“21” Ethics, September 2022: Betrayal In The Air…[Corrected]

This was the date, in 1780, that Benedict Arnold attempted an abortion on the fetal and vulnerable United States of America. He met with British Major John Andre to arrange handing over West Point to the British in return for money and the promise of a high position in the British army. The plot was foiled, narrowly, but Arnold successfully flipped sides and survived the war, moving to England, but never receiving his promised metaphorical pieces of silver.

Clearly, Arnold had not been sufficiently inspired by General Washington’s letter to him five years earlier, when he was George’s most trusted officer:

George Washington to Benedict Arnold
September 14, 1775.

Sir:

You are intrusted with a Command of the utmost Consequence sequence to the Interest and Liberties of America. Upon your Conduct and Courage and that of the Officers and Soldiers detached on this Expedition, not only the Success of the present Enterprize, and your own Honour, but the Safety and Welfare of the Whole Continent may depend.

I charge you, therefore, and the Officers and Soldiers, under your Command, as you value your own Safety and Honour and the Favour and Esteem of your Country, that you consider yourselves, as marching, not through an Enemy’s Country; but that of our Friends and Brethren, for such the Inhabitants of Canada, and the Indian Nations have approved themselves in this unhappy Contest between Great Britain and America.

That you check by every Motive of Duty and Fear of Punishment, every Attempt to plunder or insult any of the Inhabitants of Canada. Should any American Soldier be so base and infamous as to injure any Canadian or Indian, in his Person or Property, I do most earnestly enjoin you to bring him to such severe and exemplary Punishment as the Enormity of the Crime may require. Should it extend to Death itself it will not be disproportional to its Guilt at such a Time and in such a Cause.

But I hope and trust, that the brave Men who have voluntarily engaged in this Expedition, will be governed by far different Views. That Order, Discipline and Regularity of Behaviour will be as conspicuous, as their Courage and Valour. I also give it in Charge to you to avoid all Disrespect to or Contempt of the Religion of the Country and its Ceremonies. Prudence, Policy, and a true Christian Spirit, will lead us to look with Compassion upon their Errors without insulting them. While we are contending for our own Liberty, we should be very cautious of violating the Rights of Conscience in others, ever considering that God alone is the Judge of the Hearts of Men, and to him only in this Case, they are answerable.

Upon the whole, Sir, I beg you to inculcate upon the Officers and Soldiers, the Necessity of preserving the strictest Order during their March through Canada; to represent to them the Shame, Disgrace and Ruin to themselves and Country, if they should by their Conduct, turn the Hearts of our Brethren in Canada against us. And on the other Hand, the Honours and Rewards which await them, if by their Prudence and good Behaviour, they conciliate the Affections of the Canadians and Indians, to the great Interests of America, and convert those favorable Dispositions they have shewn into a lasting Union and Affection.

Thus wishing you and the Officers and Soldiers under your Command, all Honour, Safety and Success, I remain Sir, etc….

1. On the topic of letters and betrayals of trust, here’s one written by Sen. Josh Hawley in April  to Google CEO Sundar Pichai, demanding explanations for an academic study finding that Gmail’s spam filtering algorithm was significantly more likely to mark Republican fundraising emails as spam than Democrat fundraising emails. I saw it mentioned again yesterday, but couldn’t relocate the article when I searched on…hey, wait a minute…

Did you notice this in April? I didn’t. I guess the mainstream news media didn’t think it was newsworthy…

I can think of a lot of ways this might be innocent; it might also just be a lousy study. But there is no reason to trust Google not to manipulate our society and politics, or any other Big Tech power. The more technology intrudes on our elections, the less the public will trust the results. This, of course, is what the House of Representatives should be investigating rather than running an endless show trial to find some way to “stop” Donald Trump and criminalize supporting him.

2. Look! Here’s another! Courtesy of Prof. Turley, who posted it on his blog, and EA commentator Steve Witherspoon, here is the letter sent yesterday from Republican Senators to AG Garland, requesting that a special counsel be appointed to look into the odoriferous influence peddling activities of Hunter Biden, which the President continues to deny. “During your confirmation hearing, you promised to keep politics out of the Department of Justice (“DOJ”) This promise has not been kept,” it begins. Gee, ya think?

3. This is how you build a “deep state” to betray the Constitution. On September 15 the House of Representatives on another straight partisan vote passed a bill called “Ensuring a Fair and Accurate Census Act” …a title approximately as accurate as the recent anti-inflation bill, now law, that did nothing about inflation at all, except probably make it worse. The idea behind the bill is to make it as difficult if not impossible, for a President to have any input into the processes of the Census Bureau, whose activities have a great deal of influence over government policies. The President could not fire the Director of the Census Bureau except for “inefficiency, neglect of duty, or malfeasance in office“—this is redolent of the “Tenure of Office Act” that Congress passed to neutralize President Andrew Johnson. (The law was eventually ruled unconstitutional, but not before defying it got Johnson impeached.) Just in case, the bill creates a position of Deputy Director as a career civil service position, able to hang around over many administrations, who takes over by statute if it turns out that the Director can be fired. Explains the Manhattan Contrarian in part,

The bill also creates several “advisory committees” on things like “statistics” and “science,” that will undoubtedly get stuffed with progressive activists…This bill is substantially about getting control of the 2030 census, but far from entirely about that. The Census Bureau issues many types of statistics that are grossly manipulated to support the ongoing efforts to grow government staffs and programs in all areas. As examples, the Census Bureau contains the people who issue “poverty” statistics that make it seem like the U.S. has tens of millions of people in poverty, which number can never go down no matter how much the government spends; and the Census Bureau issues the “income inequality” statistics that make it seem that the U.S. has extraordinarily high income inequality (by excluding from the calculation most government distributions and all tax collections)….[M]aking important bureaucracies immune to change when a new President is elected with a mandate to change them — that’s a real threat to “our democracy,” and the part of our democracy that actually derives from the Constitution.

4. Karine Jean-Pierre is an untrustworthy incompetent, but not THAT trustworthy and incompetent. I almost got tricked again by the right-wing media. On more than one source, I read about the President’s paid liar characterizing his statement that “The pandemic is over” by pure gaslighting, telling the press, “”The president said, and he was very clear in his 60 Minutes interview, that COVID remains a problem and we’re fighting it.” WHAT? How could she say that when he said, for all to hear, “The pandemic is over”?

Fortunately (responsibly!), I checked the transcript. None of the conservative sources quoted Biden’s full statement, which was, “The pandemic is over. We still have a problem with COVID. We’re still doing a lotta work on it. It’s– but the pandemic is over. If you notice, no one’s wearing masks. Everybody seems to be in pretty good shape. And so I think it’s changing. And I think this is a perfect example of it.” Indeed, Karine absurdly misrepresented the thrust of his comment, but he did say the virus was still a problem. “Lotta work”= “fighting it”? Okaaay, in Paid LiarSpeak, barely acceptable. It’s still flagrant spin, and Biden was obviously NOT clear since the White House has been trying to “walk back” that statement as well as others in the interview. Still, as deceptive as Jean-Pierre’s answer was, it wasn’t as ridiculous as the conservative media widely represented it as being by intentionally omitting the President’s full quote.

5. Did you know Donald Trump was disrespectful to foreign leaders, diminishing the status of America? I’m not easy to stun, but I was stunned to read that Biden showed up late to Queen Elizabeth’s funeral. Now THAT’S an IIPTDXTTNMIAFB (the Ethics Alarms initials for “Imagine if President Trump did X that the news media is accepting from Biden“) for the ages. There is no excuse for being late, not for the President of the United States, not at the state funeral of the beloved symbolic ruler of our traditional ally. Biden is old—was that the reason? If so, he’s too old for the job and should resign now. If the news media has any shred of integrity, reporters and pundits would be slamming Joe and Jill mercilessly. Hcek, I’m embarrassed that my nation’s leader would be such a rude and irresponsible boor in a foreign country.

To the great credit of those on charge, rather than being ushered immediately to their seats on their arrival at Westminster Abbey the First Couple was told they would need to stand and wait as a procession of George and Victoria Cross-holders went ahead of them down the nave of the abbey. The Bidens ended up in seats 14 rows back, in the south transept, thanks to their tardiness.

Good.

6 thoughts on ““21” Ethics, September 2022: Betrayal In The Air…[Corrected]

  1. Jack, I believe your dates are a bit off. According to some hasty research it was on this day in 1780 that Arnold met with Major Andre to finalize his plot to surrender West Point to the British.

    I had not seen Washington’s 1775 letter regarding the American invasion of Canada, but it does sound like Washington. I somehow doubt if Arnold was able to restrain his men, a ragged and starving bunch, from taking what they needed from the Canadians.

    I first read about Arnold in the books of Kenneth Roberts, who very much depicted Arnold as a great man who never got the recognition he deserved for all that he did for the Revolution, so my outlook on him was a tad different than the usual.

    I have since come to believe that Arnold was, indeed, one of the better generals we had, at least whilst he was on our side, but he was not favored in the court politics of the Revolutionary struggle.

    People who throw around the term so loosely these days would do well to read up on Arnold — he was, and remains, the gold standard to what is a traitor to the United States.

  2. Maybe if Biden had taken the bus like everybody else, he would have been on time. Where are the mass transit fanatics, and why aren’t they shouting about this from the rooftops?

    “Benedict Arnold attempted an abortion on the fetal and vulnerable United States of America.”

    So what? Even if he had been successful, it was just a clump of colonies. Empires have the right to abort their vassal states up to the point of independence.

  3. #2 The letter from members of the Senate to the Attorney General.

    Based on the contents of that letter alone, the Attorney General should be immediately removed from office by the President of the United States, but unfortunately we have an intentionally divisive pure partisan hack as the President of the United States that seems to view the Constitution that he swore to “preserve, protect and defend” as an archaic out-of-date worthless piece of parchment preventing him from ramming his totalitarian orders down the throats of the American people.

    If the Republicans gain the majority in the House and Senate in November I think a tidal wave of impeachments, yes plural, may be coming that will outweigh anything else that Congress tries to accomplish.

    Article II, Section 4: The President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.

    I think we are heading directly towards a real Constitutional crisis, it’s simply a matter of time.

    My hopes for a brighter future for my children and grandchildren are waning.

  4. The irony in the story of Biden’s boorish, elitist, Karen-like behavior and the treacherous behavior of Arnold appear together. Arnold was considered a social boor in his time and Biden is enacting treacherous policies.

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