Mid-Day Ethics Warm-Up, 1/5/2021: Zombie Lawyers! Imaginary News! Dead Ethics Alarms! Wrong Numbers!


1. The Florida Bar, protecting us all against unethical zombie lawyers...Last month, the Florida Supreme Court approved that Florida Bar’s decision to disbar Sabrina Starr Spradley, a 41-year-old attorney in private practice in Delray Beach, Florida. She died more than a year ago. The rules do not require another attorney or family member to tell the bar when a lawyer being disciplined has died, so poor Sabrina had to suffer the post mortem indignity of being labeled an unethical lawyer.

“We do have 108,000 lawyers in Florida,” a Florida Bar spokesperson explained. “There are a lot of individuals that we regulate. We rely on people to inform us.”

Why? How hard is it to routinely check the obituaries before wasting the Supreme Court’s time?

2. For the fake news Hall of Fame. Because President Trump is “reportedly” (whatever that means) “considering” flying to Scotland instead of attending Joe Biden’s inauguration on January 20, the Independent reports that Scotland won’t allow him in, because it wouldn’t be “essential” travel. Can a news headline (“Trump not allowed into Scotland to escape Biden inauguration, Sturgeon warns” ) be built on fewer facts than this?

Incidentally, there’s no law requiring an outgoing President to attend the inauguration of a President, and if Trump declines to do so, he would not be the first. He’d be the fourth, following John Adams, John Quincy Adams, and Andrew Johnson. A gracious transfer of power is always in the best interest of the nation, and Trump would do himself a favor if he just sucked it up and pretended to be a statesman. I doubt that he will.

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Comment Of The Day: “From The Law Vs. Ethics Files: This Controversy Has Everything—Fine Art, Nazis, Lawsuits, Sheep…”


Genie Baskir, who has commented on Ethics Alarms since 2011 and averages about two entries a year, makes her latest comment count: it’s an unusually tough and moving Comment of the Day, on the post, From The Law Vs. Ethics Files: This Controversy Has Everything—Fine Art, Nazis, Lawsuits, Sheep…:

Everything was stolen from Leone and her own children and grandchildren. The painting represents the hole in her life and that of her descendants whether obvious or not. The University of Oklahoma’s insistence on keeping the spoils of Holocaust looting represents the continued suffering of every victim of massacre and mass murder since WWII. Overcoming this trauma does not absolve offspring collaborators of their offenses and, let me make this clear, the University of Oklahoma is an offspring collaborator. It knows that Leone Meyer was in the subordinate position in this negotiation and now it wants to continue it descendant collaboration in mass murder and looting because it thinks it can just like the first Nazis held their collective victims’ feet to the fire 80 years ago.

The majority of Holocaust survivors are dead now but their children know and remember the hole in their collective lives as they are collateral victims themselves. We know and remember. Leone Meyer knows and remembers.

My own mother died not ever knowing what happened to her parents and brother. Both of my parents were sole survivors of large extended families. Imagine having no grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins or any close blood relations. Imagine being a child processing that everyone of immediate consequence has been murdered. I claim no uniqueness. Massacres and the resulting survivors are still a common occurrence. What’s missing is the empathy and compassion of those who have not that knowledge.

When my mother, aged 15, returned to her home after walking across Poland in late 1944 the next door neighbor, stunned that she survived, reported that the home had been looted by all of the neighbors. He then returned to her a doll and her movie star picture albums. The neighbor then told her to get out of town or she would be murdered by her other neighbors who were complicit in the disappearance of the Jewish families.

The back of the returned movie star pictures had my mother’s mother’s handwriting on them. This handwriting is the only extant evidence that Augusta Pecenik Fischer ever lived at all. Lucky for me that no one is fighting me for these artifacts.

If possession is 9/10ths of the law and the painting is still in France then let France continue to atone for its own collaboration in mass murder. Who will enforce the Oklahoma District Judge’s Order anyway? Who does he or she think they are? After everything that has happened to us, we are afraid of a contempt order from a Judge with no enforcement ability anyway? This Judge is another offspring collaborator if he or she thinks those of us with knowledge care about the ruling.

The burden is on those of us with the knowledge of such tragedy and trauma to try and relieve the suffering of those who are continuing victims. The Judaicide of the 20th century is unique only in that its surviving victims had the strength and wherewithal to demand wholeness in the aftermath. No one was ever made whole but the ability to continue the struggle was rejuvenating as was the ability to start again with new families and offspring and new wealth.

Anyone who knew my mother in the United States without knowing what happened to her would never have guessed what was taken from her when she was just a little girl. Her suffering was never an exterior mien burdening all who met her. She channeled her efforts at wholeness into amassing her own impressive wealth and living well as her revenge. Leone Meyer is struggling for wholeness as represented by this great work of art and she is already the winner.

Offspring collaborators like the University of Oklahoma are empty vessels of opportunity mixed with ignorance and hatred for their moral obligations. We must pray for them to realize the errors of their ways.

Boxing Day Ethics Warm-Up, 2020: A Tip, An Obituary, A Prank, A Tell, And A Slug


Now this is a dedicated grandmother: my sister, who has been risk-averse her whole life, and who is my model of a Wuhan virus phobic, bought a used Winnebago, loaded up her old Havanese, and drove from Virginia to Los Angeles to spend Christmas and another three weeks with her son, his wife, and their seven month-old daughter. On the way cross country she parked her vehicle outside the homes of a series of strangers she was connected to by friends and friends of friends. Amazing.

1. There seem to be a few of these Christmas Ethics Heroes every year. In Bartonsville, Illinois, an occasional restaurant customer on Christmas Eve morning left a 2,000 dollar tip—in cash—for the 19-person staff of the Bartonsville diner. The man didn’t even leave his full name, just “Tony,” though he is apparently the son of a regular who joined him for breakfast. “He just said, ‘Merry Christmas,'” the owner told reporters. “How generous of somebody to do that, especially somebody who doesn’t come in that often. Nobody was expecting it, that’s for sure.”

2. How do you write an obnoxious obituary? Here’s how you write an obnoxious obituary. The Lagacy.com. entry for Grace McDonough, who died on December 21, concludes with this gratuitous and graceless—no pun intended—text:

The actions and inactions of the United States government regarding the Covid-19 virus has caused Grace McDonough and thousands of other nursing home residents to lose their lives to the Covid -19 virus. These same residents had successfully fought and won great battles against other diseases and conditions and yet were placed in harm’s way during the pandemic. These frail, elderly, sick and vulnerable innocents were not protected by the government they supported, fought for, contributed to and now depended on. Shame on the United States government! We, as their loved ones, have the right to be profoundly sad and profoundly angry at the same time. May our loved ones now rest in peace. It is the least they deserve.

Grace was 95 years old. She lived in a nursing home, where residents are in close confinement and where pandemic infections were and are especially deadly. Attributing the death of a 95-year-old on the undefined “actions and inactions” of the government demonstrates a) a dangerous gullibility to Democratic propaganda b) denial of reality and c) the continuation of  what is probably a pattern of looking for someone to blame for every misfortune. Fark, the humorous news aggregator website infected itself with predictable leftist bias, termed the obituary “fierce.” I would call it signature significance indicating a family teeming with jerks.

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Unwrapped Ethics, Christmas, 2020, Because Ethics Never Takes a Holiday [Corrected]


I hope everyone manages to have the best, most love-filled, happy Christmas possible. Everyone but me and the dog are sick, depressed are both in my household, but I’m making it work. It will be a “Christmas Story”-style Chinese food Christmas, though, the way it’s shaking out.

1. Now THIS is an unethical home Christmas decoration…


…except that according to the story, the neighbors don’t mind. At great expense, Jason Pieper erected this 900 pound thing after purchasing it at an auction for over $2,000. He then decorated surrounding trees with blue and white lights to follow the theme: remember those blue light specials? To me, this would seem to be a bit out of whack with the spirit of the holiday, but perhaps no more than the giant Christmas Imperial Walker, the 20 foot inflatable penguin and some of the monstrosities in my neighborhood.

2. Workplace ethics. Jeffrey Toobin should feel too bad. An L.A. County Sheriff’s deputy had his radio mic open while he was in flagrante delicto. His sex partner was moaning over his panting as the dispatcher from the Sheriff’s station tried to get her deputy’s attention without success. “The deputy was immediately relieved of duty,” the Sheriff’s office informed the media.

Americans are becoming such prudes.

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Unethical Quote Of The Day: Dr. Deborah Birx

Gag me with a spoon

“I will have to say, this experience has been a bit overwhelming.It has been very difficult on my family.I think what was done in the past week to my family — you know, they didn’t choose this for me. They’ve tried to be supportive, but to drag my family into this..”

Dr. Deborah Birx, the Trump administration’s Wuhan virus response coordinator, in the course of announcing her retirement, apparently out of pique for being justly hammered in the media and social media for violating her own guidelines over the holidays.

As the “Saved by the Bell” girls were indicating above, gag me with a spoon. It took everything in my power not to headline this post “Dr. Birx is an asshole.” I’m still sorely tempted.

She is the one who directly and arrogantly did exactly what she cautioned “the little people” not to do, as I wrote about here (item #4). How dare the woman play the victim, and especially how dare she play the “leave my family out of it!” card when it was she who involved her family by joining them in doing exactly what she said everyone else’s family—well, everyone but elected officials— couldn’t do. To make her family whining worse, it was her own family member that blew the whistle on her!

Birx went on to say,

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Comment Of The Day: “The Throw-Away Puppy”


Here is JP’s Comment of the Day on the post, “The Throw-Away Puppy”

It seems like every holiday I see a post that is similar to this. Don’t give a new dog for Christmas. Don’t give rabbits/ducks for Easter. Don’t get turkey’s for Thanksgiving (apparently a thing out here in rural Missouri). So when my oldest son asked for a turtle for his birthday this year, I immediately said no. Of course, in his mind, this wasn’t fair. His younger brother had bought a beta fish with his birthday money. As such he thought he deserved something similar. I told him there was a big difference between a fish that lives for a few years at most and a turtle that can live up to 50+ years. If he was getting a turtle, he was in for a life-time commitment and he was too young to make that decision (at 37 I think I’m too young to make that decision).

Too many people live in the now. They want instant gratification. When that gratification wears off, they tend to move on to the next thing. This is the main reason why pets make terrible gifts: they are long term commitments. For context, lets look at how long.

The average life of a dog and a cat depending on a breed is 12 years. This assumes they are healthy for most of their life. For a horse 25-30 years. Rabbits are 10 year commitments. Hamsters and Guinea pigs fall into the 2-5 year range. Snakes, depending on the breed can live between 15-20 years. Goldfish are a lot harder to tell. Though most don’t live past a year, many have lived for decades with the oldest one in captivity living to 43. The lifespan off all of these pets illustrates the same thing: if you take on the responsibility, you should realize you are in it or the long haul.

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The Hunter Biden Laptop Story Suppression

Hunter and Joe

When people—like me—say that the 2020 election was stolen, they are not necessarily claiming that mass voter fraud changed the winner. They—and I—are saying that our democracy was not allowed to work because of a de facto conspiracy of the Big Tech firms and the mainstream news media to withhold important information from the voting public that they not only had a need to know, they had a right to know, in order to make an informed decision at the voting booth, or, sadly, the mail box. This was a disinformation campaign of more than four years in duration, but the latest example has proven to be the most infuriating: the suppression, in the closing weeks of the campaign, of the news that suspicious emails pointing to extensive influence peddling by Joe Biden’s black sheep son had been found on a discarded laptop belonging to the younger Biden.

Because there is disinformation about what happened still being peddled in the comments here, I’m going to revisit the issue. It raised its hoary head again after it was announced—by Hunter, a convenient distance from the election— that the Justice Department was investigating him over “tax’ matters. This, it should be said, was more obfuscation and misdirection. The documents published by the NY Post the in the weeks before the election—and subsequently buried and discredited by the rest of the news media— contained information about that, but we now know the investigation has been far broader. We know because now that the election is over, and Biden safely elected, reporters are finally asking questions.

Politico reported Monday night that “The federal investigation into President-elect Joe Biden’s son Hunter has been more extensive than a statement from Hunter Biden indicates,” Specifically, “the securities fraud unit in the Southern District of New York also scrutinized Hunter Biden’s finances”; “investigators in Delaware and Washington were also probing potential money laundering and Hunter Biden’s foreign ties”; and “federal authorities in the Western District of Pennsylvania are conducting a criminal investigation of a hospital business in which Joe Biden’s brother James was involved.” CNNs Shimon Prokupecz reported that “at least one of the matters investigators have examined is a 2017 gift of a 2.8-carat diamond that Hunter Biden received from CEFC [China Energy’]’s founder and former chairman Ye Jianming after a Miami business meeting.”

Incidentally, here is Politico’s stance before November 2:

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Ethics Dunces: Cavan van Ulft And Lindsay Noad, And By The Way, Where Is Child Services?

Rory van

The tale of Rory van Ulft, the seven-year-old competitive weight-lifter, puts me in mind of Samuel Johnson’s famous quip about a dog walking on its hind legs: “It’s not done well; but you are surprised to find it done at all.” According to one gushing profile, “Rory, who is just four feet tall, started training just after her fifth birthday after she was scouted at a gymnastics class. Fast forward to last week and she was crowned USA weightlifting under-11 and under-13s Youth National Champion in the 30kg weight class. She is the youngest US youth national champion in history and is the best pound-for-pound under-11s lifter in the US.”

Here’s another:

She has an Instagram account, managed by her parents [ Cavan and Lindsay] where the videos of her incredible feats are shared. Take a look at one such clip and prepare to get stunned….“I like getting stronger. Being stronger lets me do more and get better at everything I try. I don’t think about what came before, or what will come after. I don’t think about anything. I just clear my mind and do it,” she [said]….“Based on her current Sinclair total, Rory is not only the strongest seven-year-old in the world. She is likely also the strongest seven-year-old girl or boy who has ever lived, for whom there are verifiable competition results,” Rory’s dad told LadBible….

What do you think of this amazing girl?

I think, like the twin boys of “The Biking Vogels,” Abbie Sunderland, tiny gymnasts and skaters, child actors dragged to auditions and all the other children manipulated, exploited and ultimately endangered or harmed by their parents, Rory needs some responsible adult to step in and rescue her.

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Comment Of The Day: “Confession: I Wimped Out”


I am slowly catching up on languishing Comments of the Day. Where a Humble Talent comment is involved, I don’t feel too badly about a late posting; like Mrs. Q, Chris Marschner, Glenn Logan, Steve-O and others, he is a master of the form and has hardly been neglected. This post, from November, relates to the suddenly lively topic of the duty to confront, and is also a cherished genre here, the personal reminiscence.

Here is Humble Talent’s Comment of the Day on the post, Confession: I Wimped Out:

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Roald Dahl And The Imaginary Apology


In “Airport,” the ’70s disaster movie, actress Maureen Stapleton (above) has a memorable and moving moment at the end of the movie, greeting the disembarking passengers on the plane nearly brought down by her disturbed husband’s bomb, and saying, tearfully, “I’m sorry! I’m so sorry!” She received an Oscar nomination for it. But the passengers weren’t going to forgive the man who nearly killed them because his wife was apologizing. What makes the scene so touching is her desperation and guilt when she did nothing to feel guilty about. Her apology, no matter how emotional, was meaningless to those who were receiving it.

Roald Dahl, who died in 1990 at the age of 74,was a famed and critically acclaimed writer of classic children’s books like “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,”“The BFG,” “Matilda,” and “The Witches.” He was also, by his own admission, an anti-Semite, complete with a belief in “Jewish bankers” controlling world economies. Now that writers and artists face “cancellation” from the self-empowered censors of the cancel culture, his family has taken to Dahl’s “official website” to offer an apology to the world.

“The Dahl family and the Roald Dahl Story Company deeply apologise for the lasting and understandable hurt caused by some of Roald Dahl’s statements,” read the online statement.. “Those prejudiced remarks are incomprehensible to us and stand in marked contrast to the man we knew and to the values at the heart of Roald Dahl’s stories, which have positively impacted young people for generations. We hope that, just as he did at his best, at his absolute worst, Roald Dahl can help remind us of the lasting impact of words.”

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