Mrs. Q has gifted Ethics Alarms with another trenchant post. I almost framed it in her currently dormant (but still open!) column for Ethics Alarms, but I know Q is a perfectionist, and even though the comments she dashes off put most of us to shame, she would want a column entry to be carefully massaged.
Here is Mrs. Q’s Comment of the Day, in response to this post, and the Roe demise generally:
“We seek power and equality in society, and then we continually play the victim”.
Agreed. I saw a meme the other day (yes memes are reductionist) that captured a part of this whole debacle. It said something about being able to wear a mask for two years but not being able to wear a condom for 48 seconds. Continue reading →
Lest I be accused of minimizing the Cassidy Hutchinson testimony before the House January 6 Star Chamber this week, I direct EA readers to to this National Review article by the usually fair and perceptive Andrew McCarthy, a former federal prosecutor. He calls the testimony “devastating” and inveighs, “Things will not be the same after this.“
I don’t know what he thinks isn’t going to be the same; maybe you can enlighten me. Are there really people out there who will be surprised that Trump threw tantrums, objects and ketchup bottles, or that when he was angry and excited, he was irrational? Does McCarthy really not know that many Presidents, in private, with staff, in meetings, and similarly dealing with the most stressful jobs imaginable, have behaved outrageously, except that in their case did not have dozens of leakers, disloyal aides and other staff and others determined to undermine them as well as an almost unanimously hostile press to publicize rumors, gossip, suspicions and facts indiscriminately? Really? Presidents, as a group, are not normal or emotionally healthy: if they were, they wouldn’t have sought the Presidency or achieved it. Is Trump worse than most, or even all in this regard? Maybe, probably; why do you think Ethics Alarms kept repeating for over a year that he must never be elected? Does McCarthy not know the history of the Type A CEO personality in this country? About Henry Ford employing a guy whose sole job was to chop the desks of fired Ford Executive into kindling so they would know they had been fired? Nevertheless, the fact that Trump acted and talked like anyone paying attention knew he would act and talk doesn’t mean he committed crimes.
Furthermore, once again we are getting “Trump wanted to do X” and “Trump said Y” while his staff and the Secret Service obstructed him when his stated desires were extreme, rash, an abuse of power, or just plain nuts. The staff did their jobs, in other words, just like dozens of Presidential staffs have done in other administrations. I’m impressed, in fact: Trump, thanks to the most competent old hands in the Washington swamp being bullied away or scared off for fear of becoming pariahs and not getting invited to swank Capital Hill wine parties, had a distinctly sub-par batch of advisors. They came through when they had to. Good for them. They were far from the first to stop a POTUS from doing stupid or reckless things.
This is a “Bias Makes You Stupid” spectacular. It’s kind of sad, really. The Democrats, the NeverTrump Republicans and the disgraced news media hate Donald Trump so, so much that they have allowed confirmation bias and desperation make total fools of them all. Oh, the American who are dim, gullible, ignorant or just as warped by hate and bias won’t notice, but it’s still a tragic spectacle.
I’m not watching the hearings; sock drawer emergency, you know. I didn’t learn about 23-year-old, Cassidy Hutchinson, the aide to Trump chief of staff Mark Meadows, testifying before the single-minded, hyper-partisan “Get Trump” “commission” until I was snagged by the title of a column in Commentary by my old friend (acquaintance, really) John Podhoretz, its editor. The title was “Trump Is In Deep, Deep, Deep, Deep Trouble.” John—I love ya, man, but—is a true NeverTrumper, and he was positively giddy over what he saw as damning revelations from Cassidy under oath. “If what she has testified to, sworn under oath, is not countered or contradicted by Meadows or Trump’s White House counsel Pat Cippolone,” he wrote, “then there is a credible criminal case that Trump violated the law in ways not dealt with by the second impeachment, and from which he would not be shielded by executive privilege…she has reported directly on things that went on inside the White House and around the Oval Office on January 5 and January 6 that go beyond the merely circumstantial.”
I read John’ piece, and I couldn’t imagine what he thought was so explosive. Most of her testimony, as far as I can see, is hearsay. John informed his readers,”You’re going to hear people call this ‘hearsay.’ It is not hearsay. It is direct testimony of contemporaneous things said in Hutchinson’s earshot about events that were taking place while she was listening.”
John is a smart guy, but he isn’t a lawyer, and most of what Cassidy testified to is hearsay. It is hearsay whenever one person’s account of what a second person said is used to prove that what the second person said is true. It doesn’t matter if the speaker she is quoting was describing events “contemporaneous” ti when she was listening. It still doesn’t prove what she heard others say was true. For example, Podhoretz writes, “She reported Meadows saying of the chant to hang Vice President Mike Pence that Trump “doesn’t want to do anything,” and that “he thinks Mike deserves it. He doesn’t think they’re doing anything wrong.”
A. So what? and B. That doesn’t prove Trump felt or thought or even said anything of the kind, and isn’t evidence, except of what Meadows said he thought Trump thought. Maybe.
I was surprise to learn that this will be the second Ethics Alarms post involving the pop singer Halsey, the first coming in 2018. It involved her claim that hotels failing to have free little bottles of shampoo and conditioner that were good for guests who didn’t have “white people hair” was a “microaggression.” Now she’s in the ethics crosshairs because she decided to treat her captive concert audience three days ago in Phoenix to a rant about abortion rights, saying in part (angrily, of course), that audience members…
…should be sharing stories about how you’ve benefited from abortion somehow….The truth is that my heart breaks looking out into this audience, because I see so many people … who deserve the right to health care that they need. Who deserve the right to choose themselves in a situation where there is a choice….some of the people I’m looking at right now are going to need an abortion one day, and you deserve that. Whether it’s a life-threatening situation, or it’s not, you deserve it. And here in Arizona, you guys gotta promise me that you’re gonna do that work so that the person to the left of you and to the right of you has that right for the rest of their lives.
Got it. She’s an inarticulate moron. Then she told any dissenters in the throng,
If you don’t like it, you can go home right now. I don’t care. If you don’t like it, I don’t know why you came to a Halsey concert.
One of my best and dearest friends is currently distraught because someone he has been very fond of and close to for many years suddenly stopped communicating with him, or in the parlance of the day, has “ghosted him.” All of a sudden, for no reason he can imagine, his vanished friend refused to answer his phone calls, texts, emails or social media entreaties. It’s driving him nuts. No, his friend hasn’t died or been kidnapped. He’s just been cut out, dropped like the proverbial hot potato.
I thought about my friend’s pain during a recent work mystery: I was supposed to review an agreement for ethics issues, and time was supposedly of the essence. The company that had proposed the deal, however, kept stalling in sending the draft. First it was an email with the infuriating missing attachment; next it was the wrong file. Time was ticking: my client wanted to know what was causing the delay on my end.
I called everyone on the conference call that had ended with the document review as being agreed upon as the next step: nobody answered. Nobody answered my emails either. I called the lawyer orchestrating the deal. He was “out” but would call me later that day. He didn’t. I called again, telling his secretary that this was not making me confident about the company’s worth as my client’s business partner. I was told the lawyer’s assistant would call me “quickly.” Two hours later, after receiving no call, I called again. I was, shall we say, sharp. The secretary apologized and connected me to the lawyer’s assistant. She was professional, understanding, cooperative. She said there was no reason for me not to have received the document. “I’m going to storm into his office right now, and you’ll have the agreement to review in five minutes” were her exact words.
I never received the file, and I never heard from the assistant again.
However, such violations are still unethical and illegal…but laws are for the little people. Bush officials violated the Hatch Act. Obama Cabinet members Kathleen Sibelius and Julian Castro violated the Hatch Act. Kellyanne Conway and Mike Pompeo, among others, violated the Hatch Act in the Trump administration. Ethics Alarms explained,
The Hatch Act is a perfect example of the principle that if people can cheat to obtain power or keep power, they will, if they know the penalties will be minimal or less….The Hatch Act isn’t enforced, so all administrations allow their officials to violate it. I don’t know if the law is enforceable. It is naive and irresponsible to expect …any Presidential underlings regardless of party to eschew this unethical practice when they know they can get away with it, and the potential benefits of the violations are significant….enforce the Hatch Act, or get rid of it.
That’s my second favorite musical moment in “1776” (after “The Egg”), when South Carolina delegate Edward Rutledge, the youngest member of the Continental Congress, mocks the hypocrisy of the anti-slavery Massachusetts delegation, seemingly dooming independence over the slavery question. Of course, Rutledge didn’t sing his objections, and his opposition to leaving Great Britain was primarily over the fact that he didn’t think the Colonies could win the inevitable war. On this date, he issued a letter in 1776 explaining his reasoning. But he came around, and signed the Declaration of Independence a few days later. Thank goodness for that.
This is also the date (in 1972) when the Warren Court holdovers on the Burger Court launched Furman v. Georgia, ruling by a 5-4 margin that capital punishment was unconstitutional and in violation of the Eighth Amendment banning “cruel and unusual punishment.”This was the same kind of bootstrapping logic and judicial over-reach that led the same SCOTUS to Roe v. Wade the next year. Obviously the Founders didn’t believe that capital punishment was cruel or unusual, and it was considerably crueler in the 18th Century than in 1971. The liberal justices just didn’t like capital punishment and couldn’t leave the decisions about its use to the public and their elected representatives, so they acted unilaterally, democratically, and dishonestly. This bad decision was reversed just four years later, at a time when public support for the death penalty was soaring.
I can connect “Molasses to Rum to Slaves” to the Roe controversy, because there is a strong connection, but never mind.
1. How does this crap get stopped? Yesterday, while writing a draft of an official court document on Microsoft Word, I used the editor function to catch about 40 typos. The program also flagged what Word called a “Diversity” error. I used the verb “master,” as in “master the material.”
Obviously, I was referencing slavery, according to the robot woke word censors. Word told me I should use “learn,” or “become skilled at.”
I used “master,” and began to search for a document program that isn’t trying to brain-wash the world.
2. Bizarro World logic. At least 51 illegal immigrants—even Fox News is calling them “undocumented migrants” now, which is deceit—were found dead in a tractor-trailer in San Antonio, Texas,and more than a dozen were hospitalized. Who is responsible? Well, they are, for trying to break our laws and enter the country illegally, and the smugglers who took their money to aid and abet the crime. Next in line is the Biden administration and open-border advocates, who send the message to such desperate foreigners that the U.S. really welcomes them, once they can get into the country. Biden’s incompetent paid liar, Karine Jean-Pierre, responded to that criticism by saying, “The fact of the matter is the border is closed.” Right. Who believes that? If that’s true, why is a massive caravan of would-be border-jumpers creeping toward the Mexican border? It’s closed! It’s amazing that the 12 million or more illegal immigrants in the U.S. ever got in.
Here’s the libertarian response, from Tim Carney, the editor of the Washington Examiner:
Here is another epic Comment of the Day on the Dobbs freakout, this one by mermaidmary99, whose best comments are nearly always sent to SPAM by WordPress. Yet she persists….
Here it is, and may I say…
As a woman, what guts me is that the safest place for a baby to be isn’t, and the person who above all others should advocate for that baby’s life and protect it, instead is upset they can’t kill it at will, for any reason whatsoever, including their own irresponsibility and stupidity.
Hearing my fellow “sisters” complaining that they can’t “exercise their RIGHT” (and have others pay for it) is one of the sickest, ANTI-SCIENCE, anti-nature, things I have ever seen.
And, for a party committed to science, Democrats have huge blinders on with this one.
I don’t understand the persistence of such a blatantly unethical situation at all. It is the apotheosis of “It isn’t what it is.” Any group, movement, elected official or individual who approves of such an obvious injustice should be branded as untrustworthy, whether it be due to intellectual deficiencies, dishonesty, delusion or cowardice.
Ricci Tres, a 29-year-old transgender woman, defeated 13-year-old Shiloh Catori, to win the $500 top prize in a women’s division of New York City street skateboarding competition. The real girl got $250. Four of the six finalists were under the age of 17, with the youngest being 10-year-old Juri Iikura, who came in fifth. Tres was the oldest contestant. Tres had previously failed to qualify for the Women’s Street USA Skateboarding National Championships in a bid to qualify for the Olympics, but was rejected because of an excess of testosterone, according to The Daily Mail. Obviously, Tres is the victim of transphobia.
So she decided to beat some little girls and pick up an easy 500 bucks. It should cover shaving costs. Continue reading →