Ethics Heroes: Dane County (Wisconsin) County Supervisors

Race-baiting, race bullying and using the threat of being tarred as racist have worked speculatively well as unethical political weapons since Barack Obama’s party and supporters perfected them. Thus it is gratifying to see a municipal body refuse to be intimidated when confronted with the demands of a shameless practitioner and her supporters.

Dane County Executive Joe Parisi nominated Rep. Shelia Stubbs (D-Madison) for director of Dane County Human Services, a position that oversees the county’s largest agency with a $240 million budget and around 800 employees. Almost simultaneously with her nomination Stubbs began mau-mauing those who had to approve the appointment. The weekend following the announcement from Parisi, Stubbs told members of the End Times Ministries International, a church she co-founded and serves as a pastor, that members of the board were putting her under scrutiny because she is black, saying “they have never had a black lead a department, and I would be the first.” She urged her congregation to email the Dane County Board supervisors and demand that she be confirmed. This was sufficient to inspire the good parishioners to threaten the board members with violence.

There were ample non-racial reasons to question Stubbs’ appointment. She was heard on video saying that she planned on keeping both her state legislative job and her new position once she was confirmed, thus acquiring two paychecks for two supposedly full-time jobs. “They said I can’t do two jobs at one time,” Stubbs says on the video. “I can walk and eat and talk if I need to. It’s my choice if I want to [resign].”

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Ethics Quote Of The Day: Ethics Villain Dr. Anthony Fauci

“Man, I think, almost paradoxically, you had people who were on the fence about getting vaccinated thinking, why are they forcing me to do this? And that sometimes-beautiful independent streak in our country becomes counterproductive.”

—Dr. Anthony Fauci, major architect of the Wuhan virus lockdown catastrophe, in a discussing how the government’s dictatorial vaccination policies caused a drop in pubic trust of all vaccinations.

I have a lot to write about Dr. Fauci’s long interview in the New York Times, as well as some of his other jaw-dropping comments last week, but I’m lacking time and energy right now, and this quote demands immediate attention.

Fauci, who used his reputation and influence to trap the United States into a disastrous course of action that caused lasting harm to the nation, its culture, its economy, its children and society, articulates above the totalitarian’s lament about the United States of America. We are hearing this a great deal of late, as the Democratic Party, now the locus of totalitarian aspiration here, is increasingly open and candid about what so many of its leaders hate about America. Too many people just refuse to take orders from the smarter, more virtuous, more social justice-minded in power. Clearly, something needs to be done about it.

There’s nothing paradoxical about the phenomenon Fauci’s whining about at all. The lying, manipulation, false “facts” and abuse of authority used by health officials, Fauci prominent among them, eventually became apparent. Americans, who call themselves that rather than United Kingdom citizens because a nation was organized around the bold theory that the people—not kings, not unaccountable groups, not “experts”— have the right and duty to decide what’s in their best interest, returned to core values. Millions of people moved here to embrace the new experiment, and as a result, the independent streak is more deeply embedded in the culture than our native fans of dictatorship seem to comprehend. Decades of indoctrination from the now fully complicit news media and most of the education sector have weakened it and threaten it, but like the flag over Fort McHenry, it’s still there.

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It Pains Me To Say This, But It Just Might Be Time To Stop Assuming That The FBI Is Ethical, Trustworthy Or Competent…

If you watch TV even half as much as I do, the image of the Federal Bureau of Investigation hammered into your skull weekly is that of the most dedicated, well-trained, well-run and honorable law enforcement organization on Earth. There are three hour-long dramas focusing on the FBI’s heroism; its work is also central to “Blacklist.” On the streaming platforms and on cable, special series and older FBI-centered shows are abundant: “Criminal Minds,” “Without a Trace,” “White Collar,” “Night Agent,” “The X-Files,” “Blindspot,” “Quantico,” “The Rookie,” “Shooter”…too many to list, so I won’t list them all. Movies in which FBI agents are the heroes are legion There is no agency or organization that has a more suffocating and relentless indoctrination presence in the popular culture than the FBI.

It is no wonder the that public and the media are inclined to pooh-pooh or ignore entirely the massive evidence of sinister and illegal FBI activities devoted to bringing down the Trump administration, the machinations of James Comey, and the other scandals. Periodically some glimmers of the corruption and abuse of power that has infected the FBI’s culture since the long reign of its shadowy creator J. Edgar Hoover sneak into various programs: the lying FBI forensic expert whose work is exposed in the documentary “Staircase;” and the two excellent docudramas exploring the horrors of Waco and its cover-up are examples.

Clearly, the time has come to discard the presumption of virtue that has protected the FBI for generations. It is at least as inept, corrupt, politicized and incompetent as the rest of federal government, and perhaps even more so.

An episode in Boston earlier this month—barely reported by the mainstream media, of course—strongly hints at an “Emperor’s New Clothes” situation. The FBI was holding a special training exercise at the Revere Hotel in downtown Boston in coordination with the U.S. Army. Role players—that is, actors—were supposed to help create a realistic simulation for the agents who had to react to unexpected developments. Around 10 p.m. on the evening of April 6, FBI agents banged loudly on the door of the room where a Delta Air Lines pilot was staying. The surprised guest was handcuffed when he opened the door, detained and interrogated, and thrown into the shower.

Oopsie! Wrong room number.

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A Cautionary Legal Ethics Tale: The Paralegal’s Goof

There are a lot of ethics lessons in a recent lawsuit out of Connecticut.

William Cote, the lawyer for the seller in a real estate transaction, had $159,000 that he was supposed to wire to the Freedom Mortgage Corp. He had received a correct payoff statement with accurate wire instructions, but before he completed the payment, his paralegal received an email from the seller—it claimed— changing the wiring information. The new statement specified wire instructions for a different bank and account, and the paralegal passed in on to Cote, who then wired the money to the designated account—which had been set up by a scamster to snatch the money away.

Cote didn’t realize the gravamen of his error until more than a month later when the seller said he received a statement from the Freedom Mortgage Corp. reflecting a balance still owed on his loan. The buyer of the property is now suing both the seller and Cote because the title to the home she purchased is still encumbered by the seller’s mortgage.


  • Lawyers are responsible for the ethical conduct of their non-lawyer employees, including basic competence. Neglecting their training is an ethics violation.
  • The invasion of technology into every aspect of the legal profession requires vigilance and ongoing education. A firm or lawyer that does not have procedures and software in place to check the validity of emails is asking for a disaster. More than that, regular trainings of staff, including legal and non-legal, on technology advances and emerging perils are crucial. As with the non-lawyer trainings, they are too often skipped or made perfunctory.
  • Cope was probably busy with other matters when his paralegal passed along the phony change to the wiring instructions. Obviously, he should have asked some crucial questions, but instead just acted on trust. Trusting one’s staff is a good thing, but when so much money is involved, it is the lawyer’s duty to make sure a non-lawyer assistant hasn’t missed anything. Meanwhile, distracted law practice is as dangerous as distracted driving.


Source: ABA Journal

From Wisconsin, A Double Standards Classic

I don’t understand how this could happen at all.

In Wausau, Wisconsin, an investigation by the school board after a student complaint found that East High School’s band teacher, Robert Perkins, used “racist and sexist” language in the course of his teaching directed at Asian-American students in his class.

But it was okay, because he didn’t mean anything by it!

“While a preponderance of the evidence shows that Mr. Perkins did not engage in harassing or discriminatory behavior, he did engage in insensitive and unprofessional conduct,” the district superintendent wrote in a letter this week. “Witnesses indicate that he did use language that could be insensitive to students of different protected classes, including race and sex, but that language does not rise to the level of discrimination or harassment.” The letter argued that Perkins often uses humor to “engage students and create a ‘fun’ environment,'” and creates a “safe space” for all students, but that Perkins’ “humor” sometimes caused “unease” among students when “his comments are racial or sexist in nature.” However, the letter assures parents, Perkins “does not mean to harm anyone.”

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Rainy Day End-Of-Week Ethics Dry-Off, 4/28/23: Minutemen Bad, Alito Coy, Kamala Incoherent, And More

Great: I appeal to readers to offer me a glimmer of hope in today’s Open Forum, and the result is the fewest entries in months. So that’s the way it’s going to be, is it?

1. Well, THIS isn’t going to make me feel any better, or you either, I hope…In Contra Costa County, California, administrators at the Mount Diablo Unified School District believe that Concord High School’s Minutemen mascot is controversial and should be replaced. You know, the Minutemen, as in the patriots who fought and died at Lexington, Concord and Bunker Hill. They are controversial now…because, why exactly? Apparently because the entire existence of the United States of America and what it stands for is offensive to those who dwell in Woke World. Concord High School, founded in the late 1960s, adopted the image and name in solidarity with its namesake in Concord, Massachusetts, where in 1775 the Minutemen had one of their finest moments about a half an hour from where I grew up in Arlington, then Menotomy, Mass. The school’s principal, Julene MacKinnon, now wants to “make sure that we have a mascot that represents everyone,” reported KNTV-TV. By what logic does a Minuteman not represent all Americans? Well, you know, he’s a man

…and that is inherently touchy. He is also white, since most Minutemen were, but that skin shade is inherently offensive on the West Coast. Plus the Minuteman is carrying a gun, and guns are evil. Can’t Julene just pretend he’s gay or bi- or trans? Can’t they just darken the logo and make him a black Minuteman?

Some parents, alumni and students have raised objections, but it is to no avail. This is how American history, values and traditions die the death of a thousand cuts.

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The Problem: Trump Doesn’t Believe In Democracy That Much More Than Democrats Do

Some prominent progressives are noticing that Democrats are increasingly hostile to the core principles of democracy. Yesterday, for example, actor/activist Tim Robbins issued a tweet condemning the House Democrats who threatened reporter Matt Taibbi with prison following his congressional testimony on the so-called Twitter Files:

A serious, individual liberties-respecting, democratic values-honoring GOP candidate who hadn’t already burned every bridge he came across might have some success turning such previously knee-jerk Democratic voters around. Such a candidate is emphatically not Donald Trump.

In both his social media posts and his recent rally in New Hampshire, Trump implied that he wouldn’t participate in any pre-primary debates among other contenders for the Republican nomination. Describing the debates as giving rivals like Florida governor Ron DeSantis a chance to challenge him, he asked the crowd n Manchester,“Why would you do that?”

Gee, give me a minute; let me think. Oh! You do that because democracy requires an informed public. You do it because voters deserve an opportunity to compare their options. You do it to show respect for the process of American elections and the office Trump is seeking.

Then he said, “I do look forward to the debate with Joe.”

Idiot. Why would Biden agree to debate Trump if he didn’t have to? Trump ducking the primary debates would eliminate any traction he could gain by claiming that Joe was “ducking him.” Trump skipping the GOP candidates debates all but guarantees that Biden will refuse to subject himself to the risks of a debate format.

All of which degrades and undermines the functioning of our system. These guys don’t care, and Trump is seemingly setting himself up to run a Bull Moose-style kamikaze third party assault if the Republican Party doesn’t do his bidding and make him its candidate. Recall that the RNC announced that promising to support the GOP nominee was a prerequisite for participating in the debates. Now Trump is saying, “Debates? I don’t need no stinking debates!” It’s obvious what he’s threatening, isn’t it?

Trump is declaring himself the nominee—Napoleon crowned himself as Emperor, remember—-leaving the rest of the possible contenders with a no-win dilemma: all they can do is knock each other off while Trump coasts to the nomination, only appearing before fawning audiences of deplorables and never having to engage with his critics.

Democrats want to silence and criminalize dissent; Trump wants to block any route to challenging his power.

As divided as Americans are, it doesn’t appear that enough of them care about preserving democracy to do anything to preserve it. They only differ on the means by which they are willing to let it collapse.

Trump Wraps Up The Ethics Alarms 2023 “Asshole Of The Year” Award In Record Time

I may even have to name it “The Donald Trump Award.”

At a New Hampshire campaign rally yesterday, the former President drew laughs and cheers from his crowd of human seals when he did an imitation of President Joe Biden being disoriented and getting lost on stage.

Nice. Stay classy, Mr. President.

“You would think at least one time he’d get up and say, ‘I’m running for President — where, where am I going, where the hell am I going?’” Trump, said, doing his best imitation of an addled old coot. “I want to get out, oh, no over there, over there,” Trump said as he wandered away from the podium.

The ugly routine evoked this episode from his 2016 campaign, in which Trump mocked a disabled reporter (and later denied that he did.)

Trump is out of control at this point, assuming he’s ever been in control. He’s convinced that he’s invincible and already has the GOP nomination wrapped up. The political hit jobs on him from the George Soros prosecutors, the House Democrats and the Justice Department have only made him stronger politically.

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Open Forum, Searching For Something Better

What a depressing week.

I think the cap might have been right before bedtime last night, when I finally checked out what strange tangents Ann Althouse had been on lately. For some reason she had tracked down an article at Metafilter about Nate Silver’s being separated from his creation, 538, and a reader comment that said he had been guilty of “bothsideism.”

Nate is far from an Ethics Alarms favorite, as when he is not analyzing sports he uses the alleged neutrality of his statistical models to mask an obvious left-leaning bias. However, the flat assertion that he didn’t slant his analysis enough for the Leftist totalitarians out there is genuinely frightening. It also echoes the ethics rot emanating from this recent post. I’ve encountered the term “bothsideism” periodically and mentally noted its absurdity, but now I realize that a frightening proportion of the public, academics and especially journalists really do believe that thoughtfully considering multiple points of view and perspective is wrong.

As they sing in “Sweet Charity”: There’s gotta be something better than this.

Please try to find it.

Wait, WHAT? The White House Is Caught Rigging Biden’s Press Conference To Make Him Appear More Competent Than He Is, And The Washington Post’s Analysis is “Everybody Does It” And “Republicans Pounce”?

Nah, there’s no mainstream media bias!

How do these people look at themselves in the mirror without retching?

Paul Farhi was the veteran Democratic operative (aka a MSM reporter) the Post assigned to spin this scandal. “President Biden was photographed holding a notecard Wednesday, revealing the stage managing behind many political media events,” he began. Oh, the euphemism is “stagemanaging,” is it? What the “notecard” was is called a cheat sheet, and what it signifies is cheating, and lying to the public.

The card in Biden’s hand—he’s so diminished mentally that he can’t even cheat competently–read “Question # 1,” and directed the President to call on Los Angeles Times reporter, Courtney Subramanian. The card included Subramanian’s name, a pronunciation guide, her affiliation and a headshot. The card also included Subramanian’s question: under the heading “Foreign Policy/Semiconductor Manufacturing,” the card read, “How are YOU squaring YOUR domestic priorities — like reshoring semiconductors manufacturing — with alliance-based foreign policy?”

Biden called on her for the first question, she asked what she was supposed to, and Biden offered an uncharacteristically detailed and coherent response. Farhi’s spin: “White House press office employees have routinely polled reporters about their priorities and interests in advance of news meetings to anticipate what their boss might be asked while on the podium. The practice is also common in news conferences with Cabinet secretaries, such as the secretary of defense and secretary of state.” Fine, that’s their job. And it is an ethical reporter’s job to say, “Sorry, you’re just going to have to find out when I’m called on.” Sure Presidential aides want to brief POTUS on what the likely topics are. Rigging the questions in advance, however, is something completely different. It’s called cheating. This is particularly true in this case, when much of the pubic is concerned about the President’s cognitive abilities. Presenting him as able to whip off a detailed answer to a reporter’s question when in fact he was tipped off and the reporter was in cahoots with the White House is pure deception.

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