End Of Week Ethics Exegesis, 1/20/2023, SCOTUS Ineptitude, The Child Shooter’s Parents, A Coinkydink, And More…[Corrected]

[NOTE: This was another one of those posts that I had to squeeze in and get up before I had a chance to do a careful proofing. Coming back to it hours later, it is so embarrassing to find all the irritating little typos: missing letters, transposed letters, words I thought I typed in but didn’t. Ugh. I’m sorry.]

***

The mainstream media (and Democrats, but I repeat myself) is doing everything it can to try to make Lyin’ George Santos the big story rather than Joe’s Biden’s document scandal, which has nicely exposed Biden’s hypocrisy along with that of law enforcement and the Trump-Deranged. The Republicans have made it easier for them than it should be: Kevin McCarthy should have created a committee called “Shameless Lying Committee and placed only Santos on it, and made him chairman. Oh, maybe have Adam Schlitt on it to keep George company. McCarthy’s canned line about how Santos was elected to represent his district by voters and they deserve representation is worse than if he said nothing at all. Santos gets to vote on bills, and that’s all an incompetent, lazy, gullible district like his deserves. (If Santos says one more time that he’s done nothing wrong, I may jump out my office window.)

Back to the news media: This morning I watched CNN, Fox, News, and BBC all at once on the DirecTV “News Mix” channel. The experience would be depressing to anyone under the delusion that broadcast news is anything but a confederacy of dunces. As the abrasive and smug “Fox and Friends” kept repeating the same outrage about Joe’s stash of classified materials, CNN interviewed high school students in Santos’ district in an obviously carefully staged segment purporting to show that teens are more ethical and instinctively wise than their elected elders. (Hey, look at these kids! Let’s let 16-year-olds vote!) When one student said that Congress should vote to expel Santos, his grandstanding teacher didn’t point out that Congress can’t, probably because the teacher doesn’t know.

Neither CNN nor the teacher brought up Joe Biden’s career of making up credentials and experiences, which would have been an interesting counterpoint for the aspiring Democrats in the student group (there was one self-proclaimed future Republican, which doesn’t mean there weren’t others afarisd of getting wedgies) to ponder: the thrust of the segment was that Santos and the GOP acceptance of him pushed the students into the Blue.

MSNBC, as usual, was even more flagrant in its bias, and also funnier. It had—get this—Al Sharpton and former Republican National Committee chair Michael Steele discussing how corrupt and incompetent Republican House members were. Michael Steele calling anyone incompetent is like, well, Sharpton calling anyone corrupt. Steele is now a Never-Trump talking head for MSNBC in the Ana Navarro mold, because his flip-flop was the only way anyone would hire him to give his opinion on anything. He was a disaster as RNC head, embarrassing the party by such stunts as okaying a fundraising mailing that intentionally masqueraded as a census document—while the census was underway. Congress passed a bi-partisan law making such chicanery illegal.

Mostly Steele is just an idiot. I know I’ve mentioned this before, but it should be flashed up on the screen any time this dolt tries to be a pundit. When he was running to be re-elected RNC head (he lost), Steele was asked during the one debate among the contenders to name his favorite book. The other hacks (like Reince Priebus, the eventual winner) said that a Ronald Reagan’s biography was their favorite book, but Steele, trying to seem erudite, said “War and Peace.” “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times,” he quoted (from “A Tale of Two Cities”), causing questioner Tucker Carlson to facepalm.

1. The SCOTUS Dobbs leak can’t be found. That’s bad enough. Equally bad were the stunning revelations of sloppy procedures at the Court, probably long the status quo, that nonetheless made this scandal inevitable. From the 20-page report

1. Too many personnel have access to certain Court-sensitive documents. The current distribution mechanisms result in too many people having access to highly sensitive information and the inability to actively track who is handling and accessing these documents. Distribution should be more tailored and the use of hard copies for sensitive documents should be minimized and tightly controlled.

2. Aside from the Court’s clear confidentiality policies and the federal statutes outlined above, there is no universal written policy or guidance on the mechanics of handling and safeguarding draft opinions and Court-sensitive documents, and practices vary widely throughout the Court. A universal policy should be established and all personnel should receive training on the requirements.

3. The Court’s current method of destroying Court-sensitive documents has vulnerabilities that should be addressed.

4. The Court’s information security policies are outdated and need to be clarified and updated. The existing platform for case-related documents appears to be out of date and in need of an overhaul.

5. There are inadequate safeguards in place to track the printing and copying of sensitive documents. The Court should institute tracking mechanisms using technology that is currently available for this purpose.

6. Many personnel appear not to have properly understood the Court’s policies on confidentiality. There should be more emphasis on training so that all personnel fully understand the policies.

7. Bills were introduced in the last Congress which would expressly prohibit the disclosure of the Supreme Court’s non-public case-related information to anyone outside the Court. Consideration should be given to supporting such legislation.

Summary: The Court’;s security has been incompetent and inexcusable.

2. The parents of the teacher-shooting first-grader have not improved their position by their recent statement. They now tell us that

  • The kid has has an “acute disability.”  Yeah, we all thought that a 6-year-old who deliberately tries to kill his teacher is the picture of mental health.
  • “The boy had previously been accompanied in school each day by his mother or father as part of the plan for his disability, and that the week of the shooting was the first time that a parent was not in class with him.” “We will regret our absence on this day for the rest of our lives,” the family said in a statement.

Well, that’s nice. As long as you regret it. I hear that guy in Georgia who let his dogs run free until they nearly ripped a child’s face off also regrets it.

  • The parents say that the gun  the boy used was brought from their home, but it had been “secured.” You know, so a child couldn’t possibly get a hold of it. This is the same definition of “secure” that Kamala Harris uses to describe our border.

3. Remembering David Crosby’s ethics hero moment. David Crosby passed away at 81 after a long illness. The founding member of the Byrds and also famed for his next group, Crosby, Stills and Nash, has been credited by Drew Barrymore as saving her life. Barrymore inherited deadly genes, with all of her famous forebears being alcoholics and addicts. Thus it was no surprise when the young actress struggled with drug and alcohol addiction as a preteen after becoming a precocious celebrity in “E.T.” Her mother facilitated her substance use, and when Barrymore was 13, Mom put her in a psychiatric facility for a year and a half. At 14, Drew emancipated herself from her parents, but was heading for the fate of River Phoenix and other troubled child stars.Crosby and his wife Jan took Barrymore in when her insurance ran out. They took her to school, set up boundaries in her routine, and worked at being solid role models and guardians.

“I think we were kind and loving, and it felt good to do,” Crosby said in one interview. “You try to do stuff, and you’re not sure how it’s going to work out. I think that one worked. I think she became a responsible human being and is a nice person.” Barrymore has described the Crosbys as“surrogate parents.” “They were always there for me,” she wrote in her autobiography.

4. What an amazing coincidence! The number of Northern Virginia high schools that had not notified the students who had received National Merit Scholars honors last year was increased to 17 as of yesterday. The majority of the students not allowed to include the honors in early admissions applications appear to be Asian-Americans. Still, the story is not being covered by the mainstream media, which appears to be accepting the claims of school administrators that these were all uncoordinated, “mistakes,” and have nothing to do with the fact that the area’s DEI consultant has pledged to create a system in which all students achieve “equal outcomes,” regardless of merit or achievement.

Over on Facebook I saw examples of the denial chain, and it was pretty funny, when you think about it:

First: “It’s not true.”

Second: “It doesn’t matter: these aren’t real honors, and they weren’t that late.”

Third: “The claim that it was coordinated or intentional is a right-wing conspiracy theory.”

Fourth: “The parents complaining have an agenda!”

Fifth: “Anyone can make a mistake.”

6 thoughts on “End Of Week Ethics Exegesis, 1/20/2023, SCOTUS Ineptitude, The Child Shooter’s Parents, A Coinkydink, And More…[Corrected]

  1. Well, let’s look at the excuses for Virginia’s unethical and probably illegal acts one by one:

    First: “It’s not true.”

    “It isn’t what it is.” Sure, it’s true. It has been admitted, in public and in writing by the perpetrators. That’s the very definition of “true.”

    “It doesn’t matter: these aren’t real honors, and they weren’t that late.”

    “Convenient futility” together with “There are worse things.” It matters to the parents and children affected. How do we know? They’ve said so. As to their timeliness, in many cases, these awards if made timely would have positively impacted the college applications of the applicants receiving them. They may not have been dispositive or even critical, but they would’ve been a positive on any college application. To the extent the applications were made without them, the children did not get the benefit of honors they had earned, and deserved to have delivered to them timely by any ethical school administration.

    Third: “The claim that it was coordinated or intentional is a right-wing conspiracy theory.”

    This does not deserve a response. The right is justified in using this as a cudgel to bash the leftist administrators, who admitted “woke” policy desires were instrumental in their decision.

    “The parents complaining have an agenda!”

    Yes, quite so — it’s called, “The best interests of their children.”

    Fifth: “Anyone can make a mistake.”

    All 17 of them independently, and in exactly the same way and for the same reasons? I might be able to flap my arms and fly to Jupiter, but I’m thinking that’s not really possible. Neither is their argument.

  2. As I am on my 4th run through War and Peace right now, Steele’s quote was only off by 16 to 23 years and 2700 Versts, depending upon what part of the book you are in.

    As for the best of times and the worst of times, the times in War and Peace (the times of war and the times of peace) do not easily correlate between the best and the worst.

    -Jut

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