“The Best People” Strike Again! The Latest Trump Campaign Scandal

Trump lawyers

There is a legitimate “bombshell” story rapidly flashing across the news today. Its speed and prominence—specially on MSNBC and CNN, naturally— is explained by the fact that it can be used to attack and weaken Donald Trump, of whom the Axis remains justly terrified of having back in the White House (as should we all, though for other reasons). That the mainstream news media can barely restrain their glee and that Democrat partisan hacks will over-hype the revelation doesn’t make the story any less revolting. Nor does the fact that it should surprise no one.

The New York Times’ front page story reports…

“Two weeks after the 2020 election, a team of lawyers closely allied with Donald J. Trump held a widely watched news conference at the Republican Party’s headquarters in Washington. At the event, they laid out a bizarre conspiracy theory claiming that a voting machine company had worked with an election software firm, the financier George Soros and Venezuela to steal the presidential contest from Mr. Trump….By the time the news conference occurred on Nov. 19, Mr. Trump’s campaign had already prepared an internal memo on many of the outlandish claims about the company, Dominion Voting Systems, and the separate software company, Smartmatic. The memo had determined that those allegations were untrue. The court papers, which were initially filed late last week as a motion in a defamation lawsuit brought against the campaign and others by a former Dominion employee, Eric Coomer, contain evidence that officials in the Trump campaign were aware early on that many of the claims against the companies were baseless. “The documents also suggest that the campaign sat on its findings about Dominion even as Sidney Powell and other lawyers attacked the company in the conservative media and ultimately filed four federal lawsuits accusing it of a vast conspiracy to rig the election against Mr. Trump.”

I try to limit the number of posts here commenting on obvious unethical conduct unless the conduct is extreme, unusual, or culturally significant. Of course the conduct of the Trump campaign was unethical, but it was also distressingly close to what Trump’s enemies have been saying about the January 6, 2020 riot, and, to make another more apt comparison, what the Democrats, led by Hillary Clinton and Deep State saboteurs within the government, attempted to accomplish with their contrived “Russian collusion” plot. The objective in both cases was to use false information to shake the American public’s faith in their own institutions and systems of government to justify seizing power illicitly.

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Your Child’s Teacher Might Be An Idiot If…

Poster

…this poster is hanging in the classroom. Is there any “might” about it? Well, it’s possible that the teacher knows most of the bumper-sticker platitudes on the poster are naive, misleading, simplistic to the point of uselessness and actively suffocate critical thinking, but they are part of a loose conspiracy determined to breed Marxism, or maybe just stupidity, which is to Marxist indoctrination what agar is to bacteria, in our rising generations.

That fatuous list of virtue-signaling blather is being sold on T-shirts, stickers, posters, mugs, kids’ T-shirts and masks, and could stand as Exhibit A to prove the proposition that any parent who doesn’t drop in on their child’s classroom to see what kinds of propaganda is being force-fed there is lazy, irresponsible, and partially responsible for the rapidly spreading cultural, intellectual and ethical rot spreading over the land.

The nine progressive spit-bubbles above also turn up on lawn signs in my neighborhood. That’s fine: if adults want to signal they are squishy-brained moron, that’s a public service, and if they choose to train their children to think the Care Bears are profound, well, those kids’ DNA is probably pretty wan anyway. But teachers openly promoting such stuff as “truth” or worse, wisdom, is a hair from child abuse, and maybe not even a hair. I am going to begin advocating that all teacher interviews include the questions,

  • “Do you but, wear anything with these statements on them? Why?”
  • “Would you display such messages in your classroom?”
  • “Taking each of the statements individually, please explain how they are overly simplistic or inappropriately political in nature, or why you think they are not.”
  • “If you had such messages posted in your classroom, would you object to a parent of one of your students see it?”
  • “If a parent objected to the display, how would you respond?’

Let’s examine those nine assertions. One, “Kindness inspires,” is unobjectionable. As for the rest,

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Ethics Dunce: Yale Law School Deputy Dean Ian Ayres

Yale-Law-School

Ian Ayres, the deputy dean at Yale Law School—I worked in the administration of a law school, and I must admit that I never heard of a “deputy dean”— decided to signal his virtue and lock-step wokeness as well as, presumably, that of Yale by submitting an op-ed to the Washington Post titled “Until I’m told otherwise, I prefer to call you ‘they’.” I welcome it, if only because the essay shows that it isn’t only Harvard among the Ivies that has been corrupted by “The Great Stupid.”

I realized, as I read this foolishness, that I have cited or thought about the Abe Lincoln riddle about calling a dog’s tail a leg (“If you call a tail a leg, how many legs does a dog have? Four—because calling a tail a leg doesn’t make it a leg!”) more often in the past few years than I had done previously during my entire life. This is because Rationalization #64,Yoo’s Rationalization or “It isn’t what it is,” which easily could have been named “Orwell’s Rationalization” except that John Yoo really deserves to be remembered as the lawyer who tried to justify water-boarding on the grounds that it wasn’t torture, has become a core operating principle of the progressive moment on a dizzying number of fronts.

One of the silliest of all, and signature significance regarding how far the left end of the ideological scale has traveled mid-air over the proverbial shark, is the Woke Wonderland’s insistence that gender is just a construct, and if you want to be a different sex than what all biological and anatomical markers say you are, “Poof!”, you are! Not only that, you are now able to condemn, and some maintain even sue, anyone who doesn’t bow to your peculiar version of reality.

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Let All Good And Objective Americans Deride And Mock San Francisco Mayor London Breed, Those Who Voted For Her, And Anyone Who Dares To Defend Her…

SF-Mayor-London-Breed

What a ridiculous excuse for a mayor.

What an embarrassment to her city and party.

What an arrogant, silly, clueless fool.

The usual Ethics Alarms tag I would consider in this kind of story, “Incompetent Elected Official of the Month,” just doesn’t do San Francisco Mayor London Breed justice. Letting her astounding explanation for why she violated her own mask mandate simply brand her as incompetent would be a cruel insult to all previous incompetent elected officials. Previously, Ethics Alarms wrote about Breed being videoed unmasked, singing, and dancing with a largely unmasked crowd inside a jazz club in the Tenderloin last week. This made her the latest Democratic mayor, governor or other official—and there have been a ridiculous number of them— to regard themselves as immune from their own pandemic restrictions on “the little people” they deign to govern. However, none of these hypocrites have come within miles of Breed’s mind-melting hauteur. Here’s what she said:

“We don’t need the fun police to come in and micromanage and tell us what we should or shouldn’t be doing. My drink was sitting at the table, I got up and started dancing because I was feeling the spirit and I wasn’t thinking about a mask.”

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Comment Of The Day: “Unethical Quote Of The Week: Dr. Mary Rudyk”

gun to the head 3

Steve-O-In-NJ has been a veritable Samuel Pepys of late, and there are more than one potential COTD in his recent output. But I’m a sucker for personal anecdotes, so let’s start with this, Steve-O’s Comment of the Day on “Unethical Quote Of The Week: Dr. Mary Rudyk,” in which a hospital official advocated lying and fear-mongering “for the greater good”…

***

“It’s not about changing anyone’s mind, it’s about changing their behavior.

“Many years ago when I had just finished law school and was studying for the bar, still living at home, my mother wanted me to take my aged (86) grandfather to a reunion at his college in MA. I really couldn’t afford to give up four days of study to chauffeur a man who was slipping mentally four hours each way and babysit him while he did nothing but drink himself under the table and repeat embarrassing stories and dirty jokes (his favorite was the one about the misunderstanding in French between a hat and a condom) that my grandmother would always stop him from telling while she was alive.

“Any other time, ok, but while studying for the bar was too big of an ask, and I said sorry, but no, maybe she could ask another family member (there were others). However, Mom was the kind of person who, once she got it into her head that she wanted YOU to do something that she thought was important enough, dammit, she was going to make YOU do it, come high water, hurricane, or the end of the world.

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Monday Morning Ethics Warm-Up: Hoping For A Good Day…Fake Unity, Fake Antiques, Fake Indignation, Fake Tipping Points

One of them has got turn up eventually, right? RIGHT???

Attention should be paid to this date, September 20, for a couple of reasons.

Chester A. Arthur, one of my favorite Presidents and ethics stories, was sworn in today after the death of President James Garfield, who looked like he might have been a great one. I already have reposted this year the story of how a disabled, middle-age woman nobody had ever heard of secretly turned Arthur from a corrupt hack (he had never held elected office before becoming President of the United States) into a principled and courageous leader. I was tempted to put it up again when I saw the PBS documentary based on “Destiny of the Republic” by Candace Millard, which was the best-selling history that revealed the impact of Julia Sand. Incredibly, the documentary failed to mention Sand at all! Having studied Garfield and his murderer, Charles Guiteau, I was familiar with most of the information in the book but not the Sand episode, which I felt and still feel was the most important part of the book both historically and ethically.

The other ethically significant event to occur on this date was the 1973 tennis match between top women’s player Billie Jean King, 29, and Bobby Riggs, 55, at that point in his career a self-promoting huckster and loud-mouth, but not much of a tennis player. Somehow, this obvious mismatch was dubbed “The Battle of the Sexes,” enabling it to attract a huge TV audience, and King’s victory became a tipping point in the women’s equality movement. I liken it to the George Floyd fiasco in that respect: the contrived symbolism of the event overwhelmed the facts. Riggs, who one was a highly-ranked male tennis pro, had been shooting off his mouth about how even a broken down senior player like him was better than the best women in the sport. He was trying to get a play-day and a resurgence of lucrative fame by goading a female pro into a match, and it worked: Australian Margaret Court, then #1 in the female pro ranks, took the bait and choked, playing horribly while losing to Riggs’ soft serves, spin shots and lobs. Her friend King set out to redeem her, and won in straight sets, proving that one of the best female players in the world in her prime could defeat a male player almost twice her age. Wow.

The lesson: when enough people really, really want something to be true, they’ll decide it is true regardless of the facts.

1. From the “How Stupid Do They Think We Are?” files: The New York Times gives front page attention to First Lady Jill Biden’s (I’m sorry, Dr. Jill Biden—and she can call me “Dr.” too, since I’m as much one as she is) determination to make Joe’s campaign promise to bring “unity” back to the U.S. a reality. The promise was offensive when it was made, and if FLOTUS really thinks it is achievable, she’s a Doctor of Delusion. The recent revelations about how the Clinton campaign conspired to create a false conspiracy narrative that crippled Donald Trump’s Presidency while Democrats accused the Americans who voted for him of being racists, xenophobes, fascists and morons establishes how shamefully the Axis of Unethical Conduct set out to divide the public in order to regain power. It’s impossible to govern effectively without some measure of national unity, as they knew when they shredded any hope of such unity to sabotage Trump. Now that they are hobbled by the very conditions they set out to create, the sadly inadequate leader they foisted on the nation wants unity back. Gall, chutzpah, naivete, cynical, hypocritical, ethics estoppel, stupid, insulting—I can’t find a word or phrase sufficiently harsh to describe such a goal. They can’t be trusted with unity, and they don’t deserve it either. Good luck, Jill.

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Ethics Dunce: Harvard President Larry Bacow

Allow me to stipulate that it’s unethical for a President of Harvard University to make his students stupid. Can we agree on that? In truth, it would be unethical for the President of what is supposed to be America’s most distinguished, selective and eminent institution of higher learning to make anyone stupid, but surely the leader of such an institution has a special obligation to his own students, correct?

Apparently Mr Bacow doesn’t comprehend this. Harvard President Larry Bacow issued a message to all “Members of the Harvard Community” this month. Usually such broadcasts from Olympus involve a particularly earth-shaking event on campus, but this one was standard issue climate change propaganda and fear-mongering:

Climate change is the most consequential threat facing humanity. . . . We are going to need a little optimism to preserve life on Earth as we know and cherish it today. The last several months have laid at our feet undeniable evidence of the world to come—massive fires that consume entire towns, unprecedented flooding that inundates major urban areas, record heat waves and drought that devastate food supplies and increase water scarcity. Few, if any, parts of the globe are being spared as livelihoods are dashed, lives are lost, and regions are rendered unlivable.

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A “Nah, There’s No Mainstream Media Bias!” Spectacular: Glenn Greenwald’s Ethics Quote Of The Month…[Updated]

Screen shot MSNBC

“This is a perfect microcosm of the Russiagate fraud that the country endured for four years. Hoaxes were repeatedly cooked up by private intelligence operatives working for the DNC or anti-Trump factions within the CIA and FBI, and then fed to friendly reporters, who laundered the falsehoods by publishing whatever they were given, without the slightest concern for whether they were true….”

—Independent reporter Glenn Greenwald in a searing and definitive essay titled “The Indictment of Hillary Clinton’s Lawyer is an Indictment of the Russiagate Wing of U.S. Media.

Greenwald goes on to say in this passage, which occurs towards the end of his thorough, detailed, infuriating essay,

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“The Queen’s Gambit” Gambit

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In the final episode (mercifully) of the inexplicably popular Netflix series“The Queen’s Gambit,” an announcer delivering chess commentary while the show’s annoying fictional heroine, portrayed by Anya Taylor-Joy (above right), competes in a climactic tournament in Moscow says,“The only unusual thing about her, really, is her sex, and even that’s not unique in Russia.There’s Nona Gaprindashvili, but she’s the female world champion and has never faced men.”

That wasn’t true. Nona Gaprindashvili, the first woman to be named a grandmaster, faced and defeated many male players. Now 80 years old and living in Tbilisi, Georgia, Nona is furious about the false representation of her career. She’s suing Netflix in Federal District Court in Los Angeles, seeking millions of dollars in damages for what her lawyers claim is a “devastating falsehood, undermining and degrading her accomplishments before an audience of many millions.”

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Mid-Weekend Morning Ethics Warm-Up, 9/19/21: Also Sprach Ethics Alarms…

1. More evidence that social media corrupts everything it touches…In an interview about her hit HBO mini-series “Mare of Eastham” (not bad, if you like being depressed), actress Kate Winslet revealed that actresses are sometimes cast in plum roles by producers because they have more social media followers than actresses who are better suited for the parts. Considering fake Twitter followers can be bought, this is strong incentive for actors to cheat. It isn’t that Twitter itself is unethical, just that it is a catalyst for unethical conduct in so many ways. Again permit me to quote the Amityville House: “GET OUT!!!

2. Speaking of actors, Frederick March has been cancelled by his alma mater. University of Wisconsin officials have removed the late, great Fredric March’s name from campus theaters. March is one of the greatest and most prolific of American film actors who also had a distinguished stage career, despite the fact that few under the age of 60 today could identify him. (His most acclaimed movie is the iconic “The Best Years of Our Lives,” and the role most would recognize is probably his performance opposite Spencer Tracy in “Inherit the Wind,” where March channels William Jennings Bryan.) March’s artistic achievements and his mastery of his craft certainly make him an appropriate figure to memorialize with a theater, except for one detail: when March was a student over a hundred years ago, he joined an organization called the Ku Klux Klan that apparently had no affiliation with the notorious racist and nativist Southern organization of the same name. John MacWhorter explains the confusion here.

Investigations into March’s beliefs and activities show that, if anything, he was a vocal opponent of racism all of his life, so tarring him as a Klansman is unfair and untrue. But in 2018, the university took his name off the Fredric March Play Circle Theater on the Madison campus, and did the same this year to a theater on its Oshkosh campus. After all, students need to fell “safe” from a dead actor’s naive conduct before anyone had heard of him a century ago because of the accidental death of a petty criminal and drug addict under the knee of a brutal cop. McWhorter quotes a Madison student actor as saying, “I cannot believe that my friends and I have been performing in a space named after someone who would have considered all of us to be lesser beings…I find it so ironic that we are sharing our intersectional stories in a theater that honors a racist.” Ah, yes, the Great Stupid, where Facts Don’t Matter.

But I don’t think the University of Wisconsin had much choice but to consign March’s memorials to Cancel Culture Hell. If the school had to spend tens of thousands to remove a giant boulder that was once called a “niggerhead” because students protested, administrators were only being realistic to conceded that they could only lose if they tried to defend Frederick March….unless and until they did a better job teaching students to think.

3. Thank God the Biden Administration has returned openness and trustworthiness to government! From the New York Times yesterday:

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