Dilemma: the warm-ups and their equivalents take more time to prepare and post than regular, single topic posts, and usually generate less traffic. Yet without them, EA would fall hopelessly short of covering as many interesting and relevant ethics topics as they arise. The suggestions from readers (that’s email@example.com, folks!) help a lot. Dribs and drabs to get ME warmed up…
- Once again, a kamakazi jogger charged silently out of the darkness right at Spuds and me, requiring me to yank my dog back with all my weight to protect the fool from a lunge by a 70-pound pit bull mix. I initially said, “Sorry, didn’t see you,” thought better of it, and called after him, “LIGHTS, asshole!” It’s amazing how frank one can be with a large dog at the ready…
- Speaking of pit bulls, Sadie Davila, 7, died after she was attacked by a neighbor’s pit bull in Baton Rouge last week. The articles have been, as usual, filled with the false stats about the “breed” (actually at least four distinct breeds) spread by the despicable and destructive Dogsbite.com. This time, at least, the dog really was an American Pit Bull Terrier based on the photo: I check these things, and often the alleged “pit bull” is something else, accounting for the inflated statistics. The owner is under arrest, because he let the dog roam free. I’m just guessing what kind of treatment, care and training this dog got from an owner that irresponsible: this is another factor in the large number of pit bull attacks. It’s the dog of choice for irresponsible people who should never be trusted with a Yorkie, never mind a larger breed,
- Neil Dorr was kind enough to pass along this funny piece in the Hill. Now Biden and Co. are swearing that nobody ever, ever considered banning gas stoves. This is because to outpouring of anger from more than one side of the political spectrum was so vociferous after CPSC commissioner Richard Trumka Jr. said that a forthcoming information request from the committee might be “the first step in what could be a long journey toward regulating gas stoves,” as The Hill reported at the time and that said that an outright ban was “a real possibility.” An honest, trustworthy government would just say after the public reaction to this (lead) trial balloon, “Well, the public has spoken, so we will cease any efforts to limit the use of gas ovens.” But no. Instead, this administration acts as if the news media made the whole thing up.
1. See the Washington Post spin. Spin spin, Post! Ace of Spades has a rueful and deft take-down of the Washington Post’s Dervish-like coverage of a new study that concludes that “Russian influence operations on Twitter in the 2016 presidential election reached relatively few users, most of whom were highly partisan Republicans, and the Russian accounts had no measurable impact in changing minds or influencing voter behavior.” “But the study doesn’t go so far as to say that Russia had no influence on people who voted for President Donald Trump” writes the Post. Ace: “Oh, it doesn’t say there was zero influence, so let’s assume we’re still Basically Right.” The Post, as we all know, was one of the leaders of the “Trump had Russia steal the election from Hillary” narrative. The Post: “It doesn’t examine other social media, like the much-larger Facebook….” Ace: “Where Russian-affiliated companies spent a staggering One Hundred and Fifty Thousand Dollars on ads.” The Post: “Nor does it address Russian hack-and-leak operations….” Ace: “Like the Hunter Biden laptop…The article keeps bringing up “hack-and-leak operations.” Let’s be clear about what happened there: Hillary Clinton and the DNC rigged the primary against Bernie Sanders, and leakers exposed this fact. That wasn’t a lie. That wasn’t “Russian Disinformation.” That really happened. The leakers just revealed the truth which Hillary Clinton, the DNC, and her Media Mafia wished to conceal.”
Thank-you, Ace. This aspect of the “Russian Collusion” narrative has always driven me crazy. And yes, this was the information that stopped me from voting for Hillary at the last minute. More:
The Post: “Given the small margins of victory in some states for Trump, could even a small number of people who changed their attitudes as a result of Russian influence operations online have swayed the vote? The sample size of the Twitter study suggests not, but “we’ll never really know,” Tucker said. “We cannot reject out of hand that there wasn’t some incredibly unlikely confluence of things here that happened in this regard.” Ace: “‘We’ll never really know’ is the leftwing partisan’s Proof Beyond Reasonable Doubt. They did the same thing with the Mueller Report.” The Post: “One of the potential impacts was indirect, Tucker said: It opened the door for people to doubt that President Biden defeated Trump in 2020.” Ace: “Um, you mean after the left claimed that the election was fraudulently stolen by the Russians for Donald Trump, that opened the door for the right to make similar claims? Oh well!”
2. Ace reminded me of another “Thought While Reading Classmate Entries In My Alma Mater’s Anniversary Report” as my mostly woke, Trump-Deranged classmates expose their biases without compunction. One writes, “Even in the days of Nixon, I could never have imagined a President who denied the results of a free and fair election.” In such cases I want to jump through the page and confront the writer: “Hey, could you have imagined three Presidential candidates like Gore, Kerry and Hilary denying the results ‘of a free and fair election’? Funny, I could never have imagined the news media and an opposing party refusing to accord a freely and fairly elected President sufficient respect and legitimacy to do his job for four full years.” In fact, I agree that there is a material distinction between a defeated Presidential candidate challenging the results of an election and a defeated President—the former shouldn’t do it, but the latter must no do it.
3. I find this damning. The House voted to launch a wide-ranging investigation into federal law enforcement and national security agencies, among other government entities, regarding their efforts to censor, silence, intimidate and punish conservatives at all levels, “from protesters at school board meetings to Donald Trump. No Democrats voted for the measure, despite the ample evidence (like in the “Twitter Files”) that this is a genuine threat to democracy.
4. And speaking of government efforts to stifle free speech, Prof. Turley writes of the Twitter Files’ disclosure of efforts by Rep. Adam Schiff (D., Cal.) to pressure Twitter to censor critics,
In the latest tranche of “Twitter Files,” journalist Matt Taibbi revealed that Twitter balked at Schiff’s demand that Twitter suspend an array of posters or label their content as “misinformation” and “reduce the visibility” of them…Rather than simply refute the allegation[s], Schiff wanted… critics silenced. His office reportedly laid out steps to cleanse Twitter of their criticism, including an instruction to “remove any and all content about Mr. Misko and other Committee staff from its service — to include quotes, retweets, and reactions to that content.”
The date of Schiff’s non-public letter in November 2020 is notable: Earlier that year, I wrote a column for The Hill criticizing Schiff for pushing for censorship of misinformation in a letter that he sent to social media companies. His office promptly objected to the very suggestion that Schiff supported censorship.
We now know Schiff was actively seeking to censor specific critics on social media. These likely were viewed as more than “requests” since Schiff was sending public letters threatening possible legislative action against these same companies. He wanted his critics silenced on social media. After all, criticizing his investigations or staff must, by definition, be misinformation — right?
His office seems to have indicated they knew Twitter was using shadow-banning or other techniques to suppress certain disfavored writers. In the letter, his staff asked Twitter to “label and reduce the visibility of any content.”
Twitter, however, drew the line with Schiff; one of its employees simply wrote, “no, this isn’t feasible/we don’t do this.”
But that’s just moral luck. Nancy Pelosi allowed this hyper-partisan assassin, habitual liar and Constitution-defier to head up her party’s efforts to harass President Trump and remove him from office. Schiff stands out as one of the most flagrant ethics villains of the past decade, and indeed in Congressional history.