You Have The Floor In Another Open Forum, With Some Preliminary Opening Observations

I’m going to open up the floor to comments on whatever you want to talk about, ethics-wise. This day looks chaotic for me, beginning with an interment of a dear friend at Arlington National Cemetery. I’ll visit mom and dad while I’m there…

Let me append a footnote. Althouse, who lives in Madison, directs readers to this article: “Two women arrested in beating of state Sen. Tim Carpenter during night of protests in Madison.” I remember the incident and the frightening video. From the article,

Police arrested Samantha R. Hamer, 26, and Kerida E. O’Reilly, 33, on suspicion of being parties to the crimes of substantial battery and robbery with use of force. They were both in custody Monday night, according to online records from the Dane County jail.

He fell to the ground after he was punched and about 10 people hit and kicked him, one witness told police. Stunned, Carpenter told them he was an ally and had long fought for the kinds of policies they were seeking.

Paramedics treated him but he declined to go to the hospital that night. A week later, he said he had surgery in St. Francis for injuries he suffered during the attack.


  • I have to believe that sooner or later the cognitive dissonance scale will work its silent magic, to the advantage of Republicans and the detriment of Democrats. These are ugly, scary people who are behind the rioting and statue-toppling, and the classic types that have fueled totalitarian take-overs throughout history (Yesterday was the anniversary of the revolutionaries turning on Robespierre.).

Yet Democratic leaders are fearfully giving them their seals of approval.

  • Not for the first time, I’m wondering if it’s fair to publish mug shots. Professor Turley is addicted to them, but they  encourage people to judge others by their appearances, and publicizing an individual’s appearance at a time when they can’t possibly be at their best seems gratuitously cruel. The photos of the two arrested women…

…prompted lots of mockery among Althouse’s commentariat, most of whom resorted to stereotyping

What the President said, in response to a question about the incident, was, “The person they beat up was a Democrat who happened to be gay and he was probably out there rooting them on or something because Democrats think it’s wonderful they’re destroying our country.”

Typical “fact-check.” This kind of dishonesty has been going on for almost four years, but I’m sure that Washington Post will add it to its “lie list.”  The state senator is gay and is a Democrat. Saying what he was “probably” doing is not a “claim” but an opinion, and based on Carpenter’s own protestation, it’s probably an accurate one. By the basic rules of English, there is no way one can fairly say that the President “falsely claimed” that Carpenter was rooting the statue-topplers on.

That’s enough from me.

“Over to you, Clarence…”

33 thoughts on “You Have The Floor In Another Open Forum, With Some Preliminary Opening Observations

  1. I was going to bring the two substantial battering thugs up, but you saved me the trouble.

    As fate would have it, Hamer is a school district Social Worker in the nearby Dane County town of Mt. Horeb.

    Does some version of the Naked Teacher Principle apply?

    From the EA NTP definition (abridged): “Primary school students (and secondary too) should not have to reconcile their educational instructors and role models with [substantial battery, party to a crime, and robbery with use of force, party to a crime] and provocative behavior, and a teacher who intentionally places them in that position is irresponsible and untrustworthy. This is especially true when teachers unions are opposing reasonable policies to weed out [participants in substantial battery, party to a crime, and robbery with use of force, party to a crime] in the schools, of which there are too many.”

    Question: Does what Hamer did on her own time open her up to being CANCELLED?

    Anticipating OB’s less-than-muffled chuckles two time zones away, I’m starting to think you could make bank with an ongoing category of…um…ethics-challenged occurrences in the state of WESconsin.

    • I wonder what her solution would be if a few students started whaling on one lone kid?

      No question she should be fired. Teachers should not be arrested for assault and battery. There should be no exception to this.

  2. Any ethics observations regarding this?

    A National Guard officer will testify Tuesday at a congressional hearing that the June 1 clearing of protesters outside the White House was “an unnecessary escalation of the use of force” and “deeply disturbing to me, and to fellow National Guardsmen.”

    “From my observation, those demonstrators—our fellow American citizens—were engaged in the peaceful expression of their First Amendment rights,” Adam DeMarco, a major in the D.C. National Guard, will tell the House Natural Resources Committee, according to his prepared remarks. “Yet they were subjected to an unprovoked escalation and excessive use of force.”

    DeMarco’s testimony directly contradicts several of the Trump administration’s shifting explanations for what happened on June 1, when law enforcement violently dispersed a crowd of protesters in Lafayette Square, across the street from the White House. After police cleared the crowds, President Donald Trump conducted a photo shoot of himself holding a Bible outside St. John’s Church.

    DeMarco and other National Guardsmen were deployed outside the White House on June 1, along with U.S. Park Police, Secret Service, and other federal law enforcement. A 7 p.m. curfew was in place in D.C. that evening.

    DeMarco testifies that around 6 p.m., Attorney General William Barr and Gen. Mark Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, arrived.

    “As the senior National Guard officer on the scene at the time, I gave General Milley a quick briefing on our mission and the current situation,” DeMarco writes. “General Milley told me to ensure that National Guard personnel remained calm, adding that we were there to respect the demonstrators’ First Amendment rights.” (Milley has since apologized for appearing in Lafayette Square. “I should not have been there,” he said. “My presence in that moment, and in that environment, created the perception of the military involved in domestic politics.”)

    At around 6:20 p.m., DeMarco continues, verbal warnings were given to the crowd to leave. But from where he was standing, about 20 yards away from the line of protesters, the warnings “were barely audible and I saw no indication that the demonstrators were cognizant of the warnings to disperse.”

    Law enforcement rushed the crowd at around 6:30 p.m. Videos showed law enforcement assaulting an Australian TV crew. Media and other observers also reported being tear gassed.

    The Trump administration says that protesters were throwing items at law enforcement, which DeMarco testifies he did not see. Park Police also emphatically denied they fired tear gas, claiming that officers instead fired smoke canisters and pepper balls, the latter of which are also a chemical irritant. But DeMarco says that tear gas was indeed used.

    “The Park Police liaison officer told me that the explosions were ‘stage smoke,’ and that no tear gas was being deployed against the demonstrators,” he writes. “But I could feel irritation in my eyes and nose, and based on my previous exposure to tear gas in my training at West Point and later in my Army training, I recognized that irritation as effects consistent with CS or ‘tear gas.’ And later that evening, I found spent tear gas cannisters on the street nearby.”

    • Given that Milley, DeMarco and the Park Police were on the ground in Lafayette Square which one briefed the President on what happened? The President was not involved in the decisions being made on the ground or DeMarco would have testified that Trump or Barr gave the orders to remove the protesters with gas or other riot tools. My question is which one lied to the President if Demarco’s account is a full and accurate account of the events.

      This is a big set up. I have come to believe that the military industrial complex and its sister complexes in Health Education an Welfare are afraid that Trump threatens the long term viability of their gravy trains. For that reason they create situations that make the President look bad and then step back and testify that the President should have prevented something they did. This is either insidious internal insurrection or these people have no place in their positions.

        • JVB

          I am not sure if there is not some element of truth in the above. Why are the counties immediately surrounding DC have the highest incomes and net worth among their respective citizens. The industry that exists there is R&D in IT and Biotech. There is very little B2C which is fundamentally retail, and B2B is primarily consulting. The big money is in B2G, especially among the IT firms. Money and the potential for money drives these people in large measure. You can track the growth of Fairfax, Loudon, and Montgomery counties with the growth of the federal government Most of these people want Trump gone because he does not fit in their club.

          You asked who would topple Bobs Big Boy.

          Who in their right mind topple any statue. I chose it to illustrate the absolute idiocy of statue toppling. These idiots will topple even abolitionists statues because they are doing this to simply break things.

          Nowhere in all the protests have I heard any policy prescriptions that would be realistic. What happened to Breonna Taylor could be stopped by eliminating midnight no knock warrants. EASY PEASY. I notice that no one took issue with the same type of approach with Roger Stone. Had Stone a pistol when the FBI raided his home Mrs Stone could have been shot just like Ms Taylor. That raid was celebrated on CNN.

          The Taylor tragedy is being labeled as racist incident but the same tactic was used against Stone. There is no evidence that Taylor was targeted because of her race because the incident resulted from a mistaken address by police.

          When it became clear that the other guy asleep in the Wendy’s drive through actually fired the taser while running he is no longer being positioned as another innocent black man unjustly targeted.

          • I agree with your comments. Your Roger Stone observations apply to the way Michael Flynn was treated, too. The Left and the Democrats want sentencing and bonding reforms. But Flynn was prosecuted under a law that most scholars believe is unconstitutional and it was clearly a political prosecution. Additionally, the government wanted to sentence him to the maximum extent allowable under the sentencing guidelines. Barr moved to dismiss the charges and all hell broke loose, with a trial court judge appointing a democrat operative to represent the interests of the “state/government” to determine if the charges should be dropped because of prosecutorial misconduct. An appeal’s court had to admonish the judge for overstepping his constitutional authority. Same with the Stone commutation. The trial court judge wants to see the records to determine if Trump meddled where he shouldn’t have. When has that ever happened.

            As for the no-knock warrant, a similar case in Houston resulted in the deaths of two innocent homeowners, and injuries to seven officers, because a neighbor with way too many mental problems to count reported that the couple sold heroin out of their house. It turns out that the report was not only meritless, but two officers have been charged with felony murder and tampering with evidence. Gerald Goines, one of the officers, is accused of lying to a judge and misrepresented the couples’ activities to obtain the no-knock warrant, which was executed in the dead of night, which resulted in an exchange of fire between the officers and the homeowners. No protests. No rioting. No chaos. No White Lives Matter mayhem. Houston Police Chief, Art Acevedo, said he was going to revise/update the no-knock policy. He did and it is still just as confusing. Acevedo still has his job. Mayor Turner is mad but he still has his job.


            • When I don’t see anything but unrealistic demands and no ideas on policy changes I know that what is being protested is a ruse to achieve other goals that the public would probably not support.

    • Don’t be thrown off by the title of the committee hearing (in the link below).
      Likewise, don’t be thrown off by the fact that DeMarco has been a Democratic candidate for the House of Representatives.
      Both the hearings and his testimony will be neutral, fact-finding, unrelated to any political motivation. 😉
      DeMarco’s prepared testimony seems to be a mostly straight-forward accounting of what he saw.
      You can read DeMarco’s prepared testimony at the committee site here:
      For me, this just represents one more reason why the military and politics do not mix well.

  3. Speaking of “fact checking”, ran into this example of the art a couple of days ago:

    The claim: Democrats held the nation’s longest filibuster for 75 days to attempt to prevent the passing of the 1964 Civil Rights Act.

    Our ruling: Partly false
    It is true that the Democrats hold the record for the longest filibuster. But there are a couple of aspects of the exact claim that are false or misleading. It wasn’t 75 days long; it lasted only 60 days. And there should be a distinction made in exactly who was blocking the bill. The majority of Democrats who opposed the 1964 Civil Rights Act were from Southern states; some Democrats in non-Southern states did support the bill.

    “it lasted only 60 days” Well, that’s *completely* different.
    [video src="" /]

    • Let me guess; they are known to use both “partly false” and “mostly true”, which mean the same thing, but which phrase they use depends on who is embarrassed by the point being at all true? Same thing with “mostly false” and “partly true”?

      • This reminds me of the scene in “The Princess Bride” when Miracle Max tries to resuscitate Wesley. He tells Iñigo and Feizzk:

        Miracle Max : He probably owes you money huh? I’ll ask him.

        Inigo Montoya : He’s dead. He can’t talk.

        Miracle Max : Whoo-hoo-hoo, look who knows so much. It just so happens that your friend here is only MOSTLY dead. There’s a big difference between mostly dead and all dead. Mostly dead is slightly alive. With all dead, well, with all dead there’s usually only one thing you can do.

        Inigo Montoya : What’s that?

        Miracle Max : Go through his clothes and look for loose change.


        • “But that’s not what he said! He distinctly said ‘to blathe’ and as we all know ‘to blathe’ means to bluff!’ Ah, and you were probably playing cards, and he cheated!”

    • Well, I guess it depends on what you mean by ‘days’ and what you mean by ‘filibuster’.
      A filibuster may be considered any action or actions intended to delay a vote on a Senate bill. The bill in question was placed before the Senate on March 9 and was finally voted on June 19. On my calendar, that’s 103 days. But, do you count Sundays? Saturdays when the Senate was not in session? Holidays? Work days (and I use that term advisedly)?
      And, what constitutes a filibuster action? Just windy speeches and distracting procedural questions? What about amendments that have no chance of passing? Do you subtract the hours and minutes that were actual debate on the substance of the bill?
      Lacking an official definition of filibuster, and lacking agreement on what days and hours and minutes to count, make whatever claim you like, and then await the arguments and ‘fact checks’.
      And, by the way, Facebook is the proper forum for such claims.

  4. The article had a link to this bit of fake news: “RELATED:Trump falsely claims Wisconsin lawmaker was ‘rooting on’ destruction of Madison statues before being assaulted.”

    Is it more false than what Speaker Nancy Pelosi tweeted?

  5. While I agree there is a difference between a claim and an opinion, Trump in his usual way earned the criticism he received for rendering an opinion without the facts to support it. It is obvious he is not going to change, and it is likewise obvious that he will continue to be hammered in the press for his careless way of speaking. We can quibble with the journalist or the headline writer over the difference between claim and opinion, but in the end it’s a distinction without a difference as well as a distraction from the issue of Trump’s loose talk.

  6. For your reading a ethical evaluation pleasure…

    There is an effort underway in Madison, WI to recall the very progressive social justice warrior mayor and this is the kind of public effort to raise campaign dollars her campaign office comes up with – basically they are claiming to be fighting evil Trump activists. I personally know some of the people that support recalling the Mayor and some of them are hardly Trump activists, some hate Trump, some are actually anti-Trump activists – Mayor Satya Rhodes Conway’s campaign office is delusional. One Madison liberal blogger stated, “No one can be pleased with the lack of leadership from this mayor over the past months. Our city can not afford to think about three more years of having ‘the smartest one in the room’.” It appears that no matter who is in the room with the mayor, she believes she is still the smartest one.

    • It may be bias on my part, but I tend to tune out after the obligatory “Down with Trump!” statement. It almost certainly portends flawed reasoning to follow. This was impressively bad.

      I was waiting for examples of the racist, homophobic thing that the terrible, terrible Trump supporters were trying to do. After all, she’s been “holding her tongue” for so long, waiting to spout off this litany of “stupid reasons” for the recall.

      Yet, though she cannot keep silent anymore, all she does is repeat herself. I guess it is tautologically sound that Trump supporters are standing “in the way of progress in Madison”, with clearly no legitimate concerns about the mayor’s performance (if the mayor’s campaign spokesperson is any indication, Mayor Conway only hires the best in brightest).

  7. “Yesterday was the anniversary of the revolutionaries turning on Robespierre”

    What a coincidence. I started reading a biogaphy of Robespierre yesterday.

    For some reason, I have the Jacobins on my mind lately.

    • My take on the Revolution metaphor is that Trump fills Napoleon’s roll; an utter lunatic hated by the elite but loved by the masses that restores some sense of normalcy after the reign of terror consumes itself.

      It should also be a warning that Trump should reign in his worst traits lest he meet his Waterloo.

  8. I have to believe that sooner or later the cognitive dissonance scale will work its silent magic, to the advantage of Republicans and the detriment of Democrats. These are ugly, scary people who are behind the rioting and statue-toppling, and the classic types that have fueled totalitarian take-overs throughout history (Yesterday was the anniversary of the revolutionaries turning on Robespierre.).

    Matthew Yglesias described a critical constituency in this election.

    There’s also a certain paradox to the Awokening. As white liberals became more vocal about racial inequality, more racially conservative Democrats left the party and helped power Donald Trump’s electoral victory. This backlash gives the impression that there’s a surging tide of white racism in America.

    As Obama pushed racially conservative whites out of the Democratic Party, the remaining Democrats are more racially liberal.

    I can only imagine how these racially conservative Democrats view the rioting, looting, and arson, and those who excuse it.

      • Antiwhite racism is indeed as liberal as a torchlight parade in early 1930’s Munich.

        On the other hand, I suspect that the racially conservative Democrats Matt describes are pretty liberal. I suspect a solid majority of them support increasing the minimum wage, and at least a significant minority supports Medicare for all.

        Joe Biden himself is not all that offensive to these racially conservative Democrats, and nothing he has said (so far) would alienate them.

        It is the rest of the Democratic Party, especially with their appearing to embrace rioting, looting, and arson, that gives them pause.

  9. You’ve finished eating at a restaurant.

    You’ve indicated to the waiter THREE times in a row you are ready for a check.

    This has occurred over a period of an HOUR after you are ready to leave.

    Are you ethically forgiven if you walk out without paying?

    • No.

      But there would definitely come a point where you’d be obliged to stand up, find ANY employee, and tell them that you need to speak to the manager. Make it clear that you intend to leave without paying if he or she does not appear within a couple of minutes.

      Then make your complaint and be specific.


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