Undercovers Ethics, 4/27/21

Well, here I am trying to write a post in bed. This never works our well, but it’s this or nothing. I have clients waiting, my dog is mad at me for not walking him on a gorgeous day, and I wish I could just soldier through it all. I can’t, though, and feel like an utter failure. I’ve in pain in more than one location, a lower back strain being the latest addition, I’m in the midst of an allergy attack, and all the drugs have made me nauseous and dizzy. But ethics waits for no one, and it certainly isn’t going to wait for the likes of me.

1. This is what “systemic racism” propaganda produces…an op-ed by a civil engineering student from the University of California, Los Angeles, written for the the College Fix documents some of his discussion with the woke-infected on campus. He says he recently took part in an online debate about “systemic racism” during which some UCLA students complained that automatic soap dispensers are racist. One student said the dispensers “don’t see her hands” because of her dark skin. Another student claimed that the dispensers force “black and brown” people to show their palms, “the only light areas of the skin,” before the liquid soap comes out.

Both students are delusional, but this is how the current “racist America all the time everywhere” makes gullible and insecure blacks paranoid and miserable.

2. Blame Mitch McConnell for the “court packing” rationalizations. Last week, a Georgetown law student—poor bastard— confronted Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) when he accused Democrats of making a “power grab.””You didn’t see Republicans, when we had control of the Senate, try to rig the game. You didn’t see us try to pack the court,” he said. The law student protested, “How is court packing any different than what the Republicans did in 2016 and 2020?”

“We filled vacancies, that’s not packing the court,” Cruz insisted, as the law student insisted there was no difference between what Republicans refusing to consider President Obama’s nomination of Merrick Garland to replace Justice Scalia, did and what Democrats are now trying to do by expanding the court. “They’re doing something that’s allowed under the Constitution,” the student countered. “It’s not an obstruction to the rule of law if it’s in the law.”

Ugh. Mitch McConnell’s unethical—not illegal—gambit to bury the Garland nomination under a contrived election year rule may have worked, but Republicans will be suffering for it for generations—and they deserve to. No, what the GOP did wasn’t “court packing,” which has had a specific, well-understood meaning since FDR tried it. But the laws student is already adept at the progressive craft of redefining words and concepts to meet whatever goal they are seeking to justify at the moment.

On the other hand, Cruz and the Republicans are ethically estopped from accusing the Democrats of trying to manipulate the ideological balance of the Court using technically legal means that are nonetheless an abuse of power and breach of the understandings and traditions that allow the government to function. That’s exactly what Senator McConnell did in 2016. It wasn’t “court packing,” but it was just as wrong, though on a lesser scale.

After the student posted the exchange on social media, Georgetown Law Center professor Josh Chafetz video, praised him. “One of my students came across Ted Cruz’s anti-Court-packing press conference and naturally gave him hell,” Chafetz wrote.

If that’s the level of logical precision the student is being trained to apply to the law at GULC, and apparently it is, he is going to have serious problems.

3. Oh, fine: Now we have affirmative action in rating old movies. Turner Classic Movies has been teaming up with Fandago to present limited big screen engagements around the country of classic films most Americans have never seen in a theater. Big movies, acclaimed movies, immortal movies…like “Ben-Hur,” “Psycho,” “The Ten Commandments,” “Singin’ in the Rain,” and…”La Bamba”? There is only one reason the 1987 biopic about a minor Fifties rock star whose major claim to fame is that he died in the same plane crash that killed Buddy Holly would rate a special showing, and that’s because TCM was worried about being called “racist” because its featured classics didn’t include enough stories about “people of color.” “La Bamba‘s” not a bad movie, but nobody, including critics at the time the movie was released, ever thought it was a great movie that needs a big screen presentation to fully appreciate its brilliance. TCM and Fandango are pandering, and embarrassingly obvious about it.

4. Ethics Heroes: Chadwick Boseman’s family. It would have been so easy for the family of the late Chadwick Boseman to attribute his stunning upset loss in the Best Actor category at the 2021 Oscars to “systemic racism.” The voters gave the award instead to 83-year-old Anthony Hopkins, even as the awards show had rigged the show as a celebration of Boseman and “artists of color.” But the actor’s family did not exploit the situation, saying in an interview that Hopkins was deserving, and that Boseman likened the Oscar race to a political campaign.

Good for them.

20 thoughts on “Undercovers Ethics, 4/27/21

  1. 2. Jack, Jack, Jack. Seriously, you jest. That kid will have no problem whatsoever. He’ll be on a gravey train with bisquit wheels. He’ll get a job at The New York Times or Above the Law. He’ll move to Brooklyn and be a super star.

  2. Based on what I have read Merrick Garland say as head of the Justice Department I am glad his nomination never saw the light of day. https://nypost.com/2021/04/20/ag-merrick-garland-says-racism-is-an-american-problem/

    Attorney General Merrick Garland said racism is an “American problem” in an interview Monday, adding that he does not believe America has equal justice under the law.

    “Look, racism is an American problem,” Garland told ABC News.

    “It’s plain to me that there has been and remains discrimination against African Americans and other communities of color, and other ethnic minorities. I think it’s reflected in discrimination in housing and employment and the justice system,” he said. “We do not yet have equal justice under law.”

    To that I say prove that the outcomes were due to discrimination and not personal choices or government incentives that inhibit initiative.

    “I now have the opportunity to do some very important things. I have the opportunity now to lead a Justice Department in pursuit of civil rights. I have a chance to lead a Justice Department in pursuit of the rule of law and ensuring the independence of the department, and its independence — particularly — from any kind of partisan influence in the way we bring investigations or prosecutions,” he said.

    “And I have a chance to lead a department — sitting here in Oklahoma City — that needs to fight against domestic violent extremists, so that the kind of tragedy that we had in Oklahoma City doesn’t occur,” Garland said.

    More people are killed in inner city violence than by domestic violent extremists Merrick; or don’t you care? Why did you focus on Oklahoma City tragedy rather than 9/11? The answer lies in the fact that he wants to paint whites who challenge the progressive orthodoxy as violent extremists. That is just plain bigoted and partisan.

    Garland was an insider and if he felt this way as a jurist he had the power and obligation to correct it from the bench. Justice is meted out by those in the black robes not the men and women in blue.

    Garland was stone cold silent when the partisan investigations of Trump were being conducted by the insiders to whom he was well acquainted.

    The young lawyer fails to understand that Obama nominates but there is no requirement to give any candidate a hearing. So theoretically, for some period of time after Scalia’s death McConnell actually tipped the balance of the court in favor of the progressives because without Scalia there was one less originalists on the court.

    • Where you stand depends upon where you sit. While Garland was a judge, he had to be impartial or at least appear to be impartial. As attorney general in a de facto third Obama term his role is to push the policies of this administration and push them hard. The man himself hasn’t changed one bit, however, he knows which side the bread is buttered on and what his role is.

      It reminds me of when I was doing primarily labor and employment, where I butted heads regularly with one of the police union leaders. When I started doing civil litigation, I was assigned to defend him in another case. I told him that I did not apologize for what had gone on in the past, that I had been in a different job that had different priorities, but my role here was to give him the best defense I could give him and that was what I was going to do. If he was not okay with that he should speak up, and I would get someone else assigned this matter.

    • Garland was stone cold silent when the partisan investigations of Trump were being conducted by the insiders to whom he was well acquainted.

      As well he should as a sitting Federal judge.

      What prerogative does a judge have to comment on matters not appearing before his court? What good could come from such comments, except to lawyers who steer there cases towards or away from Garland based on his extra-judicial opinions?

      As an appeals judge in DC, he had a reasonable chance of a case involving Trump and/or the various investigations coming before him. How does a judge running his mouth on hot-political issues build confidence in a non-partisan independent judiciary? How would anyone trust a judge who publicly commented on a matter to be non-biased should a case based on that matter appear before him. He would be expected to not contradict himself nor appear to contradict himself, boxing him him into any prior opinion even if not directly to the facts of the case.

      His knew roll as Attorney General has a completely different set of responsibilities. He may well turn out to be be a hack in this new roll, but Justice Garland did exactly as he should by not commenting on public matters outside his courtroom from the bench.

      • Rich you are right about him giving the appearance of impartiality. I retract that part. However, he stated “I have a chance to lead a Justice Department in pursuit of the rule of law and ensuring the independence of the department, and its independence — particularly — from any kind of partisan influence in the way we bring investigations or prosecutions,”

        He is implying that the Justice Department under Barr was not independent from any partisan influence and he will not be. He is so full of crap it makes me want to puke.

        Yet today, Rudy Giuliani’s office was raided predicated on the notion he was acting as a unregistered foreign agent seeking to influence US policy in Ukraine. The same thing has happened to Joe Di Genova and Victoria Tenseng. All three were working to defend Trump as his lawyer or indirectly on his behalf against allegations that Trump was pressuring Ukraine to dig up dirt on Biden. John Podesta’s brother was working for Ukraine as an unregistered agent but never given a second look except that he was permitted to file after the fact and avoided any penalties.

        Both you and Steve have said similar things that Garland knew roll as Attorney General has a completely different set of responsibilities. Sure it does but I recall people calling for Barr’s resignation or impeachment for acting as the President’s “lawyer”. I suppose that can only be when Democrats are using the AG’s office to target political opponents. While the responsibilities are different the obligations are the same – fidelity to the law and equal protection under it. Claiming that America is a racist nation speaks volumes about his character. He is pandering. How many unfairly convicted blacks has he freed with his judicial reviews. How many blacks lost educational benefits from Biden’s Crime bill. I know of over 125 at MCTC. I am sick to death of people who have the power and are obligated to reduce discrimination in their jobs and simply bemoan it when they need to gain political momentum. If the nation is inherently racist then what have they done in government to fix it. Not a god damn thing. The thing about calling out every thing as racist and discriminatory is that then nothing is.

        Tell me with a straight face that Garland had no knowledge of the well publicized raid on Giuliani’s home today and that none of this is a partisan effort to destroy political opponents using the justice system as a weapon. Also, tell me that the DC Appellate Court is one that conservatives look forward to having them review challenges to say their immigration policy, or some other social issue.

        He is a hack. I don’t see Garland pressing for the Durham report to come out any time soon either.

        I also would not trust a judge who did not recuse himself in matters that concern high ranking members of the party that prevented him from becoming an associate jurist on the SCOTUS. There are plenty of other cases for him to hear and plenty of other judges without the baggage of a scuttled SCOTUS nomination. I have very limited confidence in the justice system anymore. It is obvious that even the Supremes can be threatened into obedience by Congress. In my opinion there is no independent judiciary anymore when fighting over who gets to be a judge is determined not be their adherence to the law but rather their willingness to stretch plain meanings to fit their judicial temperament.

    • He was right about one thing:.“We do not yet have equal justice under law.”
      Hunter Biden is still not on trial or in prison.

        • Whatever happened to him, I’ll bet it wouldn’t include an invitation to lecture at Tulane. He might be OK, though. According to Slojoe’s pick for ATF director (a “hero of Waco”, and confirmed liar), the main threat is “white nationalists”.

  3. If I don’t feel like typing, I have found the best bet is dictation, however, it always results in needing to go back and edit it. I also have to be careful before I post, lest it use my real name, and my real name be used against me.

    1. The pathetic other side of this is that those who are pushing this propaganda are mostly woke, white people who see this as their chance to impose their vision upon the world. Just tell people of color that something is racist, and they’ll apparently follow you to the ends of the earth. That’s not saying much for them either.

    2. Personally, I salute Mitch McConnell for taking an awfully big risk to prevent a tipping of the Supreme Court that could have produced a real problem now. What he did was wrong, but the optics of it are no different than other Congressional obstruction. Obstructing the other party in Congress is par for the course. The American people see it for what it is and accept it as the normal way of doing business in DC. If you asked anyone after the Garland issue whether the same thing would have happened if the party’s involved were reversed, and it had been a Republican president in his last year trying to replace a liberal Justice who had died, anyone being honest would have said the same thing would have happened, and you know the same thing would have happened. Trying to expand the court to appoint four brand spanking new liberal justices to change the ideological makeup is not Congressional obstruction or politics as usual. It is a naked power grab, and most people see it for what it is. Most Americans are okay with business as usual in congress, or at least they accept it. Most Americans are not okay with a naked partisan power grab.

    3. Surprise, surprise. I agree, “La Bamba” has any significance mainly because its subject, an emerging 50s rockstar, perished before he could come into his own on “the day the music died,” making him a legend. For all we know, if the three musicians who perished that day had lived, they might have produced some great stuff, or they might have met the fate of Johnny, who died with a bottle of whiskey and sleeping tablets by his head in another song.

    Putting that aside, frankly I think we are lucky TCM only decided to add that to the mix, instead of biopics about Malcolm X and Hurricane Carter. Actually, let me amend that. “Hurricane,” starring Denzel Washington, was not a biopic of the now dead Rubin Carter. It was a political broadside that used some names of real people to tell a fictional story of how hate put an innocent man in prison but love got him out. In fact, what happened here in my home state was an atrocious failure of the justice system any way you slice it, which either put an innocent man in prison for 19 years, or allowed a triple murderer to walk free. Never mind that though, it had to deliver a Very Important Message. Wait till June 19th, when you’ll be flooded with that and pictures like it.

    4. I guess they were left out of the loop to profit from exploiting this vote. Either that, or the vote came as such a surprise that no one was positioned to exploit it.

      • valkygrrl,
        Your comment can only be taken one way, it’s unadulterated trolling. To be specific it’s pure vengeful trolling from someone with a petty character that’s intentionally holding a doxing fact about an anonymous commenter over their head. It’s a doxing personal threat from an internet troll. If you had done something like this on my blog I’d ban you in a heart beat.

        Jack has shown you leniency because you’ve been around here for a while but in my opinion you are intentionally abusing Jack’s tolerance. You need to get over yourself valkygrrl and do it before your character is irretrievably broken with reality.

    • Just tell people of color that something is racist, and they’ll apparently follow you to the ends of the earth. That’s not saying much for them either.

      My longtime usenet ally, Christopher Charles Morton, has been callingh gun control racist.

      why are not these woke people following him to the ends of the earth?

  4. Both students are delusional, but this is how the current “racist America all the time everywhere” makes gullible and insecure blacks paranoid and miserable.

    It is important to note what these people do not call racist.

    And what they do not call racist is enforcement of “common sense”, “sensible” gun legislation.

    • I’ll see your video,

      and I’d raise you a story about Alan Shepard and a Moon Shot book promo poster, but it could give you clues to my name, and Zol …uh, somebody, might yell at you some more.

      • Never met Collins, but I did see buzz Aldrin when he was Grand Marshal of the New York City Veterans Day parade a few years ago.

        My dad asked me after I got home from the parade what I thought of the Grand Marshal. I replied that he was out of this world. 😀

        Honk! Honk! Wocka! Wocka!

      • Here’s my astronaut story.

        At the 2012 Worldcon–or maybe it was the day before, either way, same convention space, same people all around–I ended up sitting for a few minutes and sharing a bit of pleasant small talk with a nice older gentleman. It wasn’t even con-related, just those little conversations people share in social spaces. Nice guy, shook his hand when he headed off. Started paging through my program guide and was startled to find his picture.

        It was Story Musgrave. The man had been on six shuttle missions.

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