Ethics Nightmares, 6/23-24/21

I’m up at 3:30 am writing an ethics post because a nightmare woke me up. I don’t want to talk about it…

1. Breaking! American citizens are not as stupid as progressives think they are! At least in this instance…the first wave in the Democratic Party’s unethical push to eliminate safeguards agaiants fraudulent voting was the campaign during the Obama administration to label voter ID requirements as “racist’ and “voter suppression.” The argument that it made sense not to require voters to present the same level of identification necessary to rent a car, cash a check or get on an airplane when the integrity of our elections is involved was intellectually dishonest, but the with the degree to which the news media carried the message for their favorite party, I assumed this particular brainwashing exercise was a success. But in the wake of the failure of that party’s attempted take-down of election security last week, the Monmouth University Poll revealed that 80% of the public, approve of voter ID. I know, polls. But that’s a pretty convincing margin:

Even Democrats favor ID, though not by a large enough margin to generate any respect. The big surprise was that Monmouth shows whites splitting 77/21 in favor of ID and nonwhites favoring the measure even more strongly, at 84/13.

The American Left, wherein the One-Worlders dwell, always like to cite the United States’ failure to emulate European governments—which the U.S. decided at its origin not to follow by design—as an argument for various measures like banning capital punishment, nanny states, , and gun ownership restrictions, but have been adamantly mute on the fact that 46 of 47 European countries require government-issued photo ID to vote. The one exception has been Great Britain (although not Northern Ireland), and last month Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s government said it would make photo IDs mandatory in response to a Royal Commission report.

2. From the “Joy Behar is an idiot” files. The lack of respect ABC has for the TV viewing public has always been proven by it cynically allowing a Dunning-Kruger case like comedian Joy Behar to be a political pundit on “The View.” She has no primitive ethics alarms, she has no taste alarms, and she doesn’t know when to shut up. The latest example: Las Vegas Raiders defensive lineman Carl Nassib became the first active NFL player to come out as gay, and after the group of over-opinionated, under-educated ladies weighed in with their approval, Behar blurted out, “You know…after they said penetration in the end zone, they lose me.” That would be a crude joke to make at a bar, and it’s gutter level cheap, with no wit in sight. Behar has been on that panel for too long to say without provoking a depressive episode, and nothing tipped her off that it was an inappropriate quip for daytime TV? She is even a bigger idiot than I thought she was, which I would have said was impossible just last week.

3. The rest of the story: Yesterday the U.S. Supreme Court overwhelmingly ruled in favor of Brandi Levy, the 14-year-old student who was banished from her school’s cheerleading team after posting on SnapChat a photo of her flipping the bird to the world and making the trenchant existential commentary, “fuck school fuck softball fuck cheer fuck everything.” Ethics Alarms discussed the case in 2019, as always agreeing with the proposition that what students say on social media, except in extreme situations, cannot be punished by schools. That’s essentially what an 8-1 SCOTUS majority ruled, except for a maverick dissent by Clarence Thomas. That Clarence!

I’m going to try getting back to sleep now…

17 thoughts on “Ethics Nightmares, 6/23-24/21

  1. Re #3: I haven’t read the full ruling, but I was curious about who could possibly be in the minority on what seemed to me an obvious case. Found out it was Thomas–the universe getting back at me for calling his dissent on the Van Buren case “well-reasoned and compelling,” no doubt. So I read, or at least skimmed, his dissent on this one.
    Unless I’m missing something, it relies on “history,” and on pre-Civil War court rulings. He’s right in one respect: there are literally no cases from the 1850s in which schools were denied the right to sanction off-campus SnapChat posts.

  2. 1. European countries also don’t allow mail-in voting or exit polls.

    2. What, no references to tight ends or wide receivers? Unfortunately the guy’s white, so I can’t yell “He’s big! He’s black! He takes it up the crack!” like I was going to do for Michael Sam.

    3. Duh!

    • 1. European countries also don’t allow … exit polls.

      There’s that dang First Amendment mucking things up again!

      • My Aussie friend says she thinks the First Amendment is a problem, not an important guarantee, because community is more important than individuals and it should be government’s role to enforce civility and prevent offense – certain ideas are not ok. Then again, this is a woman who wears shirts that say “in a world where you can be anything, be kind,” claims not to understand patriotism, and wonders openly why those with less liberal opinions can’t just keep them quiet in the interest of not offending those with more liberal ones. In all fairness to her, she is in a bit of an ivory tower situation, since she suffers from fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome, so getting around is hard on her best days, also coeliac disease, so she can’t eat out or share meals with others, and is also extremely vulnerable to any kind of inhaled irritants, so there are a lot of places she can’t risk going.

    • Re #1. True in many places, at least. I have an Irish friend who is a solo artist/storyteller. He had a gig in Italy when there was a big referendum in Ireland. He got on a plane in Milan early in the morning, flew to Shannon, took the bus to Galway, voted, got on another bus and then another plane, and made it to his show that night. That is taking voting seriously!

  3. I mean…. We always knew this was happening, but whew….

    Lawyer submitted 357 hours for a lodestar calculation, but put a sticky note on the page, which was never removed: “I actually worked 185.38 so the above hours are exaggerated to help us meet the lodestar but notseeming too far out of line.” The lodestar rate was $450/hour, so they attempted to get $160,650 when they should have claimed $83,421. Well…. It’s actually worse than that, they claimed $176,715 because they couldn’t math, and corrected it three words later.

    “The court further sets an Order to Show Cause why attorneys David Yeremian, Jason Rothman, and Walter Haines should not be each sanctioned the amount of $10000 payable to the court under California Rules of Court 2.30 for violation of California Rules of Court 9.7”

    Heh heh heh heh heh

  4. Re: Today’s Preamble: Is your nightmare similar to mine? “The Incredibly Shrinking Bank Balance”?

    Re: No. 2; “Joy Behar is an idiot”: Full stop. Nothing more needs to be said. That could save a ton of ethics time!


  5. The Monmouth University poll is no big surprise. To imply that blacks and other minorities wouldn’t have a driver’s license or some other form of voter ID is insulting and disingenuous. (excepting felons) This is more elephant shit made up to convince minorities that systematic racism is a fact in America.

  6. Re #1: I’ think of myself as an independent, but I’m registered as a Democrat (I joined the party so I could vote against Hilary Clinton the the primary a few years back, and never changed back). Put me in the “it depends” category.
    Demands for photo ID are quite reasonable, but if and only if certain other criteria are met. The fact is that such requirements do indeed disproportionately affect urban-dwellers, the poor, and minorities. The fact that all of these constituencies lean Democratic explains the zealotry on both sides. The Dems scream “suppression” and GOP bellows “fraud.” A reasonable solution is available, but neither side seems interested: one reason I go by “Curmie,”
    So, here’s my proposal:
    1. Photo ID is required to vote.
    2. Recognizing that voting may be the ONLY reason some citizens might need such an ID, the government makes these photo IDs free (otherwise it’s a de facto poll tax), and their availability is the subject of a massive information campaign: enough so the ignorance of such availability can only be wilful. Such iIDs might be distributed upon registration to vote, for example. (Side note: there was a case a decade or so ago in which some government agency was indeed charging something like $25 for an ID… you could get one for free, but only if you specifically asked, and workers weren’t allowed to tell people that they could do so; some clerk was in fact fired for that offense.)
    3. These IDs must be accepted nationwide. Other forms of ID–driver’s licenses, passports, military IDs, etc.–may also be mandated by Congress as always acceptable. A state or municipality may allow other forms of identification, but must allow these.
    4. University students may register at their school address, but may, alternatively, register at home. They can get an absentee ballot by visiting their local county clerk’s office in person, showing ID; such requests can be made up to three months before the election in question.
    5. National standards are set for all voting other than in-person at a designated polling place. All such requests must be made in person (and at a government building unless the voter is physically incabable of getting there), with appropriate ID. Standards must be consistent, We either allow people in nursing homes to cast mail-in ballots or we don’t; the same applies to overseas citizens, the military, etc.
    6. These standards are the default position. In special circumstances (natural disaster, pandemic…) , these requirements may be loosened by a 2/3 vote in Congress. I figure that’s high enough to preclude cooking the books, although I don’t trust either side to be honest if control of a legislature is at stake.
    Barring these criteria, though, I’m going to object to requiring photo IDs. One of the cardinal principles of Anglo-American justice is that it is better to allow the guilty to go free than to punish the innocent. I’d extend that to allowing the possibility of a few potentially fraudulent votes to be preferable to denying suffrage to someone who should have that right.

    • Curmie:

      Please tell this is a thinly veiled reference to the Canadian Triumvirate:

      “The Dems scream “suppression” and GOP bellows “fraud.” (though I would change it to: “The Demos scream ‘suppression’ and the Reps just shake their heads.”

      I think some of your points are reasonable, though i reject the assumption or presumption that urban dwellers, poor, and minorities. There is little real evidence of that. Really.


      • The standard form of photo ID for most of us is a driver’s license, If you can’t afford a car (and the insurance, and a place to park it, and…) and/or can take a bus wherever you want to go, why get a license? Why get a passport if you’re never going to use it? The people who are citizens and don’t have either of these forms of ID… yeah, they’re extremely likely to fall into at least one of the categories I describe. Provide an alternative, make sure people know about it, and there will be no question.

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