Post-Zoom Hangover Ethics, 3-31-21….

People, even lawyers, just do not interact much in remote seminars. It makes a three-hour session far more tiring, even though I’m sitting down, rather than stalking through the space. Thus I am blotto now, after a legal ethics session earlier today.

1. And THIS is the best paper in the U.S…Two headlines on the New York Times front page this morning my high school paper faculty advisor would have rejected…and he would have been right:

  • “Gaetz Said To Face Inquiry Over Sex With Underage Girl” The fact someone says it is not news. Is he “facing an inquiry” or isn’t he? “Three people briefed on the matter” isn’t a source: we’ve seen how accurate the Times anonymous sources are, especially when the subject is a Republican, a conservative, and a Trump supporter. Why the front page for a rumor? Slow news day? Hey, I’ve got an idea: How about an article about how Joe Biden called Georgia “sick” based on a complete misrepresentation?
  • “Taliban Believes The War’s Over And They Won.” This is psychic news again, my favorite fake news form. How does the Times know what the Taliban “thinks”? Who cares what it “thinks”?

Continue reading

Ethics Villain: GoFundMe…As The Shackles Tighten

Scott Mineo founded “Parents Against Critical Theory” to fight the suddenly surging anti-white and racist “Critical Race Theory” inclusion in the curriculum of Loudon County (Va.) public schools. Then members of an Orwellian-named Facebook group, “Anti-Racist Parents of Loudoun County,” launched a campaign against his and other parent groups seeking not to have their children subjected to racial demagoguery. The aspiring community totalitarians compiled lists of parents opposing the indoctrination effort, their spouses and their employers, and rallied their members to try to shut down the non-submissive websites. Mineo’s page raised nearly $4,000 by March 22 until a former Loudoun County School Board Equity Committee member, Charlotte McConnell, urged current committee members and the school board to report the page as objectionable.

Three days later, GoFundMe informed Mineo that his fundraising appeal was taken down because it constituted “prohibited conduct.”

Continue reading

President Biden Lies Outright Regarding The Georgia Voting Reform Law:”What’s Going On Here?”

Said President Joe Biden from his “bully pulpit” last week:

“What I’m worried about is how un-American this whole initiative is. It’s sick. It’s sick,” Biden said. “Deciding that you’re going to end voting at five o’clock when working people are just getting off work!”

Unconscionable! Outrageous! Except that it’s not true. AND it took the news media almost a week to notice. Good job there, Jimmy Olsen! Wouldn’t that have been a good topic for a question at Biden’s first news conference?

When the Washington Post “factchecker” is moved to give a Democratic President “Four Pinocchios,” you know he really must have lied his fool head off. Wrote Glenn Kessler yesterday,

On Election Day in Georgia, polling places are open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., and if you are in line by 7 p.m., you are allowed to cast your ballot. Nothing in the new law changes those rules.However, the law did make some changes to early voting. But experts say the net effect was to expand the opportunities to vote for most Georgians, not limit them.

That’s sick! It’s…wait, no actually there’s nothing wrong with that, is there?

“One could understand a flub in a news conference,” Kessler writes. “But then this same claim popped up in an official presidential statement. Not a single expert we consulted who has studied the law understood why Biden made this claim, as this was the section of law that expanded early voting for many Georgians. Somehow Biden managed to turn that expansion into a restriction aimed at working people, calling it ‘among the outrageous parts’ of the law. There’s no evidence that is the case.”

He also tells us, “We sought an explanation from the White House for the reason for Biden’s remarks but did not receive an on-the-record response.”

Continue reading

Ethics Quote Of The Month: Jordan Gould, Earnest Vanderbilt Social Justice Warrior And Pathetic Sap

“Let’s turn the page. A word to the Vandy student government president-elect: You would be surprised to learn how aligned our interests are. I invite you to work with me as I renew my commitment to chair the student government Economic Inclusivity Committee. The pursuit of social justice takes hard work. Let’s meet this challenge together.”

The final, sad paragraph in Vanderbilt student Jordan Gould’s essay on Medium titled “When the Social Justice Mob Came for Me.”

I am not designating this an Ethics Quote of the Month because it expresses an ethical ideal or concept, for being a fool and a patsy is never ethical. Rather, Gould’s lunk-headed failure to learn the obvious lessons from his traumatic experience of running for student body president of his supposedly liberal college is symptomatic of what decades of leftist and anti-American indoctrination have done to our youth. Gould has been marginalized and vilified by those he thought were his allies and ideological compatriots, and he doesn’t even realize it.

The harrowing essay details how he was attacked for being white, Jewish, and belonging to a fraternity, in other words, male.  He writes,

Suddenly I started to get tweets and group messages where people told me to go to hell, that I was a white supremacist and a racist confederate. My senior advisor, a woman of color, was asked why she supported a Colonizer.The other candidates’ supporters tore down our posters and ripped my head off the pictures, a sinister warning of what was to come. My campaign was called the white supremacist campaign. False social media posts circulated that my fraternity had parties with confederate flags and chanted that the south would rise again. One message said, “White men are the absolute worst!” Soon after, the posts got even more terrifying — “Hitler got something right!” and “he should get dragged for it!” I began to fear for my safety. Why was this happening?

Why? Why? This is a smart young man, and he is asking that?

Continue reading

Not QUITE Hypocrisy, But Close Enough For An Eye-Roll: The Democratic Attempt To Reverse An Iowa House Election

Democrats have only a razor-thin 219-211 advantage in the House of Representatives (with five current vacancies). Although state officials declared Republican Mariannette Miller-Meeks the winner in the state’s Second Congressional District after she won her race by just six votes out of nearly 400,000 cast, and though she took the oath of office in Washington in January, Nancy Pelosi set the ball rolling for the House of Representatives to overrule the state and award the seat to Miller-Meeks’ Democratic opponent, Rita Hart.

She has refused to concede the race, claiming that 22 disallowed ballots should have made her the winner if counted. The House has the rarely used power under the Constitution to arbitrate “elections, returns and qualifications of its own members,” and in 1969, Congress passed the Federal Contested Elections Act to set up a clear process governing how it should hear and decide such cases. So now Democrats have initiated an investigation by the House Administration Committee, a full-scale review into the election that could lead to impounding ballots, a hand recount and ultimately a vote by the full House to decide the election.

But…but… I thought members of the House and Senate refusing to accept the state-certified results of the 2020 Presidential election was an attack on democracy itself (although this too is allowed under the Constitution)! Well, that was Republicans, you see, and the complaining candidate was Donald Trump. Come on. Be reasonable. Besides, why would anyone suspect that the review of the Iowa House election would be subject to partisan bias and manipulation?

Continue reading

Morning Ethics Warm-Up, 3/30/21: Ready to Play Ball (Sigh)…Plus Leaks, GULC, Pandemic Deaths, China, And Narratives.

Well, I’m reluctantly back on board for the baseball season in general, and the Boston Red Sox rooting section specifically. It was touch and go for a while. For the first time since I was 11, I bailed on the baseball season completely with months to go last year. The reason was disgust. I was nauseated by the fake fans in the stands, the fake sounds emanating from the speakers, and the ridiculous rule experiments, like play-offs that admitted losing teams, seven inning games in double-headers and extra-innings beginning with runners on base for no discernible reason. Then there was MLB’s ostentatious suck-up to Black Lives Matter, with the Red Sox being prime offenders in that category, plastering giant salutes to anti-white racism in centerfield and outside Fenway Park.The final straw for me was the the spontaneous player walk-out to protest the “racism” of Breonna Taylor’s accidental death in a police shootout, which had nothing to do with race. MLB simply capitulated to a wildcat strike, players not only playing politics, but racial politics, partisan politics, and worst of all, ignorant politics. That did it. I didn’t watch a game or follow the team of my childhood for the rest of the season, nor any of the post-season. The Red Sox cooperated by stinking up the field as they hadn’t done since a couple of seasons in the Nineties.

I tried not to think about baseball during the off-season, because I dreaded having to make the decision of whether to stick with the game that had given me so much pleasure, excitement and wisdom since the first decade of my life. Further alienating me was Boston’s unethical (but popular!) choice to bring back Alex Cora as the team manager, despite his role in orchestrating season-long cheating in Houston as the 2017 Astros bench coach, and allowing a lesser but still significant cheating scheme to take place during the 2018 Red Sox season as my home team’s manager.

The first test came when I had to decide whether to pay for the Direct TV MLB broadcasts. I paid. Then Sirius-XM (the bastards) announced that the MLB radio channels would no longer be free with my satellite radio subscription, and that for the coming season I would have to pay an additional 6 bucks a month. I paid that too.

I’m not happy, and I am certainly not looking forward to the 2021 season, which starts in a few days, the way I once welcomed the “boys of summer.” In the end, the decision came down to loyalty, gratitude, forgiveness, and hope. As I already stated, baseball has given me many decades of joy and entertainment, and as I used to say on my professional biography, the Red Sox taught me much of what I believe about “the nature of good, evil, justice, and chaos.” I owe the team more than a personal “cancellation” over one misbegotten season.

1. More on the ongoing Georgetown University Law Center ethics meltdown…Professor Josh Blackmun has an analysis here; Ethics Alarms tracked this story earlier this month. Blackmun writes in his conclusion,

The Georgetown University Law Center is in a precarious state. Junior faculty members will be required to conform to standards inconsistent with free thought and exchange. Senior faculty members who resist will be forced out, quietly or overtly. And the most outraged students now have absolute control over the law school. Any demand they make, no matter how unreasonable, must be accommodated. Again, GULC is the canary in the coal mine. These changes will soon trickle down throughout the rankings–unless an administration is willing to say no to groups. I doubt many deans have that intestinal fortitude to say a student’s offense is unreasonable. Indeed, their own jobs may be on the line. I fear for the state of the legal academy.

Continue reading

Law Vs. Ethics: The Minnesota Supreme Court Rules That Even A Stupid Law Has To be Followed

Law Ass

And the Court is right! But this is a really stupid law. According to Minnesota law, “‘mentally incapacitated’ means that a person under the influence of alcohol, a narcotic, anesthetic or any other substance, administered to that person without the person’s agreement, lacks the judgment to give a reasoned consent to sexual contact or sexual penetration.”

Wait, what? Does that really mean that a woman who is incapable of thinking straight or fighting off an amorous creep intent upon getting some cheap sex is mentally incapacitated and incapable of consent if she has been made blotto by a date who kept telling her she was drinking non-alcoholic punch that was really laced with vodka, but if she drank the exact same amount knowing what was in the punch, she isn’t “mentally incapacitated” even if she can barely speak or move to defend herself?

It does indeed. The law is, some Brit memorably said (but not Charles Dickens), an ass.

Continue reading

Ex-Salt Lake County GOP Chairman Scott Miller For Governor Of NY!

Scott Miller

I jest.

Sort of.

Salt Lake County GOP Chairman Scott Miller has resigned his post after brushing off complaints from women in his party regarding Salt Lake County Republican Party communications director Dave Robinson’s pattern of harassment, body-shaming and more.

Miller, who was running for the state Republican chair, had trivialized the allegations as petty squabbling. It was pretty obviously more than that. For example, after Salt Lake County Council candidate Laurie Stringham created a campaign video for donors in which she said, “Support Laurie Stringham for Salt Lake County Council, so when Mayor [Jenny] Wilson says ‘more, more, more,’ we can say ‘no, no, no!’,” she said that Robinson called her to complain about the spot.

“You sound like you’re having an orgasm!” Robinson shouted at her over her car’s speakerphone. He then repeated her “more, more, more” catchphrase with obscene grunting sounds., and told her that if she wanted to “whore herself out, that was her choice.” Then, Stringham said, Robinson shouted, “I will make sure you never get elected! I will ruin you! And I will make sure the party never works with you! Get your shit together!’” and hung up.

Robinson, who is openly gay, was accused of similar abuse by several women, who said he referred to them in demeaning, derogatory and sexual terms, attempted to bully them, and even withheld important campaign resources unless they wrote opinion pieces about his favorite issues. Yet the party chair, Miller, refused to investigate or take their concerns seriously. To the contrary, he attacked Robinson’s critics on the county party’s official email last week, naming all of the women coming forward and questioning their motives.

“Are these persons and possibly their special interest backers attempting to embarrass and cancel me and our volunteers?” Miller asked in part. “I will not be CANCELLED.” Hilariously, after these remarks received condemnation from everyone (including Utah’s Republican governor) but Robinson, Miller performed a spectacular if unconvincing flip-flop, and tweeted,

Continue reading