salient points on prison reform.

        No one gets it right all the time, but Charles *never* disagreed with the DNC. It was painfully obvious, at least to me, that he wasn’t as intelligent or honest as people seemed to think he was, and I never understood it. He was a snake oil salesman pandering party propaganda.

        • I was half joking, sort of in a “whatchu talkin’ ’bout, Willis?” manner. I know I lean right on almost everything, although I can dress it up better than other folks, and I’m not as far right as a certain other Steve. Some of my underlying reasons for leaning certain ways are not exactly what you think – like I oppose legalization of marijuana, but from a practical standpoint (alcohol and tobacco already cause enough problems and adding a 3rd legal drug is just going to make more problems) rather than an ideological one. I’m also not as strongly pro-life as other righties (unwanted children often end up becoming greater burdens on society), although I am disgusted with all the “yay abortion” and “be proud you killed your unborn child” stuff that’s become the thing. I did oppose Trump becoming the nominee, but I am firmly in his corner now that he is president and I see what the Dems are putting up against him.

          I went back through the 2016 Scalia thread referenced elsewhere in this thread, however. You are absolutely correct that never once did Charles deviate from the Democrat party line. He twisted himself up into a logical pretzel to lambaste the GOP for shutting down the nomination process for Merrick Garland while justifying or handwaving similar stonewalling tactics by the Democratic party. I pulled up proof from 1987 of those tactics, and crickets. He may not have been as rude or prolific as Chris, but he was just as much a Democrat hack.

        • Which ideology do you think I rigidly adhere to?

          This is an interesting question. In a way you, and many people in our present and people *like you* if I can be so bold, are absent ideology. You are ensconced however within a culture (socialistic-leaning Canada) that has purveyed to you a whole range of views and perhaps *senses* about things that derive from ideology. That is, when we consider the social transformations in the post-Sixties. While these are not ideas per se that you studied or even deeply thought about — in a sense you did neither — nevertheless you have been *in-formed*, as we all have, simply be existing in this *temporal modality*.

          It seems to me that if you *rigidly adhere* to anything it is more that you exist in a state of stasis. What you *are*, what you *believe*, what you are induced to do or not do: you are like an object that moves along its trajectory because nothing acts to influence that trajectory.

          If you are *Right-leaning* (I personally do not think this is true, in fact I think it is a lie: self-deception, yet I can understand why you see yourself that way) you simply have a few qualms with the Left-Progressives that drag you and your culture toward an authoritarian socialized state. You have no problem at all with the core *character* or ethnological make-up of Canada being deliberately shifted by people who are, definitely, driven by ideological assertions. That is, you have nothing to say about it except to get angry at people, in your own culture, who do have problems. Is your position based on *ideology*? It is likely based more in thoughtlessness, or in a kind of temporal acquiescence.

          2. (Philosophy) philosophy sociol the set of beliefs by which a group or society orders reality so as to render it intelligible.

          On thing that I have noticed disturbs *people like you* (forgive the generalization but they are necessary from time to time) is when you notice others getting more involved in ideological positions, in the study of ideas.

          Take as an example Michael Millerman (University of Toronto). I’d imagine that you (in this general sense) simply cannot grasp why youth turn to political theory of a sort that you consider *radical* or *disturbing* and when they make assertions about the hyper-liberal climate operating in the Canadian universities and that understructure society. You could refer to Ronald Beiner, also a Canadian, Who demonstrates real problems with some aspects of freedom of thought. How do you define the non-ideology of people who tend to put caps on intellectual investigation? You spoke of ‘curiosity’ but based in what you write I’d say you are absent such curiosity. Though you are rather curious!

          Just a few weeks back when *discussing* (insofar as you discuss anything) the small Canadian organization Students for Western Civilization, you ended up indicating that you felt I should *seek mental health help* because I research these things and consider their ideas valud and thinkable But here, I suggest, you can in fact notice something of a ‘rigid ideology’ or at least something approximating one. But it is more a shutting-down mechanism. It is also, possibly, the idea, formally grounded in your own person, your sense of your self, that you represent and define both health and normalcy. If that is challenged it seems to be disconcerting.

          • I am amazed it took you a whole three paragraphs to use a derivative of the word “Ethnic”, mein faulen.

            But thank you for not only telling me that I am right (in that I said that I, like most people, are usually more complicated than simple bumper stickers and labels), but also demonstrating that I am right (by being no more complicated than a simple bumper sticker).

    • Humble Talent wrote, “I don’t understand the rose-tinted expressions when it comes to Charles, I don’t think that he added much, especially when compared to Jan, Spartan or tgt.”

      First, try not to compare and just take others for what they are.

      Second, I think you’ve missed out on some of the discussion. Here is one on the Death Of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia

      Charles may not have been as prolific a commenter as some others but many of his comments raised issues from a point of view that falls outside what some on the left have called the right’s “echo chamber” plus he rarely engaged in mud slinging. It’s not a bad thing to offer differing and challenging opinions as long as they don’t appear to be trolling.

      • Did you link the wrong comment section? Because that is a horrible example.

        In response to Antonin Scalia’s death, the mainstream media was in full swing defacing their credibility by doing a ding-dong-the-witch-is-dead routine, and Charles was in that comment section carrying water for them while trying to actively gaslight us. I remembered that and thought it was particularly egregious because we are on a god damned website, and all it would take is a Google search in the next tab over to highlight his mendacity.

        The individual comment you chose to highlight had him already swiveled to variations of a theme on “Why won’t the Republican senators confirm Obama’s SCOTUS nomination months before an election? What if the shoe were on the other foot?” And while he might have had something approximating a point, I don’t see that as being a point of view from outside the left’s echo chamber. What were the leftist talking points during that scenario that he differentiated himself with?

        • Humble Talent wrote, “Because that is a horrible example.”

          Please note that I didn’t judge Charles argumentation as right, wrong, logical, illogical, great or horrible as you just did. Instead I chose to say that “many of his comments raised issues from a point of view that falls outside what some on the left have called the right’s ‘echo chamber’ plus he rarely engaged in mud slinging” and I stick by that assessment.

          Humble Talent wrote, “What were the leftist talking points during that scenario that he differentiated himself with?”

          If you really must compare then please compare the overall respectful argumentation delivered by Charles to the comments from the California trolling teacher Chris.

          • Steve… I don’t know what you’re trying to do here. I don’t know how to respond to this mess because it is so self-contradictory and unrelated to what I said that I don’t know from what position I would even start responding… .

            I think your point, if I’m being generous, is that I’m too harsh on him because I’m failing to apply the Julie Principle. That is, Charles is what he is, and while you don’t actually disagree with my assessment of him, I should be less critical of him because at least he wasn’t rude like Chris.

            The problem is that Charles is what he is, but for some reason he is remembered not only fondly, but as thoughtful. I would understand him being remembered fondly, it’s hard not to like kind people on a personal level, and you have a point in that he was definitely a kind person. But I think that it’s important to remember that beneath the veneer of kindness, there was a DNC propaganda bot.

            I mean, real talk here… If someone wants to try to comb through all the comments he made while on here, I honestly do not think that there was a single time he ever actually took a hard line and said any variation of “You know what guys? My team fucked up.” I think the closest you might get is “Sure, my team isn’t perfect, but yours is worse.”

            You want me to compare him to Chris? Ok. Charles is an older, less angry version of Chris. Their response systems were *remarkably* similar, Chris just ad-libbed in more invective. Chris was similar to Charles in that I didn’t need to ask him his position on anything, I just had to turn on CNN and maybe sprinkle some VICE in there.

            I’m just going to reverse that… The only difference between Chris and Charles being a level of rudeness, what do you think it says about you that despite holding virtually identical views on everything, you remain critical of Chris while defending Charles?

    • Humble Talent writes:

      More than being consistently wrong, I thought he was insufferably boring and intellectually incurious. Not only was his style of writing was dry, but I knew exactly what he was going to say, why he was going to say it, and his responses to any dissension from his point of view: He didn’t have a single, solitary unique idea in his head, and he took his marching orders directly out of the DNC handbook. His ability to ignore inconvenient points to try to swivel to safer areas that concerned no one other than him was legendary.

      Usually people are more complex than strict top-to-bottom party line adherence, Charles wasn’t. There were no interesting points of view, there was no reflection, hell… there was no self-awareness. Charles is similar to Alizia and Steve in that they exhibit behaviors that fail the Turing test. They do it from remarkably different points of view, and in remarkably different ways, but at their core, they are people deeply, rigidly, terminally adherent to a particular ideology. Charles just had less staying power.

      It is kind of glorious to creat conversational situations where people reveal, really, what they are about, and where their thinking is grounded. The reason — the larger reason, the largest reason — you have issues with me is because you exhibit a homosexual’s resentment, that never abates, against Me because I have taken, and expressed without self-editing, a somewhat adamant stand against homosexuality as an on-going social project, and as *social engineering*. There would accrue to you some merit and benefit if you got clear about the source of your opposition. For example the “I refuse to talk to you anymore” and the “get psychiatric help” gambit. This is all really girlish — waspish is the word I think — on your part and is part-and-parcel of your conversational strategy. It is very common among your *tribe*.

      You also take issue with the fact that I identify you — fairly and accurately — not as a conservative of any sort, but a Canadian ultra-liberal radical in a semi-socialist culture. I support people who do not support you-plural that much, and who see you not as a ‘positive outcome’ but as a negative one masquerading as a positive one. To take that position is not to come from a rigid position necessarily, but to confront one — you — who grounds his self in larger, socially supported rigidities.

      You and many others who write here are not conservatives. You are liberals with all of liberal presuppositions and tenets firmly established, who have seen your self moved to the right simply because the Left has moved even more powerfully to that pole. If you get clear about this, you will then be able to see where I situate myself.

      Jack and Charles — to be clear, and also fair — share a great deal in terms of strict liberal values. I was reviewing some of CHGs videos on ‘truth in selling’. His essential position is ‘ethical’. That is, his essential vision is that fairness should prevail in social relationships. I assume that is why he was drawn to this blog. That is to say that in essential senses they agree.

      The ‘Kool-Aid’ comment is really an interesting one and it needs to be unpacked. It is a *popular term of discourse* and has meanings that can be extracted. But it can’t be unpacked here because *many here* (Jack for example, Steve from NJ, and there are certainly others) cannot self-examine, therefore cannot notice the degree to which structured views have been purveyed, received, drunk and incorporated into a narrative-view. I refer to this sometimes as *tenets of American civil religiousness*.

      So, I suggest a detailed examination of ‘Kool-Aid’ and what it means: why one side uses such a term to label the other, and vice versa. You might explain, you over-stuffed Canuck! how a willingness to explore, down into unseen and un-admitted areas of our thinking, just how we have come to think and *see* as we do, can be understood to be ‘intellectual rigidity’.

      But if you mean ‘faith’ as an example of rigidity — that is, having a Christian faith — now that is another topic. For some — you I expect — the confrontation with people who have such faith places too much stress on them and becomes intolerable. Could that be part of your problem also? Define better what your issue is and, if possible, refrain from speaking out of your butt-end!

      • “The reason — the larger reason, the largest reason — you have issues with me is because you exhibit a homosexual’s resentment, that never abates, against Me because I have taken, and expressed without self-editing, a somewhat adamant stand against homosexuality as an on-going social project, and as *social engineering*. ”

        This actually amused me. I believe that you believe this, Alizia, but I need you to understand that you’re in the idiot group because I think you’re an idiot. If the reason people got put in the idiot group is because they were mean to me and had anti-gay positions, then how do you explain Charles, an insanely dependable progressive, being in the same group? More, there are a *whole* lot of people on here that have been *much* more vocal in their disdain for me because of my sexuality, and while we’ve butted heads on here, they *aren’t* in the idiot group. No, my self-hating, white supremacist, Brazilian wunderkind, the reason you’re in that group has literally nothing to do with your position on The Gays. To be frank, I didn’t really connect the dots between the rest of your ideology and the gay bigotry, but I should have… Of *course* you do.

        “You also take issue with the fact that I identify you — fairly and accurately — not as a conservative of any sort, but a Canadian ultra-liberal radical in a semi-socialist culture.”

        This is closer to true… I mean, I was at least aware of it. But I don’t think the labels you use really apply anymore. And I feel comfortable with the common parlance. You can call me a progressive if it helps you get to where you need to go. I don’t really respect your intelligence, so I’m confused as to why I should care. Perhaps the greatest place to be is right here in Jeff-ville, where I’m called a progressive by a Nazi and a Nazi by progressives.

        The problem is that you are insanely hyperfocused on labels to the detriment of actually having a point or saying anything. If calling me a progressive helps you move on from labels, then I’m a progressive. I cannot after all these years find it in me to care. Now what? I fail to understand you point past that. Do you have one?

        • Far too much protest in the first part, and sophistical as you usually are. But a worthy effort. C-

          As to the second part, I have no further point to make except to say, as I often do, that you and others who see themselves as ‘Conservatives’ are not — not in any sense! — Conservatives. That is an important point to grasp. Because if it is understood it then becomes a beginning-point to understand what conservatism — that which genuinely conserves — really is, and what it should be, and what it must be.

          You jibber-jabber with some rhetorical skill, I admit. But in truth it is you who are devoid of any substantial argument, because you have no ideas. You have glittery chatter though, affected though it is.

          My *point*, my dear lost boy, has to do with recovery of genuine categories, strict and definite categories that function like anchors. It has to do with *re-mooring*. That is the essential part. The other part has to do with recognizing *what happened to us?* and how it has come about that we have lost our ground. I mean of course within metaphysics.

          What I am up to is mostly always the same. It was that way from the beginning and continues.

          Any other questions? 🙂

  8. I think (not a psychiatrist) the behavior described here is a feature of all humans, when the brain & mind disagree – it’s called cognitive dissonance. Humans rarely react rationally when their beliefs are contradicted by evidence. They usually retreat from reality into a world of anger. The Democrat Party 2016-2020 is Exhibit 1.

    • I won’t blame you for not checking, but I doubt you could find a blog anywhere on the web that has discussed cognitive dissonance more frequently than this one, or, within 11,000+ posts, in any more posts.

      Yes, I’m very familiar with Dr. Festinger’s work, and it is a primary tool here. Some are under this tag: https://ethicsalarms.com/tag/cognitive-dissonance/

      There are 15 pages of links, the first essay coming in Feb 2010, and the latest 5 days ago.More are at this link: https://ethicsalarms.com/tag/cognitive-dissonance-scale/ 7 pages of those articles.

        • I was too severe, and I’m sorry. You just happened to bump into a pet topic of mine that I regard as one of the three or four most useful concepts in evaluating ethics. I’m kind of a jerk sometimes, always have been. Please don’t let my lashing out discourage you. It’s me, not you. I do recommend banging around the special terms and the Rationalizations list.

          And welcome.

  9. Jack, Jack, Jack – What did I do to merit a headline-font-level designation of Disgust?

    I guess it was “you drank the Kool-Aid.” Hmm…

    I kept this blog on my subscription list because I too consider you a friend, and because I agree with about every fourth or fifth thing you say (most recently, Bill Maher) – and because I consider it my duty as an informed citizen to at least attempt to read opposing points of view.

    I don’t usually read, beyond the headline, so I missed this until one of the tribe flagged it to me on Twitter. Even then, when I read “You know who you are,” it certainly didn’t dawn on me that you were addressing it to me. Then I read further.

    To anyone who’s never had the privilege of meeting Jack in person, let me say: Somewhat in contrast to his onscreen to-the-max personna, he’s an extremely nice guy. I stopped in Arlington on a Florida to NJ drive to have a delightful 90 minute brunch with him a couple years ago. He has a big smile, big laugh, is extroverted and a good listener, and an even better story-teller. We stayed away from talking politics (I think we both felt ‘let’s get off on a good foot’ before going there), and I found him a great conversationalist in areas like the theater, and more. We do, as Jack notes, have some professional overlap in the area of ethics (though I come at it sideways from the subject of trust). Net net: Jack is a truly decent guy.

    The reason I stopped actively contributing here was I felt that Jack’s blog had become – on net, on balance, on the average – inflammatory and divisive. It too often deviated from reasoned discussion on points about which reasonable people can differ, and veered into adjective-laden polarization. And I strongly believe we need more reaching across the aisle than more polarization. So I dropped it from full participation, and moved to what I guess you could call “lurker” status.

    This is an interesting case in point – the FBI’s illegal actions w. regard to the FISA court applications regarding Carter Paige. Was it wrong? Yes. Did they try to cover it up? Yes. Should it never have happened? Definitely. Should there be consequences? Yes, a number of them, absolutely.

    That said: I think you’re blowing it ALL out of proportion. Not that you’re not right, you are – but the fact that you choose to focus on THIS incident is instructive. It’s like Whitewater, the IRS, Bengazi – all have a shred of serious truth at the heart – and all don’t amount to much more than a fart in a hurricane.

    Carter Paige was the least significant of all the people investigated, with the least evidence of any serious wrongdoing. He’s historically irrelevant. By comparison: Don’t forget the number of former Trump associates who are now convicted felons. Historically much more relevant

    You ask me (through Glenn Greenwald) “if this isn’t a major scandal, then what is?”

    Well, glad you asked. The firing of Michael Atkinson for what appears to be simply vengeance. The continued meddling in the internal affairs of the Navy. The firing of Vinman. The whole “perfect phone call” bit. The way the Trump organization tackled the transition from the Obama administration (please read Michael Lewis’s The Fifth Risk, and tell me you’re not outraged). (And please, please read the inside story of the Steele dossier in Crime in Progress: Inside the Steele Dossier and the Fusion GPS Investigation, by Glenn Simpson and Peter Fritsch, and resist ad hominem attacks about them without having read it). And on. And on. And on.

    Why do I see so little about these in Ethics Alarms? They don’t raise serious ethical issues? I sure as hell think they do.

    The fact that you’re 100% right about the FISA/FBI scandal says nothing about proportion. To use the over-used metaphor, you’re complaining about the arrangement of the deck chairs on the Titanic.

    But I will admit to some annoyance myself. You suggest that “the fact that your accusation was based on your own blindness and bias is not subject to rational denial or debate.” You find that less arrogant and insulting than “you drank the Kool Aid?” Or saying I can “restore a shred of [my] personal and professional integrity, my erstwhile friend, by belatedly coming back here and admitting you were both wrong and unfair.” Really, Jack?

    You make me an “offer” to “admit” my total wrongness, put a “deadline” on it, and insist that if I don’t “accept” it, I have no integrity.

    I’m not going to go tit for tat here, Jack, but obviously I’m not going to apologize. Nor am I going to ask you to do so.

    Tell you what, though. I didn’t know you subscribed to my newsletter (and I thank you for that); and I don’t know if you knew I was still following the blog. How about I keep following the blog, for all the initial reasons, and I don’t know, maybe dip my toe in the water a bit more often.

    I would like to think that two people with as much affinity as you and I can still be friends. I think that would not only be mutually beneficial for you and me, but in some tiny way offer up a bit of role-modeling hope for a few other people.

    Waddyasay?

    • Sorry but I have to do something that I’m not really fond of doing. Based on how Charles comment was written I have to cherry pick some things to piece my perception of this thought progression together, I don’t see any way to get around it.

      Charles wrote, “the FBI’s illegal actions w. regard to the FISA court applications regarding Carter Paige…”, “don’t amount to much more than a fart in a hurricane.”, “if this isn’t a major scandal, then what is?”, “Well, glad you asked.”, “The whole “perfect phone call” bit.”

      So if, that’s a big if, I’m piecing that together correctly then what I’m understanding is that Charles thinks the actual illegal actions of the FBI in the FISA approved surveillance of a member of the Trump campaign under false pretenses is a fart in a hurricane and not a worthy of a scandal but the completely legal phone call to the Ukrainian President is a scandal and (my extrapolation here) was worthy of 100% partisan impeachment? Illegal action from the FBI is not a scandal and a phone call that was NOT illegal in any way was a scandal? I don’t understand how anyone can think this way without there being a lot of anti-Trump bias behind it. Now if my perception of what was written is in error, if my perception is absurd, then someone please explain it to me.

      Charles wrote, “Don’t forget the number of former Trump associates who are now convicted felons. Historically much more relevant”

      Why would you include that? To my knowledge Trump is not implicated an anything these people were accused or convicted of and, if I’m remembering correctly, the former associates that are now convicted felons weren’t convicted for any illegal actions related to the Trump campaign. How is this historically relevant other than to smear President Trump with association?

      • Steve, you raise (at least) two interesting points.

        First, regarding bias. You say “I don’t understand how anyone can think this way without there being a lot of anti-Trump bias behind it.” I’m sure you’re right. I have exactly the same reaction to many of the comments on this blog (“how in God’s name can these people not see what’s right in front of them, what Trump does almost every day…”).

        Bias makes us stupid. Me as much as you (or, if you prefer, you as much as me – I’m trying to be even-handed here). If there were some hypothetical Arbiter of All Things, my guess is that the odds on one of us being right and one of us being wrong are far less than the odds that we’re both partly right and partly wrong.

        The challenge we face as biased people (it’s built into our neural systems) is to do our level best to uncover our own biases – while not always giving into the temptation to tell others their biases.

        Second, I had not thought about whether all those indictments were or were not specifically campaign-related. Near as I can tell, the vast majority of them were not, you’re right about that. The one exception seems to be Michael Cohen, who was convicted on two counts of campaign finance violations, and who in effect named Trump as an unindicted co-conspirator for those same counts (a relevant but inconsequential fact, given DOJ guidance that a sitting president can’t be indicted).

        You ask “How is this historically relevant other than to smear President Trump with association?” You’re absolutely right: it is specifically to smear him by association. If you lie down with fleas… That I would argue is highly relevant, at least at the scale at which Trump indulged in it. His campaign manager, his personal counsel, his first choice for National Security Advisor – at some point you have to raise serious questions of judgment (or so it seems to me); and those are just the indicted people. I am struck by the number of “acting” titles in his administration, a transparent ploy to replace “Deep state” (I would say content experts) people with politically beholden views, and to shield those choices from Congressional approval. This is deeply cynical.

        Anyway: yes I admit to bias, strong bias. I also believe I’m not the only one; and it behooves all of us to look in the mirror as well as at others.

        • FWIW CG, I believe EA is a better place with you than without you.

          “it behooves all of us to look in the mirror as well as at others.”

          Tried that “look in the mirror” thing this a.m.

          Oy! I want a second opinion…

        • Charles wrote, “how in God’s name can these people not see what’s right in front of them, what Trump does almost every day…”

          Charles there IS a difference whether you want to acknowledge it or not.

          People do see what Trump does almost every day, they recognize that Trump is not your typical “presidential” kind of President in fact he can be a real unethical asshole at times and some really don’t “like” it including me, but Trump is the President and we need the President to be reasonably successful so the country can be reasonably successful so they accept it and make the best they can of it; the difference is those that don’t “like” how Trump presents himself etc don’t allow that kind of “I don’t like it” bias to directly affect their judgement on legal or impeachable matters. Trump does a lot of things that people don’t like but those things are not illegal or impeachable. What the left has done is far, far beyond differences in policy, it’s all hate based, it’s emotional bull shit.

          Earlier you wrote, “I think you’re blowing it ALL out of proportion” when talking about those right of center talk about the illegal actions of the FBI but you say these illegal actions are nothing but a fart in a hurricane and not scandal worthy and yet the non-illegal actions taken by President Trump are somehow scandal worthy, etc, etc. Do you not see the blatant double standards that are right in front of you? Do you not think that the political left is “blowing it ALL out of proportion” for damn near everything that comes out of President Trump’s mouth, it’s all terrible, immoral, unethical, evil, everything is Trump’s fault and therefore somehow it’s illegal and/or impeachable – it’s massive political propaganda attempting political lynchings.

          Seriously Charles, who are the ones that are really blowing things out of proportion?

          • Steve, you might be surprised at how many of the left’s reactions I agree with you about. Yes, a lot of it is knee-jerk, “blowing it all out of proportion.” I agree. And I won’t bother restating all that because it’s been said by others. All the PC stuff, identity politics – I agree.

            At the same time, I cannot not-notice the knee-jerk kow-towing of the used-to-be-Republican party, in an equally knee-jerk fashion, to nearly everything Trump does.
            –National debt worries? Nah, gave up that principle long ago.
            –States rights? Nah, not if Trump wants to play the Federalist.
            –Law and order? Who needs witnesses if it’s Trump on trial.
            –Ex-KGB leader of Reagan’s Evil Empire? Our newest friend.

            I really do not buy the I’m the Sole Owner of Truth narrative, anymore from Bernie Sanders or the DNC than I do from Trump. Truth lies awkwardly somewhere in the middle, splattered about.

            If consensus were to emerge from bashing the other side, it would have emerged long ago by now, given the unprecedented level of bashing (on both sides) that has gone on.

            I think the challenge is to find overlapping viewpoints and shared concerns.

            So when you say, “Seriously Charles, who are the ones that are really blowing things out of proportion?” you are presuming a single side of the argument. I just don’t buy that.

            • Charles wrote, “–Law and order? Who needs witnesses if it’s Trump on trial.”

              Why did you go there?

              Your argument is right up there with this one that I saw on Quora a while back, “The same rules that were applied to Clinton’s impeachment were used for Trump’s impeachment with the exception that the Clinton impeachment had witness testimony in the Senate.”

              With some help on the legal definition side of this argument from Jack a while back, here’s what I see as the facts; the Democrats are calling submitting depositions and, in Lewinski’s case, an edited video “calling witnesses”. It’s not. Witnesses means in person testimony with cross examination. There was testimony from thirteen people aka witnesses like in the Clinton trial; depositions from seventeen people aka witnesses like in the Clinton trial; one hundred and ninety-three video clips from people aka witnesses like in the Clinton trial; and there was twenty-eight thousands pages of documents submitted as evidence. The fact is that they did follow the same rules used in the Clinton trial including doing the same thing in regards to witnesses. The impeachment trial of President Trump was conducted like President Clinton’s impeachment trial without witnesses (witnesses means in person testimony with cross examination not depositions and edited video). I think I worded all that correctly. Your welcome to your own opinion but not your own facts.

              Charles wrote, “So when you say, “Seriously Charles, who are the ones that are really blowing things out of proportion?” you are presuming a single side of the argument. I just don’t buy that.”

              Yes Charles of course I’m presuming a single side of the argument because there is overwhelming evidence that the political left has been blowing anything Trump related WAY out of proportion since before the election in November 2016. Heck maybe I’m unknowingly wearing a pair of industrial-strength weapons-grade thickened ideological blinders and I’m blind to what’s happening in front of my face so please provide some kind of relevant “equivalent” list of examples where the political right has been doing the same thing and show me how the political right is doing it at anything close to the same kind of measurable rate that the left has been doing.

              P.S. Just to be clear; knee-jerk kow-towing is certainly not the same as blowing things out of proportion.

            • Charles wrote, “Steve, you might be surprised at how many of the left’s reactions I agree with you about. Yes, a lot of it is knee-jerk, “blowing it all out of proportion.” I agree. And I won’t bother restating all that because it’s been said by others. All the PC stuff, identity politics – I agree.”

              It actually doesn’t surprise me in the least, I knew that from reading and interactions, but restating those specific things and particularly pointing out that kind of opposition in commentary really is crucial to unskewing the skewed overall perceptions that some people get like what Humble Talent wrote about above where it appears that he has kind of pigeonholed you.

  10. The commenter in question in this post reappeared, but not to comply with my request. As I have explained, those who grandstand off Ethics Alarms have banned themselves—they don’t get to waltz back on at whim. They have to be accepted, and they have to satisify me that they can be trusted. Here’s what charlesgreen wrote, with the exception of a link: if you have left the forum, it’s not going to be your billboard when you deign to use it as such.

    The comment was directed not to me, but to Alizia. Here it is:

    “I venture to say that he opted not to continue here because there is a danger in being associated with people who are not thinking in ‘lock-step’.”

    Alizia, you might venture, but you’d would wrong in that assumption. I’ve stayed largely away from politics on my website and blog not because of partisan identification, but because i focus on personal trust, and discussing politics has become a way of shutting down interpersonal interactions. I keep my political interactions largely outside my business, not because afraid of being labelled as one side or another, but because the labelling itself is toxic to serious discussions about the issue of interpersonal trust, which is what I focus on.

    I can’t tell you how many arguments I get from clients that I should in fact “toe the party line,” usually meaning along PC political lines, and how much I push back on it. Believe me there’s plenty on the Left that I consider worthy of eye-rolls and groans. I don’t go there at work because it’s divisive; I don’t go there on this blog because it would be massively redundant.

    FYI haven’t been on HuffPost for many years.

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