Morning Ethics Warm-Up, 12/6/2022: Christmas Is Coming, With Ethics Falling Flat…

Who IS that guy? He’s flat! I sure hope there really aren’t four of him. This particular traditional carol has been largely skipped over on YouTube, limiting choices severely.

1. ” I didn’t say what I said!” Donald Trump’s idiotic and alarming outburst after the Twitter censorship revelations has attracted the horrified reaction anyone could have predicted (but him, apparently) the second the words tumbled from his brain onto Truth Social. Now he’s denying that he suggested terminating the Constitution, hearkening back to such episodes as his claiming he opposed the invasion of Iraq. “The Fake News is actually trying to convince the American People that I said I wanted to ‘terminate’ the Constitution. This is simply more DISINFORMATION & LIES,” Trump wrote yesterday on his social media platform. Sure. By what rules of English does “A Massive Fraud of this type and magnitude allows for the termination of all rules, regulations, and articles, even those found in the Constitution” mean that the speaker isn’t proposing exactly that? Yes, yes, we all know that Trump just says stuff and that his version of language is approximate and fleeting in meaning. Lord knows I’ve written that enough times. But when your political adversaries are winning elections by saying that you want to be a dictator, using that diversion to hide their own totalitarian machinations, that statement is still unforgivable.

Buried in his original statement is Trump’s calling the suppression of the Hunter Biden laptop story a “fraud.” Whatever it was, it wasn’t fraud. This is just a word Trump uses. Meanwhile, Politico, in the article linked above, dutifully parrots the mainstream media line that Trump is “falsely asserting that there was widespread fraud in the 2020 election.” Politico doesn’t know Trump’s fraud allegations are false; it’s unknowable. Then it says, again as scripted by the Axis, “Trump, who was impeached twice and regularly denies his loss in the last presidential election, perpetuated the untrue claim in both Truth Social posts that 2020 election was stolen.” What do his two partisan and illicit impeachments have to do with anything? And again: Politico doesn’t know that the election wasn’t stolen; indeed the laptop cover-up is strong evidence that it may have been.

2. Speaking of the impeachments, on Season Two of “The Good Fight,” 2022’s Best Ethics TV Show, the Democratic National Committee considers hiring the law firm before the 2018 mid-term elections to help it with a plan to impeach President Trump—for reasons not yet settled on—- once they have a House majority. I wonder if the Kings has inside intelligence that this was actually going on. Because, you know, it was. And the Axis talking points dictate that the pre-plotted and rigged impeachments be mentioned to explain the real reason Trump lost in 2020! Nah, the 2020 election wasn’t stolen….

3. Look! ABC News has some standards, sort ofAmy Robach and T.J. Holmes have been pulled from anchoring ABC News’ “GMA3′,ABC News President Kim Godwin informed staffers yesterday. It seems the pair has been having an adulterous affair—both are married. This has led to a “distraction.” Godwin also said that ABC had no policies against such workplace intimacy, which is incompetent, or keeping them from management, which is also asking for trouble. Over at MSNBC, where ethical standards are ephemeral, “Morning Joe” co-anchors Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski hid their romance, and eventually married. Unlike Robach and Holmes, however, they were supposed to be ideological combatants on the show as originally planned, making their tryst a conflict of interest. One of them, or both, should have been fired, but that’s MSNBC.

4. “Oops! You caught us!” In other news on the Biden administration’s totalitarian aspirations front, the National Parents and Families Engagement Council, supposedly a non-partisan effort aimed at improving family relationships with schools, is being disbanded. A lawsuit by several parental rights in education groups alleged the council was rigged with left-wing activist groups in control, and created to rubber-stamp progressive activist programs, like teaching grade-schoolers about LGBTQ sex and the 1619 Project.

In June, the Department of Education announced the creation of the device, allegedly to help the administration strengthen relationships between parents and schools. Parental rights in education groups sued, alleging the council violated the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA) which mandates that advisory groups be bipartisan and free of outside influence by any special interests. Of course, the Council was completely slanted and partisan, with such members as The National Action Network, a group that works towards “a modern civil rights agenda,” and The League of United Latin American Citizens, a group which pushes “educational attainment and political influence” of Hispanic Americans.

Oh well, you can’t blame the school indoctrination cabal for trying!

The Department of Education announced that it is “immediately and permanently disbanding the Council and that the Council will not hold any future meetings. Based on these representations, Plaintiffs have agreed to dismiss their lawsuit without prejudice.”

Eternal vigilance is the price of freedom.

5. Got it! You’re a censorious, partisan hack with an agenda, and you used Twitter to advance it! Yoel Roth, the former head of Twitter’s “Trust & Safety” department, defended Twitter’s controversial banning of the satirical site the Babylon Bee for “misgendering.” Twitter suspended the satire site this year over a tweet linking to its story titled, “The Babylon Bee’s Man Of The Year Is Rachel Levine.” Assistant Secretary of Health Levine is a biological male who identifies as female.The justification for the banning was “hateful conduct.” “Misgendering” is a phony offense designed to smother legitimate debate over magical gender-flipping. Just because an individual wants to be regarded as a female and treated as a female doesn’t preclude someone making a case that the individual is not, in fact, female. Nor is disagreeing with someone “hateful.”

Yet here is the quality of thinking—and bias— from one of the people that used Twitter to crush legitimate expression:

“I want to start by acknowledging that the targeting and the victimization of the trans community on Twitter is very real, very life-threatening, and extraordinarily serious. We have seen from a number of Twitter accounts, including Libs of TikTok notably, that there are orchestrated campaigns that particularly are singling out a group that is already particularly vulnerable within society. … Not only is it not funny, but it is dangerous, and it does contribute to an environment that makes people unsafe in the world. So let’s start from the premise that it’s fucked up. Let’s look at what Twitter’s written policies are. … Twitter’s written policies prohibit misgendering — full stop. And the Babylon Bee, in the name of satire, misgendered Admiral Rachel Levine….there can be a very long and academic discussion of satire and sort of the lines there … but, you know, we landed on the side of enforcing our rules as written.”

Translation: I’m an unethical and ideological censor of speech that I disagree with, and I’m proud of it.

Fascinating interpretation of free speech these people have, no? Language too. All satire “targets” something or someone. The object of satire isn’t a “victim.” Just because Roth thinks a joke isn’t funny doesn’t justify his banning the joke. The “criticism makes the object of the criticism unsafe in the world” is the standard line those who suppress and punish speech to maintain power.

6. Jeff Gamso posted a rebuttal to the Ethics Alarms critique of his blogged lament that a judge wouldn’t overrule a law to let a daughter witness her father’s execution. To his credit, Jeff didn’t argue that my criticism was hateful and made him a victim. I can’t say his retort was especially persuasive, but kudos to him for posting it. Read it and tell me what you think…

9 thoughts on “Morning Ethics Warm-Up, 12/6/2022: Christmas Is Coming, With Ethics Falling Flat…

  1. #1 It appears that Trump replied to the arguments that he wants to terminate the Constitution’s election provisions…

    I think this sentence, “What I said was that when there is ‘MASSIVE & WIDESPREAD FRAUD & DECEPTION,’ as has been irrefutably proven in the 2020 Presidential Election, steps must be immediately taken to RIGHT THE WRONG.” pours gasoline on the “terminate the Constitution’s election provisions” fire.

    NO Mr. Trump, you cannot right the wrong of the election no matter what they were, to do so would bastardize the constitution like the Democrats have been trying to do since 2016! Trump should have kept his blathering loose cannon mouth shut but this post by Trump does verify the political left’s arguments.

    So my previous argument that the left was falsely smearing Trump on this one was unfair.

    Yup, a broken clock is correct twice a day.

  2. This is offtopic, but on my mind. “A Christmas Story Christmas” was fun to watch. I never saw the previous attempt to create a sequel, but this one turned out pretty good and I recommend it. The fact that it mostly used the original cast helped. I’d suggest just watching it for fun, but I’m certain you could generate an ethics post on it.

    • Thanks for the recommendation. The reviews I’ve seen have been overwhelmingly negative, but then, critics. I’ll check it out. I must keep in mind that the original film was also panned when it was first released.

      • It does have some flaws, and some moments which hit my suspension of disbelief slightly. So far rotten tomatoes has it at 78% positive with critics and 81% with the audience, so you might have a selection bias in your choice of critics. The NYT had one of the negative ones on the site.

  3. On the Gamso post:

    I responded to him, and I was going to copy/paste the comment here, but I assume my comment went into moderation before posting and I can’t see it.

    Two main takeaways:

    First off, regardless of your opinion on death penalties, the law exists, and it takes a long time to get from point A to point be in the process. It’s hard to argue that 17 years later, the end of the appeals process “snuck up” on Johnson. While I phrased this more eloquently the first time, my first point is basically that I viewed this as a stalling tactic. Khorry decided to bring the issue up on November 21 (when she filed) for an event that happened on November 30th. I suppose that it’s possible that the team of legal minds, very familiar with death penalty laws and restrictions failed her, and if that’s what happened, it’s tragic, but I don’t think it’s unlikely that it was deliberate.

    Second, if this is a case where a jury that included black people came to a different conclusion than an all white jury, then I think the problem is different than what Gamso implies. I’ve said it before… If we accept that black people are treated more harshly by the justice system (and I’m on record: I believe that), then the question is “should more white people be in jail, or fewer black people?” should we lift the floor or lower the ceiling? In this case, Johnson was obviously guilty. If you want to suggest that a white person might have been treated better by the system, I think that the problem isn’t Johnson’s treatment but the hypothetically better treatment of the white defendant. It’s hard to think of many hypotheticals more clear cut than this.

    So if the jury that included black jurists hung, and the all white jury didn’t hang, and someone wants to suggest that the deciding factor between those decisions was race. Then what I’m hearing, whether it’s intended or not, is that that person is suggesting that black jurists might be more willing to nullify the law based on a sense of racial solidarity. Again… This case wasn’t close. Someone opposed to the death penalty might like the outcome, but the way you get from point A to point be is kind of awful.

  4. #5 – His comment about Libs of TikTok was especially telling. I’m not on TikTok, but my understanding was they just reposted outrageous things tweeted by those on the liberal/progressive side. The problem is shining light on the ridiculous wasn’t an attack but just made them look bad.

  5. #6: I agree with HT that this is most likely a stalling tactic by the defense, but let’s change up the scenario a bit: What if Khorry’s 21st birthday was only a month away? Would that justify a stay?

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