Sunday Afternoon Ethics On The Island Of La Grande Jatte


On this date in 1868, the Senate acquitted President Andrew Johnson of committing “high crimes and misdemeanors” by a single vote, which made the total less than the requisite two-thirds. Johnson’s failed impeachment was the closest in motivation and ethics to the two Trump impeachments. The eleven counts against him were contrived because he was a political annoyance, and was using his power to foil the Republican Senate’s Reconstruction policies. The one real “high crime” was defying an unconstitutional law, the Tenure of Office Act, which Johnson asserted was illegal (and it was).

On the topic of impeachment, two other notes:

  • In the classic 1952 film “The Manchurian Candidate” (not the superfluous remake with Denzel Washington), a U.S. Senator threatens to “bring articles of impeachment” against a Vice- Presidential nominee “to the floor of the Senate.” The Senate doesn’t initiate impeachment; that’s the job of the House.  This is irresponsible scripting. No wonder the public is civically illiterate.
  • Anti-Trump fanatic Rick Wilson, a former GOP consultant, warned Democrats in a podcast, “If the Republicans take over the House, they will impeach Joe Biden…[they] will run show trial Benghazi hearings every day that will never end.” Why yes, Rich that’s right, and it is exactly what the Democrat-controlled House guaranteed by its abuse of the impeachment process and undemocratic obstruction of President Trump’s Presidency, as they obliterated all previous norms of fairness and comity in the relationship between the Executive and Legislative branches. They pay this guy for “insight” like that?

1. I know I’ve pointed out that Don Lemon is a juvenile and unprofessional hack, but he’s an even bigger hack than I thought…In a video tweet last week before his CNN show aired, Lemon said, “Tonight, I have an announcement about the show. Yup, end of an era.” He wrote, “Another @CNNTonight exclusive. I have a big announcement. I hope you’re ok with it. See you at 10p.” At the end of his show, Lemon seemed to announce that he was leaving “CNN Tonight,” saying, “It’s been really, really great. This is the last night that we’ll be CNN Tonight with Don Lemon. So, I appreciate all the years of CNN Tonight with Don Lemon. But changes are coming. And I will fill you in.”

But it was all a stunt. The show’s title is getting changed, that’s all. It was the last broadcast of “CNN Tonight with Don Lemon” because the show’s NAME was being changed to “Don Lemon Tonight. “ “What I said last night was true,” this irredeemable jerk said. ‘CNN Tonight with Don Lemon” is no more. I’ll be back on Monday with my newly named show “Don Lemon Tonight.'”

CNN doesn’t take ethics training or ethics rules seriously, and Lemon wouldn’t recognize a tenet of journalism ethics if it was nailed to his forehead. Still, the professional ethics principle that those who must be trusted by the public cannot engage in blatant dishonesty, misrepresentation and deceit should be self-evident. There are so many reasons why watching Lemon is signature significance for addled dupes that rejecting him (and CNN) for pulling such a disgusting cheat shouldn’t even be necessary. Still: Wow.

Back in the Fifties and Sixties there was a TV commercial cliche that many products used:

“Katy Winters! is it true?” (Katy was the fictional pitchwoman for Ice Blue Secret, a women’s deodorant)

“It is true, Madge. I’m giving up Ice Blue Secret!” (she tosses a jar into the waste basket)

“After all these years? I can’t believe it! Why?

“Because I’ve found something even better! New IMROVED Ice Blue Secret, with Icenol!”

But Katy was an actress, and it was a deodorant commercial. Don lemon, unfortunately, is real, and he’s supposed to tell the truth.

2. Let’s see if the National Guard can do any better, because that’s what we may have to resort to when nobody wants to be a cop. Joe Biden used a Police Week to impugn the police, saying in a statement,

“In many of our communities, especially Black and brown communities, there is a deep sense of distrust towards law enforcement; a distrust that has been exacerbated by the recent deaths of several Black and brown people at the hands of law enforcement. These deaths have resulted in a profound fear, trauma, pain, and exhaustion for many Black and brown Americans, and the resulting breakdown in trust between law enforcement and the communities they have sworn to protect and serve ultimately makes officers’ jobs harder and more dangerous as well. In order to rebuild that trust, our State, local, and Federal Government and law enforcement agencies must protect constitutional rights, ensure accountability for misconduct, and embrace policing that reflects community values and ensures community safety. These approaches benefit those who wear the badge and those who count on their protection.”


  • That distrust has been substantially created by deliberate misrepresentation of the facts by activists, irresponsible elected officials, anti-police anarchist, Black Lives Matter apologists for criminals and especially the news media.
  • Biden thus joins in the disinformation campaign by pretending that “black and brown” people are the primary victims of fatal encounters with police.
  • Are the constitutional rights of police officers also important? Let’s ask Derek Chauvin…
  • “Community values” joins the list of empty progressive “do something” phrases like “sensible gun reform.” Is obeying the lawful orders of police and not resisting arrest a “community value” that needs to be reinforced? I doubt that the people Biden is pandering to would agree. [Pointer: James Hodgson]

3. More Zoom ethics...This transpired in a Michigan Zoom hearing: Nathaniel Saxton, charged with possessing drug paraphernalia, logged in to his virtual arraignment with the screen name “Buttfucker 3000.” Judge Jeffrey Middleton of Centreville, Michigan,said, annoyed, “We’ll bring this fool in.” The judge immediately asked the defendant for his name, and Saxton gave it.

“Your name’s not Buttfucker 3000, you yo-ho! logging in to my court with that as your screen name,” Middleton said. “What kind of idiot logs in to court like that?”

“I don’t believe I typed anything like that in,” the defendant answered.

“Well, that’s what it says,” Middleton said, as he told the defendant that he was putting him in the waiting room. “You can sit in limbo for a while and think about what you call yourself online.”

When the defendant appeared on screen again, he said his sister had set up the Zoom account. “It’s an inside joke; it’s not what you think. I am embarrassed. I’m sorry,” he said.

“Well, you should be,” Middleton replied.

4. I’m going to keep mentioning this until it stops or until at least 50% of the couples I know are mixed-race. My wife and I watched two recent Amy Adams dramas last week. In one, there was a flashback showing her married to a black man. In the other, her white, 60-something white boss was married to a much younger black woman. This continues a bizarre pattern in TV, movies and ads in 2021. The alternate universe being portrayed is one where a majority of Americans, especially good Americans, are in mixed-race relationships. This is fantasy, of course. I don’t care who is cast as Amy Adams dead husband, unless the choice takes me out of the story, and that’s what these gratuitous, “see how woke we are!” moments do. They don’t advance the plot or enrich the characters: they are the equivalent of product placements, the product being “affirmative action” and “antiracism.”  The productions are sacrificing the effectiveness of the films to play politics. It is the equivalent of NFL players kneeling during the National Anthem.

22 thoughts on “Sunday Afternoon Ethics On The Island Of La Grande Jatte

  1. Re: No. 1; Lemon’s Pledge.

    In all fairness, Lemon is an actor and his show is a DNC commercial, so . . .

    Re: No. 4; Amy Adams.

    Your first mistake was watching an Amy Adams movie. I, however, imagine why you would subject yourself and your wife to two – TWO!!!!!- Amy Adams movies. That is just wrong.


  2. RE #2: I notice repeated references to Black and brown people. On first appearance I thought it must be a typo – but there are at least two more such references.

    C’mon, brown people (or should I say Brown,/i> people?)! Fight for your SJW-authorized and media-granted capitalization! It’s an honor for which you must petition, but once you do, the cash register rings!

  3. I’m going to keep mentioning this until it stops or until at least 50% of the couples I know are mixed-race.

    I am guessing that someone came to the conclusion that people want to see more mixed-race couples because interracial porn is a very popular genre.

    I wonder what logicial fallacies were involved in reaching this conclusion.

    • People who are into interracial porn subconsciously see it as a form of debasement, which is a very common sexual theme and turn-on. “I just like the contrast of the skin colors” is the thin veneer they plaster over that troubling urge. This must be a horrible realization for the “woke”, but then they’re experts at concealing their true nature from themselves, so that probably doesnt happen often.
      Just a tangent that came to mind. Sexuality is such a complicated and baffling thing.

  4. My favorite thing Rick Wilson said was: “They will constantly grind away ad the administration’s ability to do work.” I have to wonder if even a tiny bit of his mind recognizes that this is exactly what Democrats did to Trump. As you’ve said many times, bias makes you stupid, and he may be an extreme enough example that he really and truly doesn’t see the parallel there. Which is just depressing…

    • These political strategists are simply carpetbaggers with no ideology except to make money. They will adopt any argument just to stay relevant. Without Trump Rick Wilson is irrelevant and offers nothing of substance to advance our society. Big government is what keeps them employed.

  5. “Well” is just another “Yes but” response and equally revealing. It implies you can’t find any error in anything President Biden is saying: you just wish he had said something different?

    And there is surely nothing in Biden’s words as quoted here to support your assertion that: “Biden thus joins in the disinformation campaign by pretending that “black and brown” people are the primary victims of fatal encounters with police.”

    • Andrew,
      By focusing only on the deadly force against Blacks it creates the impression that the primary victims of police violence are of that group. Keep in mind these words were in the context of a “Police Week” speech.

      For example when we talk about breast cancer do who do we think are its primary victims? Women of course but men are victims too. In breast cancer it makes sense because in absolute numbers it is true. In regard to police shootings the absolute numbers do not support the idea that black and brown people are the primary victims but instead activists use the relative reference of disproportionate impact which in fact uses the wrong population group as the universe. Lactating men are disproportionately impacted with breast cancer but we do not use this arbitrary population group to suggest that men are the most common victims. Unequal proportionality would have to reflect the population that have police encounters not the total population of a particular race.

      What should be the evaluating tool is whites shot/police encounters with whites, and blacks shot/police encounters with blacks. This is the only way to evaluate differential treatment. Even then you must calibrate or normalize the population groups to reflect the conditions or behaviors of the suspect/victim prior to being shot. The fact is that using disproportionate impact as it is currently used is statistically incorrect and makes any use of it disinformation.

      • I should have used an analogy of incarceration rates disproportionately impacting males. We don’t say men are targeted by police and the courts.

      • The RATE that blacks are shot during police encounters has been found to be no higher than whites. I wonder what the relative rates of resisting arrest are.

    • This is how “Weeks” and “months” dedicated to specific groups is supposed to work: the positive contributions of the group being honored are highlighted. Do elected officials talk about the horrific single parent problem in black families on “Black History Wonth”? Of course not. But the President of the United States uses “Police Week” to criticize a group that has been demonized—not juts criticized, but demonized—by loud and prominent political movement.

      • Jack. Assuming you want to do something more constructive than just pouring yet more fuel on the fire, what would you have had President Biden say in place of the text you criticise?

        • It seems to me that Jack was complaining that Biden was pouring fuel on a fire that has been stoked with the fuel of misrepresentation and distortion. To say Jack is pouring fuel on the fire is ludicrous.

        • Biden’s statement was like calling Vietnam veterans ‘baby killers’ on Veteran’s Day. Or bringing up Palestinian bloodshed in a speech prepared for Holocaust remembrance day.

          He can make dumb statements about BLM during black history month.

          • I wouldn’t put it past him. I wouldn’t be surprised if he spent a chunk of a Veterans’ Day speech on how the American soldier has fought in wrong causes as often as right and committed atrocities, maybe even issue a proclamation making it “Armistice Day” again, and I wouldn’t be surprised at him chiding Jews for becoming what they escaped.

        • Wait, what “fire”? The fire is police being unjustly derided and undermined to such an extents that they are being prevented from doing their jobs, and that was Joe’s kerosene, not mine.

          If he couldn’t say something nice and supportive about police on “Police Week,” then he shouldn’t say anything at all. This isn’t hard.

          • Obviously Andrew thinks the fire is the police unjustifiably killing anyone a shade darker than Liv Tyler, and you’re pouring fuel on it by defending the police. Why can’t you speak out against the police like all the smart and good people?

  6. 1. Don Lemon cries on the air when he isn’t drunk. Anyone who wastes their time watching his show gets what they deserve.

    2. In theory highlighting of the honored group and its achievements is what’s supposed to happen during these various weeks and months. In practice it’s either ignored (if the group is not favored) or the group’s grievances get a free airing (if the group is favored). This is the first time I have heard any group receive a bashing during its supposed appreciation week. May is also Military Appreciation Month, I wonder if we can look forward to the military being chided for being segregated so long, behind the curve on sexual assault, and such a tremendous drain on the nation’s finances. 2 years ago on July 4th I was in Washington listening to the President talk up America’s achievements to the music of military bands and punctuated by flyovers (although it was as much about testing a new camera for me so I wouldn’t go into another event with it cold). Last year he went a step further and did it from Mount Rushmore. I wonder if this year we can look forward to a July 4th address in which Biden will tick off everything that’s wrong with this country, starting, of course, with all the historic injustices visited on black and brown people.

    3. The guy is either technically unsavvy or was lying out his backside. I think it was the latter.

    4. Of course they are. If you are white and you dare to hire someone who looks like you, if you dare to lend money to someone who looks like you, if you dare to buy coffee from someone who looks like you, and now if you dare to love someone who looks like you, you’re a racist. Someone like me, who doesn’t feel “that way” about black women (although I did fall once, hard, for a woman who was a stereotypical cute Asian), is out of luck.

    Now, Andrew, assuming you actually want an answer, and aren’t just poking, a president speaking during Police Week should say something like this:

    Recent times have brought unique challenges for the 700,000 men and women in this nation who pin on a badge, strap on a gun, and put their lives on the line for the safety of their fellow citizens. Police week isn’t for the few bad apples who use the badge as a license to bully like someone I won’t name. It isn’t for the few who betray the oath they take by breaking the law instead of upholding it. This week is for officers like Chief Pete Tyler, who just happened to be there when two cars collided and saved Robert Gellinas by administering CPR. It’s for officers like Tyler Hebb and Brandon Foster, who applied a tourniquet to save the life of a man who minutes before had been shooting at them. It’s for officers like Charles Hanger, alert enough to notice and arrest Timothy McVeigh. It’s for officers like James Fitzgerald, who successfully profiled the Unabomber. And it’s for officers like Phil Lamonaco and Thomas Krol and Rafael Ramos, who all paid the ultimate price for others’ safety. The line between order and chaos is thinner than you think, and that line is blue. We hear calls to defund, disband, eliminate. They are cries of anger, nothing more. We all take for granted that we’ll be able to get home safe tonight. We all take for granted that if a child gets lost someone will help them find their way back to their families. We all take for granted that when we dial 911 help will come. In a world without police those things just wouldn’t happen. A nation without police isn’t the nation I want, and it shouldn’t be the one you want either.

      • Lots of good words Steve, sadly spoilt by just one phrase referring to the reaction. “Cries of anger, nothing more.”
        Conflict resolution requires honest acknowledgement that there are merits on both sides.

        • Defunding, disbanding, and eliminating the police are objectively terrible ideas. Ergo, yelling them is nothing more than a cry of anger, with no value. To call for a world without policing or prisons is like calling for a world without war – sounds nice, but impossible, and pursuing the impossible and unachievable is a waste of time, just like chasing a shadow. It’s a nice dream or hope or wish. That said, dig two holes. Put your dreams, hopes, and wishes in the one, use the other one as a toilet, and see which one fills up first. You want to talk different approaches to policing, or different approaches to justice, or whatever, we can talk, but all this defund crap is just crap.

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