Late Night Ethics Insurrection, 1/6/23: Disgraceful

Some years from now, when “This Day in History” expounds on January 6, will the foolish rioting of 2021 be number one on the list of notable anniversaries, or will it have fallen to where it belongs, which is somewhere between FDR’s “Four Freedoms” speech ( 1941) and the the admission of New Mexico as the 47th state (1912)? Unfortunately, the ugly incident is probably destined to always be regarded with inflated importance if for no other reason than it became the focus of one of the most protracted and cynical partisan political propaganda efforts by any party since the United States was founded.

Like the Kardashians who are famous for being famous, the January 6 Capitol rioting will be important because so many people have said it was important for so long. It was destructive and it was embarrassing, but the rioting was not an insurrection, nor was it part of a plot by Donald Trump to somehow hold on to the White House. The hacks and demagogues in the media and elected offices who have claimed otherwise are only better than the rioters in that they have been less violent. Both disgraced themselves and their country.

1. Now THIS is a frivolous lawsuit…The estate of Brian Sicknick is suing Donald Trump and two rioters, Julian Elie Khater and George Pierre Tanios, for $10 million in damages from each of the defendants based on the theory that the Capitol Police officer’s death was “a direct and foreseeable consequence” of Trump’s words and action on January 6, while the two rioters are accused of assaulting Sicknick with bear spray during the conflict. Sicknick died of a stroke the next day, and it is literally impossible to trace the stroke to the riot. Sicknick’s death was attributed to “natural causes.” If Rudy Giuliani is facing discipline by the D.C. Bar for not having sufficient evidence to justify his lawsuit claiming voter fraud in Pennsylvania, sanctioning the lawyer who brought this “Hail Mary” lawsuit should be automatic. If the lawyer isn’t sanctioned, we will have even more evidence that the posse chasing Rudy is motivated by politics, not a sincere desire to police the legal profession’s ethics.

2. If he were an NFL quarterback, he’d be signed tomorrow. Pitcher Trevor Bauer was the reigning Cy Young winner when he signed with the Dodgers in February 2021 on a three-year, $102 million contract. The next day, a San Diego woman filed a request for a domestic violence restraining order (DVRO) in which she alleged that Bauer assaulted her over the course of two sexual encounters. This triggered a prolonged MLB investigation that left Bauer on administrative leave for the entire 2021 season.

An L.A. judge dismissed the woman’s request for a permanent restraining order, and the L.A. District Attorney’s Office declined to file criminal charges. Then two other women made similar allegations to The Washington Post. Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred, who can suspend players even if they are not charged with a crime, slapped a 324-game suspension on Bauer, longer than the previous longest penalty under the MLB domestic violence policy. An independent arbitrator retained by both MLB and the MLB Players’ Association reviewed findings and listening to testimony before determining that Bauer’s suspension should be reduced to 194 games, 144 of which were served during the grievance process. He also gave Bauer credit for the time he served on administrative leave, meaning that the pitcher is now free to play baseball again. Today, Bauer was released by the Dodgers, even though it leaves them responsible for $22.5 million, his 2023 salary. Bauer is healthy and can presumably still pitch; moreover, he has maintained his innocence of the domestic abuse charges throughout his ordeal. He has also served his punishment, though for what is unclear. He is being cut by the Dodgers because his character is in question.

Will another team sign Bauer, who has been branded a bad guy and domestic abuser despite his denials? Should he be signed?

3. “A policeman’s lot is not a happy one.” The irrational hatred spewed at police has migrated off the metaphorical charts (Ethics Alarms’ #1 culprit for this development: Barack Obama). Here’s an example: Suffolk County (New York) officers responded to a call that someone was threatening his roommate with a fire extinguisher. One of the men involved attacked the officers with a knife, stabbing and seriously injuring both until one of the officers shot the attacker dead in self-defense.

Stony Brook University Professor Dr. Anna Hayward then went on social media to call the police “murderers.” Lou Civello, vice president of the Suffolk County PBA, said in a statement, “While a Suffolk County Police Officer fights for his life after being stabbed in the neck an anti-police Professor slanderously referred to him and his partner as murderers. Stony Brook University Professor Dr. Anna Hayward displayed a stunning level of ignorance when she callously commented on Stony Brook’s official page denouncing the police, and condemning the actions of these hero cops who stopped an armed criminal and saved others from harm.”

That seems fair. The convergence of anti-gun mania and the “all criminals are victims of society” wokiness has created a Bizarro culture where any deadly use of a weapon by a police officer whatever the justification is potentially career-ending.

Strangely, Prof. Hayward has no declared objections to a Capitol police officer shooting an unarmed rioter dead on January 6, 2021.

4. How incompetent, biased, and useless are movie critics? This incompetent, biased and useless: The New York Times’ two primary movie critics, Manohla Dargis and A.O. Scott, debated which 2022 films should be among the ten nominees for Best Picture [Originally typoed here as “Pest Picture, for the record…]” Fifteen films were judged Oscar-worthy by at least one of them. Neither critic included “Top Gun: Maverick,” the most popular movie of the year, fun, visually thrilling, entertaining and patriotic.

13 thoughts on “Late Night Ethics Insurrection, 1/6/23: Disgraceful

  1. I like “Pest Picture”. I think they should make it a regular thing. As for …

    Neither critic included “Top Gun: Maverick,” the most popular movie of the year, fun, visually thrilling, entertaining and patriotic.

    … this is an error to which Russian literature in particular often falls prey. It is difficult if not impossible for literature, film work, etc. to be good in its own right and to work as “message literature”. So “patriotic” shouldn’t be in there with the other criteria, not for being wrong in and of itself but for muddying the waters. It’s too much like trying to lift with your back rather than with your legs. That’s not calling for it to be ignored but for it to be handled separately.

  2. January 6th SHOULD be remembered as a national tragedy; it’s the day Clueless Joe was certified as president elect. The results have been devastating for this country. (Joe himself has previously just thought of it as the day before the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor.)

  3. Regarding Jan. 6, what makes the Dems and MSM fixation with and overuse of it (though it’s obvious why they do/did that, and 2022 midterm election results show it worked) even more outrageous is the blatant hypocrisy exemplified by these same folks dismissing of or even celebrating of the months-long unrest and carnage that had just unfolded during the 2020 “summer of love”. It’s utterly disgusting. Oh, and while we’re at it, though I disagree with the actions of the idiots who entered the Capitol on Jan. 6, I’d rather people express their displeasure with the government by protesting and damaging public properties rather than destroy private property and hurt innocent private citizens.

    Regarding No. 2, another lefty “professor” (I’m she’s DEI administrator or at best “teaches” some BS humanities courses) who is delusional and divorced from reality. As I always say, until we fix education (especially higher education) we will never fix anything

    • Regarding Jan. 6, what makes the Dems and MSM fixation with and overuse of it (though it’s obvious why they do/did that, and 2022 midterm election results show it worked) even more outrageous is the blatant hypocrisy exemplified by these same folks dismissing of or even celebrating of the months-long unrest and carnage that had just unfolded during the 2020 “summer of love”. It’s utterly disgusting. Oh, and while we’re at it, though I disagree with the actions of the idiots who entered the Capitol on Jan. 6, I’d rather people express their displeasure with the government by protesting and damaging public properties rather than destroy private property and hurt innocent private citizens.

      Here was the first thing Jack wrote that day.

      https://ethicsalarms.com/2021/01/06/ethics-observations-on-the-pro-trump-rioting-at-the-capitol/

      First and foremost, anyone who did not condemn all of the George Floyd/Jacob Blake/Breonna Taylor/ Black Lives Matters rioting that took place this summer and fall is ethically estopped from criticizing this episode.

      That means I can, and will, condemn it as stupid, useless, self-destructive and anti-democratic violence, but most Democrats, progressives and media pundits cannot.

      Was he wrong?

  4. If the lawyer isn’t sanctioned, we will have even more evidence that the posse chasing Rudy is motivated by politics, not a sincere desire to police the legal profession’s ethics.

    Does the lawyer intend to argue that the autopsy was flawed, and intends to subpoena documents from the coroner’s office and reports from the doctors who treated Sicknick that day, to prove he actually died from injuries sustained from the riot?

    As an aside, the lawyer could in theory amend the suit to only accuse the defendants of assault and battery; the plaintiff dying of an unrelated cause later does not moot a lawsuit for battery. But the damage awards would be far less.

  5. The Dodgers’ decision may have been purely baseball-driven. Perhaps it’s true that “Bauer is healthy and can presumably still pitch;” but he may not be able to pitch as effectively as before his suspension. Bauer was widely reputed across MLB’s dugouts and bullpens as relying on what is generically known as “sticky stuff” to get a remarkable rotation of the ball that caused his breaking pitches to move so dramatically. Baseball now looks much more closely — you’ve seen umpires inspect pitchers between innings — and there are more than a few pitchers who are throwing much straighter pitches than before.

    There is at least a possibility that the Dodgers know or strongly suspect Bauer’s owed some part of his success to a tacky ability to make a baseball’s surface tacky, and decided that he would not pitch as well without ‘loading’ the baseball.

    (Related: the ball is often tossed around the infield after an out, and, traditionally, the last person to handle it before flipping it to the pitcher would be the third baseman. The late Gaylord Perry, legendary for supposedly relying on foreign substances to doctor a baseball, once told an interviewer, “You know, nobody ever checks the third baseman’s glove.”)

    • I asked my Boston Red Sox reporter friend if there is any way the Sox, who need exactly what Bauer promised. a healthy ace with credentials who comes cheap, would sign Bauer, who only would cost the MLB minimum. He feels that Red Sox Nation wouldn’t stand for it, and surmises that some desperate small market team will take a flyer.

      • I’m currently following a discussion on a Washington Nationals Facebook fan group as to whether that desperate team is located at 1500 South Capitol Street. Opinions are running about 50/50.

          • “I told my sportswriter freind that the top candidate would be an NFL-besotted city and fan base…”

            Do you mean like Washington DC considering the stories about how the (insert preferred name here) have treated cheerleaders and women in the team’s front office?

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