Morning Ethics Heat-Up, 5/18/2022: More Judicial Review And Lies

Because I was otherwise obsessed, I missed noting yesterday a true landmark in law and ethics. It was that date in 1954 when a unanimous the  Supreme Court handed down the unanimous decision in Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, ruling that racial segregation in public schools was unconstitutional. Linda Brown, a young African American girl had been denied admission to her local elementary school in Topeka, Kansas, because of the color of her skin.

Written in 1896 as the KKK roamed the South, the SCOTUS ruling in Plessy v. Ferguson held that “separate but equal” accommodations in railroad cars conformed to the 14th Amendment’s guarantee of equal protection. Plessy was interpreted as justifying segregation in everything from buses to water fountains to elementary schools. The white school Brown attempted to attend was far superior to her the segregation-mandated alternative and miles closer to her home, so The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People  took up Linda’s cause. Thurgood Marshall led Brown’s legal team, and on May 17, 1954, Plessy was overturned after 58 years as “the law of the land” despite the siren call of stare decisus. The opinion written by Chief Justice Earl Warren declared that “separate but equal” was an unconstitutional doctrine in ringing terms: “We conclude that, in the field of public education, the doctrine of ‘separate but equal’ has no place. Separate educational facilities are inherently unequal.”  A year later, the Supreme Court published guidelines requiring public school systems to integrate “with all deliberate speed.”

1. Prudent and responsible, if not courageous. Speaking of SCOTUS, newly confirmed Justice-in-Waiting Ketanji Brown Jackson sat for an interview by the Washington Post and was asked about the leak of Justice Alito’s draft opinion in the Dobbs abortion case. Conservative media was triggered by this section:

Q: What was your response when you when you saw the draft leak [of a Supreme Court opinion that would strike down Roe v. Wade]?

A: Everybody who is familiar with the court and the way in which it works was shocked by that. Such a departure from normal order.

Q: Do you think it was a good thing or a bad thing?

A: I can’t answer that.

Q: What do you think about peaceful protests outside of Supreme Court justices’ homes?

A: I don’t have any comment.

Charles Cooke at the National Review writes, “This ranges from somewhere between cowardly and sinister, much like the failure of the justices to issue a joint statement that echoes the chief justice’s condemnation of the leak and statement of determination to identify the leaker, and that condemns the protests, which violate federal law.”

Wrong. SCOTUS justices should not issue opinions on such matters. Her statement that the leak was a breach of the normal order was factual, and breaches of normal order in any institution are unethical. She was right to go no further. As for the demonstrators, some of them may be arrested at some point, and a statement by a Supreme Court Justice regarding their conduct could interfere with a fair trial.

Her responses give me more reason to trust Jackson’s judgment, not less.

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More On Media Disinformation To Confuse The Public About Roe And SCOTUS

I finally ditched my expensive print subscription to the Times, but old sections and articles are scattered hither and yon. One is an April 10 Sunday Review section that has one of Jamelle Bouie’s columns. It has proven enlightening in the wake of the subsequent freakout over the impending reversal of Roe v. Wade.

Facts Don’t Matter to Bouie, who has toned down his brazen anti-white racism a tad since moving to the Times from Slate, where he was the resident race-baiter. (His Ethics Alarms dossier is here.) Now and then, as in this case, he even writes about something not exclusively racial. His April 10 column included a revealing paragraph in his attack on the concept of judicial review, which, if it were banned as today’s Democrats appear to fervently wish, would allow a sufficiently totalitarian-minded party in control of Congress and the White House to ignore the Constitution and pass laws “for the greater good” that violate it.

Bouie wrote in part,

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And This Is What The Great Stupid Looks Like…[Corrected]

Deadspin, a dunder-headed, race-baiting, progressive foolishness blight on the web in its best days, posted that classic of Yoo’s Rationalization (“It isn’t what it is”) as its thoughtful response to the Buffalo mass shooting.

The photo was from the days following the George Floyd Freakout, as The Great Stupid began to spread over the land. Then, the NBA, like the other professional sports leagues, was falling all over itself to align with the half-baked political sensibilities of their black stars, in the NBA’s case, “their stars” period. Thus plastering the deceptively benign motto of the Marxist, racist, often violent scam movement on their game venues was the expedient thing to do, even if it wasn’t brave, helpful or ethical. Deadspin’s author of this brain-dead but woke tweet—is that redundant?—apparently thinks that there’s something sinister in the fact that millionaire athletes under contract as athlete/entertainers aren’t refusing to perform their jobs based on the predominant skin shade of the spectators who pay their salaries.

Of course, black fans were also entertained by the players. it is also important to note that the vast, vast, vast majority of professional athletes look like fools and children whenever they venture outside their extremely narrow range of knowledge and expertise. Using their barely literate, emotion- and peer pressure-driven analysis of current events as influence all but guarantees a grasp of complex issues and events as societally useful as those of Bette Midler, Joy Behar and Robert De Niro—you know: idiots.

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The Tattooed Baby

Ick or Ethics?

Shamekia Morris, a fashion designer from West Palm Beach, started putting temporary tattoos on her son Treylin when he was six months old. Now she shares photos of her decorated baby with thousands of fans on social media.

She is, as you would guess, covered with tattoos herself. To her critics, she replies that it’s her lifestyle and her baby, and she’ll do with both as she pleases.

You know. Choice!

It may be icky, but this is definitely unethical. She’s using her baby as promotion, an involuntary human canvas, and a means to the end of getting web traffic, all without his consent or understanding. Her exploitation of her child is dehumanizing and disrespectful, as well as selfish.

The question such a parent should ask herself is, “How will my child feel about so many strangers seeing these photos when he’s old enough to understand?” The answer is that there is no way to tell, which means that the only ethical course is to err on the side of caution, minimizing the likelihood of harm.


Source: Oddity Central

Oh-Oh! The President’s New Paid Liar Is Incompetent At Lying

When the name Karine Jean-Pierre was first mentioned on Ethics Alarms (here, Item 4), it was after the lead-in, “Biden’s not even trying to be responsible at this point.” Her major qualification to take over the press secretary job—aka “Pofficial paid liar”— from the unbearable Jen Psaki, it seemed, was that Jean-Pierre is a black lesbian, which White House flacks (echoed by the mainstream media of course, boot-licking as usual) hailed as “historic.” (My reaction, then and now: who cares?) She also has a major conflict of interest, being married to CNN correspondent Suzanne Malveaux. Later, after non-bootlicking reporters did some digging, we learned that she has been a habitual race-baiter. The New York Post reported that between 2015 and 2020 the new voice of the White House had accused people, policies, ideas, or words of being “racist” 57 times on Twitter and 43 times in TV appearances on CNN and MSNBC.

To be fair, being a knee-jerk race-baiter is a valid qualification for being a Democratic President’s press secretary in 2022.

However, the main objective in appointing Jean-Pierre, as with any job, has to be that she be able to do it competently. That means lie, which is what people in her position do and have done since the role came into being. The job is easier now that it has been for many past occupants of the position, because, as already noted, most of the reporters likely to toss questions at a Democrat President’s paid liar aren’t seeking the truth, and nearly completely unwilling to make her boss look bad. (That might risk his losing re-election, which, we are told daily, would endanger democracy.)

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Waning Monday Ethics Shadows, 5/16/2022: SCOTUS, Senate Candidate Gibberish, And A Yale Law Professor Shows Integrity

Valkygrrl tipped me off to the Supreme Court case of Patel v. Garland, a 5-4 decision involving both ethics and law. It’s almost too complicated to describe, so I recommend you read it, including Justice Gorsuch’s dissent, here.

It’s a terrific example of where the role of the Court diverges from what the average citizen thinks it is. The majority held that federal law bars courts from reviewing a judge’s alleged factual error in an immigration matter: Patel was held to have forfeited his chance at getting back on a path to citizenship because he had—mistakenly, he claims—stated falsely that he was a citizen on a key document. The trial judge ruled that this was intentional; Gorsuch states that this was an obvious error on the judge’s part, and that justice demands a judicial reversal. The conservative majority held that the decision could not be reviewed one way or the other.

“Today, the court holds that a federal bureaucracy can make an obvious factual error, one that will result in an individual’s removal from this country, and nothing can be done about it,” Gorsuch wrote. “No court may even hear the case. It is a bold claim promising dire consequences for countless lawful immigrants.” But the majority, in opinion by Justice Barrett, said federal law bans judicial review of decisions by immigration judges that deny discretionary relief from deportation, and the ban also prevents judicial review of factual findings underlying the denial of relief.

As the Waco Kid (“Blazing Saddles”) would say, “Boy, is she strict!”

I don’t understand why Gorsuch is so convinced Patel is being honest when he says he checked the wrong box by accident. Nor was he exactly a “lawful immigrant”: he came to the U.S. illegally to begin with.

1. From the “Quotes that would instantly make up my mind about who to vote for” Dept.: Kathy Burnett, one of the Republicans on the ballot in the GOP primary to determine who runs for the open U.S. Senate seat in Pennsylvania (Dr. Oz is among her competition, and the Trump endorsed candidate), was asked if she would support whoever got the nomination if she didn’t, and said,

“I have no intentions of supporting globalists. I believe we have ran out of room on this runway for this spaceship. I believe we have very little rope left to just roll the dice and we’ll see how it all works out on the other end. I believe our country is in trouble. I don’t believe we have much longer and I believe what I have done is I have made it possible where Pennsylvanians do not have to hold their nose and vote for the lesser of two evils this time. I don’t think we have room to just vote for any old warm body with an R next to their name. I think we can do better than that.”

The fact that someone who talks and thinks like that can even be this close to a seat in the Senate is sufficient reason to start looking for a real spaceship.

2. New York, New York! Continue reading

Comment Of The Day: “Thoroughly Disgusted Ethics Sign-Off, 5/15/2022: Our Despicable, Untrustworthy Media”

The Buffalo shooter’s “manifesto” [the link is here] has given the mainstream media and others one more possible avenue of attack against Republicans, or so they apparently believe. Follow along, now: the idea is that “the Great Replacement” conspiracy theory is at the core of U.S. white supremacy; the Republican party has been dog-whistling it as it carries on in its usual racist way; Tucker Carlson of Fox News has been a prominent whistler; Payton Gendron’s long crazy-town screed shows his fealty to the concept, and thus Republicans, Fox News and Carlson have blood on their hands. Why worry about inflation and Biden administration incompetence when there’s that to focus on?

I try to line-up Comments of the Day in rough order of reception, but Humble Talent’s discourse on “The Great Replacement” was so timely that I jumped it ahead of the line. (It also reminds me that I have to finish a post about the explosion of the myth that Hispanic-Americans were always going to be part of the reliable Democratic Party coalition. That was always false—Humble Talent explains one of the reasons—and it is now obviously false.)

Here is his Comment of the Day on the post, “Thoroughly Disgusted Ethics Sign-Off, 5/15/2022: Our Despicable, Untrustworthy Media”:


“The Great Replacement” was, in fact, despite how hard they’re trying to peddle away from it, a contention from the Left. The idea was, in the wake of Obama’s first win, that the Left could cobble together an alliance out of the diaspora of the dispossessed and create a winning coalition forever, particularly as the parts of the diaspora were growing faster than the population at large.

It isn’t controversial to say that they held these views, at least then, which was only 10 years ago. James Carville wrote: “40 More Years: How the Democrats Will Rule the Next Generation” in 2011 saying explicitly things like “Demographics are Destiny”. Carville wasn’t a historical supporter of Obama, saying things like “If Hillary gave up one of her balls and gave it to Obama, he’d have two.” in 2010, but he had been around the party as an insider for decades. There is an approximate zero percent chance that he wrote the book without having floated these ideas internally to a general approval. Continue reading

Nancy Pelosi’s Unethical Quote Of Her Career Proves What An Ethics Villain She Is…But We Knew That Already

“Who would ever [have] suspected that a creature like Donald Trump would become president of the United States, waving a list of judges that he would appoint, therefore getting the support of the far right and appointing those anti-freedom justices to the court?”

—Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi on CNN yesterday

Almost exactly four years ago, progressives, Democrats and the news media accused Donald Trump, then President, of racism because he referred to border-jumping MS-13 gang members as “animals.” At that time, Pelosi delivered this pious rebuke:

We believe some of us who are attracted to the political arena and to government and public service that we’re all God’s children. There’s a spark of divinity in every person on Earth and that we all have to recognize that as we respect the dignity and worth of every person. … And so when the president of the United States says about undocumented immigrants, ‘these aren’t people, these are animals,’ you have to wonder, does he not believe in the spark of divinity? The dignity and worth of every person? ‘These are not people, these are animals,’ the president of the United States. … Calling people ‘animals’ is not a good thing.

Of course it was a cheap shot by Pelosi, but she specialized in cheap shots during the Trump years. If one is going to call anyone an animal, the brutal, lawless MS-13 gang members are a good choice. Now, however, Pelosi calls a President of the United States a “creature,” which is even lower than “animal,” evoking slimy insects, reptiles, and this guy…

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Ethics Alarms Has The Link To The Buffalo Shooter’s “Alleged Manifesto” Here So You Can Read It, Because You Can’t Trust Anyone Else To Tell You What’s In It

The screed by Payton S. Gendron is


I’m not going to write about its content: it has nothing to do with ethics. I don’t need to debate the ethics of an 18-year-old homicidal, racist lunatic. I may read the damn thing so I can rebut liars on the web and on MSNBC, but they have already shown their “stripes” on this topic, which I wrote about last night in a fit of disgust. Oh, I looked at the first page, which seems like steroid-enhanced Pat Buchanan—remember Pat?— rhetoric when he ran for President, and what that graphic above is supposed to signify I don’t have a clue about.

I am only printing the link because the news media, blogs and even Google began politicizing the mass shooting before the victims were barely cold. If the idea was not to encourage future mass shooters and maniacs by not giving them the publicity they crave, I can accept that—but then the propagandists who are all we have to let us know what’s going on cannot ethically make references to the document they are refusing to let us see. This is particularly true because their representations cannot be trusted. The revolting state of affairs is completely the fault of our biased journalism, our censorious social media and Big Tech companies, and the standards-free websites and blogs that have to ferret out what the news media is distorting.

[Please don’t bombard me with alerts that the document is now easy to find. If so, great, but it wasn’t last night, and it wasn’t at 6 am this morning, and I’ve spent enough of my waning time on Earth searching for the damn thing.]

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Thoroughly Disgusted Ethics Sign-Off, 5/15/2022: Our Despicable, Untrustworthy Media, And More

Well, I’ve about had it. I just spent 45 minutes that I will want back on my deathbed trying to find an actual link to the Buffalo shooter’s “alleged manifesto.” Maybe you can find it, and good for you, but it should not be that difficult, and I am sick of this crap. These sources are counting on most readers simply relying on their interpretations, and their interpretations cannot and must not be trusted. The word from Protect Democrats Media Central went out that there was an opportunity to politicize the shooting, which left 10 dead, by blaming it on Fox News and Tucker Carlson. In one particularly odious headline in Rolling Stone, this reasoning was used to impugn all Republicans: “The Buffalo Shooter Isn’t a ‘Lone Wolf.’ He’s a Mainstream Republican.” Nice. Yet I couldn’t find any such smear piece that allowed readers to read what was driving this theory.

Over at the reliably conservative PJ Media, Matt Margolis provided his debunking of the Fox/Tucker narrative, writing in part,

A search of the entire manifesto also yields no mentions of Tucker Carlson and specifically mentions “the internet” as where he got his beliefs…the shooter describes himself as “authoritarian left-wing,” but the left [is] trying to blame ‘right-wing extremism’…Later in the manifest, the shooter insists, “I would prefer to call myself a populist. But you can call me an ethno-nationalist eco-fascist national socialist if you want, I wouldn’t disagree with you.” He also repeatedly attacks capitalists, and rejected the conservative label because, he wrote, “conservativism is corporatism in disguise, I want no part of it.”

But Margolis doesn’t link to a copy of the document either! Why should I trust him? Why should I, or anyone, trust any of these biased, manipulative messengers? Let me see this “alleged” manifesto, and I’ll decide who to blame. Believe me, I’ll be happy to point the finger at Tucker Carlson or Fox News if the text supports that. Now over at Liberty Unyielding, a right-wing site, the case is made that “The Great Replacement” is really a Left-inspired concept, and implies that this makes the other side of the ideological divide blameworthy for the 18-year-old’s rampage. But that site only links to a single page of the 180 page document!

I’m sick of our rotten, unprofessional, arrogant, unethical communications and information networks and agents. They are all untrustworthy. I detest every one of them.

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