Predictably, just when I have the least time, the most ethics issues, and important ones, are flying by. I know I’m going to miss some; I’m missed some already. Yesterday, for example, I neglected to note the anniversary of the 1791 ratification of the Bill of Rights, though plenty of readers reminded me. A more ethical historical document does not exist, and the Bill of Rights continues to bolster American values as well as delineate them. I should do a full post on the status of the document and its contents, which have seldom been so besieged. A “Bill of Rights Day” holiday would make much more sense than “Juneteenth,” other than its unfortunate placement so close to Christmas.
What else did I miss? On the 15th in 1998 we saw what might well be the last legitimate impeachment in U.S. history, since the Democrats so thoroughly abused and weakened the standards for the process in their quest to bring down Donald Trump. Whether Clinton should have been convicted in the Senate is a close call for me; he certainly should have had a real trial, which he did not. On balance, I believe his obstruction of the investigation, and especially his dishonesty before the grand jury, tilts the scale to conviction.
Today, the 16th of December, marks the 248th anniversary of The Boston Tea Party, when 60 allies of Samuel Adams’ radical resistance group dumped dumped 342 chests of tea worth about $18,000 (nearly $600,000 today) into the Boston Harbor to protest British taxes. The targeted economic riot was a catalyst: Parliament retaliated against the colonies by enacting the so-called Intolerable Acts, in 1774, closing Boston to merchant shipping, establishing formal British military rule in Massachusetts, declaring British officials immune to criminal prosecution in the Colonies, and requiring the colonists to quarter British troops (hence the Third Amendment in the Bill of Rights). The colonies responded with the first Continental Congress, and the rest, as they say, is history.
Just so you know what kind of public school teacher I would be, I’d assign students to compare and contrast the January 6, 2021 attack on the Capitol to Sam Adams’ little uprising.
1. What are schools for? The always provocative City-Journal reveals that a recent survey by YouGov and American Compass, asked 1,000 American parents with a child between the ages of 12 and 30 about what the priority for the public education system should be, phrased thusly: “Which is more important, helping students maximize their academic potential and gain admission to colleges and universities with the best possible reputations, or “helping them develop the skills and values to build decent lives in the communities where they live?” The latter prevailed by approximately a 2 to 1 margin.
As it should have…
2. Death of an Ethics Dunce. In 1958, Elfrida von Nardroff won $220,500 ( $2.1 million in today’s dollars) on the popular , and crooked, TV quiz show “Twenty-One.” She became a celebrity over several months while on her way to winning, but an investigation proved that she had been given the answers, and the show was rigged. She lied about her complicity in the scheme, and was eventually convicted of perjury. Ms. von Nardroff wrote a well-read magazine article claiming that she prepped furiously for the show, which was a fabication designed to further the hoax. Later she admitted that the article was only “impressionistically true.” Elfrida died this week at the age of 96.
3. Here’s one reason progressives want everyone to “trust the science”: shoddy and biased research. Dana Milbank of the Washington Post wrote a risible column claiming journalists have been harder on President Joe Biden (and his policies that are imploding) than it was on President Trump (and his policies that worked). Since nobody honest and un-deranged could believe that, Milbank appealed to the authority of “artificial intelligence” that reviewed 200,000 news articles to determine the pieces’ “sentiment” based on variables like adjective placement. At substack, T. Beckett Adams does a convincing job proving that this “study” was actually artificial stupidity.
For example, Adams notes that “The raw data show a combined 514 Trump-related articles published last year by CBS News and MSNBC. However, the raw data also show exactly zero Biden-related articles published this year by the same networks. Either CBS and MSNBC plumb forgot to cover the Biden White House, or [the study] simply omitted both networks’ coverage from its research.” Not that it should be necessary to show that any research with the conclusion Milbank was selling needs to be disproved: res ipsa loquitur. If Jimmy Durante had produced an AI study “proving” that the elephant he had on the end of his rope really wasn’t there, who would believe it?
4. I bet there is also an AI study showing that Elizabeth Warren isn’t a lying demagogue. “TIME” named Musk its “Person of the Year,” this week, so Warren tweeted: “Let’s change the rigged tax code so The Person of the Year will actually pay taxes and stop freeloading off everyone else.” Reason, the libertarian publication, explained what an outrageous lie that characterization is.
Though Musk did not pay federal income taxes back in 2018 (because he took out loans against Tesla shares), he will be on the hook to pay an extreme amount this year: potentially between $9 billion and $10 billion, if he exercises soon-to-expire stock options….
In fact, as Musk pointed out to “Senator Karen” in a tweet, he is likely to pay more in taxes this year than anyone has ever paid in taxes before him. Meanwhile, Reason notes, 61% of Americans, or about100 million households, didn’t pay federal income taxes last year. Who’s “freeloading”? In 2018, the top 2% of taxpayers paid 87% of total federal income taxes, and typically the top 1% pay roughly 40 percent of total federal income taxes. Warren is, based on her rhetoric and irresponsible employment of divisive class warfare tactics, a Marxist.
5. Stop making me defend Joe Biden! Democratic Party support from independent voters has dropped close to 40%, and almost half of all independent voters tell Gallup that they are now leaning Republican. 31% of those polled say they’re Republicans; 41% told Gallup that they’re independent voters; and only 27% admit to being Democrats. As recently as May, Democrats were at 32% and only 25%. of the public claimed to be true Red.
I know, I know, polls, and as those numbers show, these affinities can change quickly. S
till, the media and Democrats’ seem to be blaming Biden, who is a convenient scapegoat, but a false one. What is driving Americans away from the Democratic Party is the obvious fact that its policies don’t work, and all the spin, cover-ups, attempts to use Trump Terror as a distraction and Jen Psaki doubletalk can’t change what the public sees right in front of its eyes and feels in its gut.
The party has embraced anti-American values, discouraging work, enterprise, and personal responsibility; exploding the debt, sparking inflation, encouraging law-breaking; demonizing police; splitting communities and dividing the races. As much as the Left want that to be the national culture, it is not, and progressives were ignorant, reckless and foolish to assume they could make it so with their fleeting, gossamer thin majority.
Joe Biden allowed himself to be a figurehead and a patsy, and shame on him for that, but it isn’t Biden who is making American turn away from his party. It is dishonesty, incompetence, and un-American values. .