In This Week’s Very Special Episode of “The Conways”….

Claudia and Kellyanne

When we last left the lovable and unpredictable Conways, Kellyanne Conway, Counselor to President Trump, announced that she was exiting her White House post to focus on her family after her 16-year-old daughter, Claudia, claimed she was seeking emancipation from her parents over alleged “trauma and abuse.” At the same time, George Conway, the D.C. lawyer who repeatedly embarrassed his wife by attacking her boss and helping to create the anti-Trump Lincoln Project, quit his role with the group, also to deal with the family crisis.

In this week’s Very Special episode, a topless photo of Claudia was posted on Mom Kellyanne’s Twitter account using Twitter’s recently launched Fleets feature, which deletes posts after a 24-hour period. The Fleet was captured by many Twitter users anyway. Claudia then posted videos on TikTok, her favorite milieu (they are now deleted but also captured by others and reposted) confirming that the nude picture was authentic. Claudia speculated, “I’m assuming my mom took a picture of it to use against me one day and then somebody hacked her or something. I’m literally at a loss for words. If you see it, report it.” In one of the TikTok videos, Claudia Conway said that “nobody would ever have any photo like that, ever. So, Kellyanne, you’re going to fucking jail.”

Yesterday, Claudia announced that she and her mother will be “taking a break from social media” and will work on their relationship adding, “I know that my mom would never, ever post anything to hurt me like that intentionally, and I do believe she was hacked…… Please do not incite hate or violence on my family. Please, no threats, no calls to authorities. I love my mom and she loves me.”

Forgive me if I am skeptical that a daughter who just this month again said her parents abused her authored that voluntarily.

Observations:

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Ethics Quote Of The Week: Christopher Bedford

nationalguard

“None of this matters to the leaders in Washington: Not walling themselves from the public they serve, nor spreading even more fear and distrust among their supporters than already existed. What matters is that the Democrats and the troops be seen as the only things standing between America and a Ku Klux MAGA apocalypse.”

Christopher Bedford, National Review editor, in his essay, The Occupation Of Washington Is Pure Panic Porn — And You Are The Target

I don’t usually like to devote an Ethics Alarms post to quoting another writer’s work, but Mr. Bedford has expressed what I would have so perfectly that I’ll make an exception. Please go to the National Review and read the whole thing, but note these points:

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Ethics Cleansing, 1/27/2021: I’m Afraid This Edition Exceeds The Limit For Disturbing Stories…

Horrible text message

As a prelude, I don’t know why some commenters are arguing that the 1876 William Belknap impeachment trial is a valid precedent for trying a private citizen no longer in office on a charge that has no other purpose but to remove that individual from his or her federal office. It’s just a bad argument, which is why Belknap has only been raised by desperate anti-Trump zealots. As I pointed out in the comments, an unconstitutional act doesn’t change the Constitution. There have been many, many unconstitutional actions by our government that were allowed to occur in the past (President Jackson’s defiance of the U.S. Supreme Court to forec the Trail of Tears is an especially egregious one.\); they still can’t be cited as proof that the actions were Constitutional, or precedent for violating the Constitution again. Balknap, who had resigned as Grant’s Secretary of War just as he was about to be impeached by the House, submitted to the Senate’s unconstitutional trial. I have always assumed this was because he was certain that he would be acquitted, so he could later claim innocence. (He was incredibly guilty.) Since he was acquitted, there was no occasion to challenge the trial, the issue being moot.

The entire system was in chaos in 1876; if the Belknap trial is binding precedent that a private citizen can be tried by the Senate to remove him from office when he isn’t in that office, why not make the same claim about the unconstitutional deal between Republicans and Democrats to install the loser of the 1876 Presidential election (Hayes) in the White House in exchange for removing federal troops from the former Confederate states?

1. An example of ethical trolling, I think:

Ironic Tweet

Miller is getting all sorts of outraged responses from critics online who seem to have missed the critical fact that he was just quoting Maxine Waters’ call for harassment of Trump administration officials. Normally I regard deliberate posting of positions one doesn’t believe as unethical unless the poster makes the sarcasm or irony obvious. This one is obvious, unless the reader wasn’t paying attention to how irresponsible and vicious Democrats were in the past four years, and if the such a reader was that ignorant, he shouldn’t be involved in the discussion at all.

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Once Again, Hall Of Fame Ethics (Or The Lack Of Them)

Schilling

The MLB Hall of Fame vote, at least since the Steroid Era, gives us a window into the ethics of baseball writers, and the view is pretty grim. Baseball Writers’ Association of America ballots, many of which are made pubic before the election results are revealed, annually show dead ethics alarms and an absence of critical thinking, but as someone who has been reading these guys (they are almost all guys) since I was 12, this is no surprise. The smart and thoughtful ones like Joe Posnanski, Roger Angell, Bill James and Peter Gammons, are exceptions. I wouldn’t trust most of the rest to take out the trash.

A player who has been retired for at least five years has to be on 75% of the writers’ ballots (ten players can be listed on a ballot) needed to be “enshrined,” as they like to say in the Cooperstown museum, and a player has ten tries to make it. This year, nobody was selected.

The result was a slap in the face to former Orioles, Philadelphia, Arizona and Red Sox starting pitcher Curt Schilling, and was intended to be. He just missed the 75% level last year, and usually that means that a player gets in the Hall the next time, especially in a year like this one, where there were no major additions to the candidates. Schilling, by prior standards, by statistical analysis, and by the simple reality that he was famous while playing and had a single iconic moment that will keep him in baseball lore forever—the “bloody sock” game, should be an easy call. Yet ESPN and other sources refer to him as “controversial.” Why is he controversial? He’s controversial because he is religious, conservative, Republican, and an outspoken Trump supporter, none of which has a thing to do with baseball. Schilling also, to his credit, refuses to submit to his critics and the social media mobs. He is independent and comfortable with who he is, he is articulate in expressing his opinions (at least by typical athlete standards), and can and will defend his points of view. He shouldn’t have to, however, to be admitted to the Hall of Fame.

His sportsmanship and professional comportment while playing was never less than impeccable. Curt Schilling has a deep respect for the game (one opinion that has been held against him is his insistence that steroid users are cheaters), and he has done nothing since leaving baseball that was sufficiently vile to harm it in any way. To the contrary, he and his wife (now battling cancer) have been active in charity work and community projects. That satisfies the Hall’s so-called “character clause.”

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Ethics Dunces: The 55 U.S. Senators Who Voted That It Is Constitutional For The Senate To Impeach A Private Citizen

Paul

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky) offered the obvious and obligatory point of order resolution that a Senate trial of a private citizen, that being former President Trump, is unconstitutional, which it unquestionably is. The resolution failed 55-45, with every Democrat voting for the measure along with five NeverTrump Republicans: Mitt Romney of Utah, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Susan Collins of Maine, Ben Sasse of Nebraska, and Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania.

This means that 55 U.S. Senators, all of whom took an oath to defend and protect the Constitution, have stated on the record that they will do no such thing. Yet their votes do not decide what is constitutional. The Constitution decides. Consider: not a single Democratic Senator had the integrity, independence and courage to declare that what the Constitution says is what the Constitution says, and that the U.S. Senate should not, indeed must not, ignore it to satisfy obsessive Democratic spite. Not one.

That’s one helluva party you got there, Joe.

In addition to that,

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History And Ethics #1: The Mad Butcher And Eliot Ness

im-215311

Today in 1936, the dismembered body of Florence Polillo was found in a basket and several burlap sacks in Cleveland. She was the third victim in 18 months to be found dismembered with suspicious skill. The murderer was dubbed the “Mad Butcher,” and by the summer of 1938, the body count had reached double digits, and the body parts much higher. The Cleveland policee, desperate to find the Mad Butcher (also known as “the Torso , persecuted an actual butcher named Frank Dolezal, who was interrogated for 40 straight hours until he confessed to killing Polillo. It was a coerced confession, however, and he changed his story many times before committing suicide in his cell.

Then and today, nobody really believes poor Dolezal was really the Mad Butcher. His role was as an instrument of a cover-up. The real story is one of deception, privilege, and a conflict of interest involving an iconic law-enforcement figure, Elliot Ness.

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Comment Of The Day: “If Progressives Agree With Hate Speech, It Isn’t Hate Speech Any More…Do I Have That Straight?”

Pennagain responded to this post with invaluable background on our still complex attitudes toward gay and lesbian relationships. It is long, and essential reading.

Here is Pennagain’s Comment of the Day on the post, “If Progressives Agree With Hate Speech, It Isn’t Hate Speech Any More…Do I Have That Straight?’:

For all who are getting into this “any woman (many women) can be lesbians if they want to” bag, recognize that you are confusing sexual liberty in today’s society with natural sexual-partner preference.

It’s an easy generalization to fall into. Another generalization, but one borne out by statistical evidence, is that you might even be able to transform your body to conform to another gender but you will still have the same sexual preference. Being lesbian (or gay) doesn’t come (nor will you, so to speak just by wanting or trying. The L and G of LGBT are as varied in as many ways as straight girls and boys. Wee just got along better until the wicked woke women turned up the heat.

Here us a handy review of things that have significant impact on everyone – you, me and the ones who aren’t sure:

Traditionally — that is, not so many decades ago, and most definitely in my memory — men socialized mainly outside the home and had access to individual activity that included sexual satisfaction elsewhere. Women mainly stayed in the home and, if outside, had fewer opportunities for engaging in social, much less erotic, activities. . Remember?

Women — of course — were supposed to have no (or far lower) need or desire for sexual activity. In a way that’s true, though not lessening the equal strength of the desire. Women’s emotions were and are often centered on their children. There wasn’t some magical extra feeling focused on the exploration of a sex object’s genitals: When the natural urge arose, women often tried to tamp down her own needs in favor of the needs of the family. A woman might cry on her friend’s shoulder, but it didn’t occur to most women to peer under her dear friend’s skirt.

Boys knew more about their own external genitalia (and as much as possible about girls’ as well) while girls had almost no knowledge of their hidden female anatomy. Most didn’t know how they got pregnant — many, it appears, still don’t. Some never learned they could have orgasms, and because they were so traumatized by blood, they rarely explored the matter.

If you were born in the post-war baby boom, your parents were still influenced (one way or another) by the 40s. Considerable confusion was taking place between diametrically opposing images like this:

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“The Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Impeachment” Becomes An Ethics Fiasco: Ten Observations

johnson-impeachment

In this post, “Nancy And The Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Impeachment “—could it really have just been 12 days ago?—I wrote in part,

Nancy Pelosi came right out and said that her objective in impeaching Trump this time was to stop him from running again. That’s not what the Founders designed impeachment for. She’s admitting that this Congress and her party regard impeachment as just one more political stunt, like ripping up the State of the Union message, boycotting the inauguration, or nominating Kamala Harris. Worse, unless the Senate agrees to rush through a trial the way Pelosi rushed through the impeachment, Trump will already be out of office and a private citizen before he can be convicted—which he wouldn’t be anyway. The Constitution speaks of impeachment and the Senate trial as a means of removing a President, not as a device to say “I hate you! Ooooh, I hate you to pieces!” to an ex-President.

Thus it’s a joke. The first impeachment was a dud. Trump hasn’t been embarrassed, but Congress and the news media have been embarrassed and exposed as fools.

Not that they hadn’t been exposed as fools already.

But “Wait!”—as they say on infomercials–“There’s more!” And it only gets worse:

1. Since the impeachment vote in the House, further investigation of the attack on the Capitol and its time-line has shown that many of the participants had planned to storm the building in advance, in fact had begun preparations before the President addressed the protesters, and had begun to take action while the President was speaking on January 6. Thus the House’s impeachment theory that the President had incited a riot by providing a lit match to an obvious powder-keg is unsustainable n the facts: the powder had already been lit. Nor do the facts support the argument that the President intended to spark a riot, since the words of his speech never suggested violence or alluded to it.

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Incompetent Jealous Spouse Of The Millennium: “Leonora N”

Never mind

This story is so, so stupid–but funny!— that I had to devote a whole post to it.

Mexican police report that a woman whose full name has been withheld out of kindness (I suppose) and known only as “Leonora N” was snooping around in her husband’s cell phone and found several photos of him being suspiciously affectionate with a younger, slimmer, more attractive woman. Outraged, the scorned wife attacked her husband with a knife as soon as he walked in the door, stabbing him repeatedly until he managed to get the knife away from her. Police responded to neighbors reporting screams and an altercation, and Leonora was taken into custody.

It turns out that the photos were of her husband with her, when Leonora N was younger, slimmer, and I assume—I hope— a lot smarter.

Wow.

What a moron.

Now, I know what you’re thinking. Nobody allowed to move around without a leash is this stupid. I’d be inclined to agree, but the police seem to buy the story, which both the husband and wife vouch for, and there is always this: never underestimate the awesome power of stupidity when it collides with blind emotion.

Well, That’s One Phony Impeachment Theory Down For Good…

C

The Supreme Court today threw out lawsuits claiming that Donald Trump violated the obscure Emoluments Clause, and thus profited from his Presidency. The issue, it concluded, was moot because Trump is no longer in office.

The specious accusation President Trump is violating the Constitution by owning businesses while he is President (Plan C on the list) claimed an ethical breach never anticipated by the Founders and an issue that was barely discussed by the news media during the campaign. Once the President was elected, his haters and saboteurs demanded that he surrender his interests in a vast business empire, something that was both logically and practically impossible. The Emoluments Clause of the U.S. Constitution (Article 1, Section 9, Paragraph 8), a true Constitutional dead letter, stipulates that no federal officeholders “shall receive gifts or payments from foreign state or rulers without the consent of Congress.” But payments obviously means pay-offs, and payment for services isn’t a gift. Nor are Trump hotel and other organization receipts payments to the President.

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