Res Ipsa Loquitur: “State Election Board Report –November 13, 2020 Unabridged Notes Detailing Everything Witnessed Nov 2-Nov 7, 2020”

Report

Tell me again how there is no reason to doubt the integrity of the 2020 Presidential election, and how President Trump’s claims that the election was “stolen” are baseless, and how any skeptic who states that the vote totals may have been manipulated is “lying.”

A private report from a contractor hired by Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to monitor the Atlanta-area election process” was released yesterday by Just the News.

The report chronicles seven days of problems, unexplained behavior, and ominous irregularities.

Constructed like a minute-by-minute diary, contractor Carter Jones cited double-counting of votes, insecure storage of ballots, possible violations of voter privacy, the mysterious removal of election materials at a vote collection warehouse, and the suspicious movement of “too many” ballots on Election Day.

“This seems like a massive chain of custody problem,” Jones warned in the memo delivered by his firm Seven Hill Strategies to Raffensperger’s office shortly after the election. (Why we are only seeing it now is a topic for investigation all its own.) That obervation occured at 4:00 p.m. on Election Day, as Jones observed absentee ballots arriving at the county’s central absentee scanning center at Atlanta’s State Farm Arena “in rolling bins 2k at a time.” “It is my understanding is that the ballots are supposed to be moved in numbered, sealed boxes to protect them,” he wrote. They weren’t. He also observes, “Too many ballots coming in for secure black ballot boxes,” he observed.

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How Newt Gingrich Taught Me Why We Don’t Have An ACLU Any More

NewtGingrich

Many years ago, when I was just a little tiny ethicist and ran a research foundation for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, I was invited to a Chamber executive retreat. By far the most interesting feature was a working lunch with young Congressman Newt Gingrich as the speaker. This was long before most American knew about Newt, who was considered something of a wonk and proved it that afternoon.

Rep. Gingrich gave the clearest presentation of organizational structure and function I had ever heard or have read about since as part of his seminar on long-range planning. He handed out a chart showing a pyramid with “MISSION” at the point, “GOALS” beneath, “OBJECTIVES” beneath that, “STRATEGY” next going down, then “TACTICS,” and finally OPERATIONS as the long base. He went through many examples of failed and successful organizations, making many fascinating points, including (I still have my notes somewhere):

  • You can’t have a strong organization without a strong and clear mission.
  • An organization in which the goals start to become inconsistent with the mission will lose its integrity and direction.
  • If the organization’s strategies are polluted by parochial and personal goals of staff and leadership, the goals will become eccentric and scattershot, and mission will become meaningless.
  • Even the best mission cannot survive inadequate operations, which is why idealists and ideologues so often make poor leaders.
  • The best operations imaginable won’t save flawed mission (Newt’s example: Nazi Germany), and
  • “If you don’t know where you’re going, it’s easy to get there, but it won’t be worth the trip.”

I hadn’t thought about Newt’s private seminar for a long time, but it popped back into what passes for my head when I read this piece, “Once a Bastion of Free Speech, the A.C.L.U. Faces an Identity Crisis.”

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Belated Observations On Mara Gay’s Racist Anti-America Rant

mara Gay

I apologize for taking almost a week to cover this. I admit to having massive cognitive dissonance involving MSNBC, which long ago jumped the Megalodon and can no longer pretend to be anything but a pure progressive propaganda organ without objectivity, decency, honesty or moderation. Or shame, of course. Still, sometimes you can’t look away, as with a particularly gory roadside accident. When New York Times editorial board member Mara Gay, an “important editor” by the Times’ own admission who covers local politics, says this on national television, as she did to “Morning Joe,” attention must be paid, (even if its five days late):

“You know, the reality is here that we have a large percentage of the American population — I don’t know how big it is, but we have tens of millions of Trump voters who continue to believe that their rights as citizens are under threat by simple virtue of having to share the democracy with others. I think as long as they see Americanness as the same as one with whiteness, this is going to continue. We have to figure out how to get every American a place at the table in this democracy, but how to separate Americanness, America, from whiteness. Until we can confront that and talk about that, this is really going to continue. I was on Long Island this weekend, visiting a really dear friend. And I was really disturbed. I saw, you know, dozens and dozens of pickup trucks with you know, expletives against Joe Biden on the back of them, Trump flags, and in some cases, just dozens of American flags, which you know is also just disturbing, because essentially the message was clear, this is my country. This is not your country. I own this. And so until we’re ready to have that conversation, this is going to continue…Because, you know, the Trump voters who are not going to get onboard with democracy, they’re a minority. You can marginalize them, long-term. But if we don’t take the threat seriously, then I think we’re all in really bad shape.

For some strange reason, many people took offense at this. Not anyone at MSNBC, where basic journalism—which is not acknowledged there—required at least a “Wait, what did you just say?”, as ABC’s Ted Koppel essentially said 50 years ago  to Los Angeles Dodgers executive Al Campanis, who had explained on the air that there were no black major League managers because blacks “lacked the necessities” for the job. But no. Mika, Joe and the gang just nodded, as if Gay had explained that the world spins.

Al Campanis was fired. In contrast, the New York Times defended Gay, as if her comments were defensible. Not only were her comments indefensible on their face, the New York Times continuing to employ such a racist and hyper-partisan propagandist is indefensible. The Times tweeted,

“New York Times editorial board member Mara Gay’s comments on MSNBC have been irresponsibly taken out of context. Her argument was that Trump and many of his supporters have politicized the American flag. The attacks on her today are ill-informed and grounded in bad-faith.”

Ann Althouse, whose blog I continue to look in on now and then despite her declaring that her readers opinions and ideas annoy her, reacted,

“So I’m going to say that tweet is ill-informed and grounded in bad-faith! What a ridiculous blanket statement with no regard for the individuals who listened to Gay and made our own interpretations and expressed our opinions. It’s so hypocritical to obsessively protect her while attacking all her critics with broad-brush insults!”

It’s not hypocritical, it is revealing. The Times has the same ideological goal as Gay: undermine American values and pave the way for the radical undoing of American democracy using race as a wedge and weapon. If this was not the case, an editor who condemned “whiteness” in public would be treated exactly as one who condemned “blackness”: she would be fired, disgraced, and shunned as the racist she is.

A few additional points:

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Saturday Afternoon Ethics Picnic, 6/5/2020

Giant ants

And what’s a picnic without ants?

June 5, the day before D-Day, is another date chock full of ethics history. It doesn’t count, but Ronald Reagan died on this date in 2004: I was just thinking that the Great Stupid would have killed him. In Presidential history, this was the day, in 1888, President Grover Cleveland vetoed a bill that would have given a pension to war widow Johanna Loewinger, whose Civil War vet husband died 14 years after being discharged from the army. He was discharged a little less than a year after enlisting for what the army surgeon’s certificate called chronic diarrhea. Loewinger received his pension until he cut his throat in 1876. When Johanna applied for a widow’s pension it was denied; his suicide was not considered to be caused by his military service. Johanna argued that the death was part of the insanity triggered by his war service, and appealed to a member of Congress to petition Cleveland with a bill. But the President declared all previous inquests into the former soldier’s unfortunate death to be satisfactory. Mrs. Loewinger got no pension.

I always thought this was gutsy of Cleveland (or something), since he had paid someone to serve in the Union army for him after he was drafted. But there were bigger ethics landmarks on June 5:

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The Murder of Megan Montgomery And The Death Of Journalism [Corrected]

-megan-montgomery-jason-mcintosh

Here is the NBC News headline: “The state of Alabama took his gun away. When authorities gave it back, he shot and killed his wife.” Here is the sub-head: “Alabama authorities took his gun away after a violent domestic incident. Nine months later they gave it back, and he used it to shoot and kill his wife.”

And this is what readers don’t learn until, (let’s see) 17 paragraphs into the story:

“On the night of Feb. 23, 2019, [Megan] Montgomery and [Jason] McIntosh got into a physical altercation at their home. Fellow officers from McIntosh’s department responded to a 911 call from McIntosh, who reported that Montgomery had a gunshot wound. According to the responding officers, Montgomery said she had grabbed McIntosh’s duty weapon with her right hand for her own protection. The two began to struggle for the weapon. Montgomery, 5’8″ and 135 pounds, was shot in her upper right arm. McIntosh, 6’4” and 225 pounds, told the responding officers that during the struggle he thought Montgomery had his cell phone in her hand. According to the report, McIntosh said it was only when the gun went off and the bullet hit his wife that he realized they’d been fighting over a gun. Because McIntosh was a police officer, the head of the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency (ALEA) ordered Special Agent Vince Cunningham to investigate the incident….Cunningham took McIntosh’s firearm as evidence. He interviewed Montgomery on Feb. 26, 2019. She told him that during the incident “she was afraid,” according to the investigative summary written by Cunningham…The ALEA summary says that when Montgomery was asked if the shooting was an accident, she said yes. The summary also says that the officer who took Montgomery to the emergency room told Cunningham that when doctors asked Montgomery what happened, she told them, “He shot me.”….The district attorney did not file charges, concluding in a letter there was “no evidence of the commission of any felony offenses by either Mr. Mcintosh or Ms. Montgomery.” The DA left open the possibility that the City of Hoover could file a misdemeanor offense against either one of them. That never happened. Meanwhile, McIntosh was repeatedly texting ALEA Special Agent Cunningham asking to get his gun back, according to documentation reviewed by NBC News. McIntosh claimed he needed the gun to get a new private security job….Though he had used it as a duty weapon with the Hoover Police Department, the gun was his personal property.”

That is all material information necessary to understanding the tragic incident, isn’t it? Indeed, if the story is really intended to let readers know what happened and why, that part of the story needed to be part of the narrative, right at the beginning. Instead, the reporters set out to spin the facts to maximize anti-gun rights sentiment. An estranged wife with a history of physical altercations with her husband was shot and killed by him after an earlier incident involving his gun, after she had filed for divorce, after a restraining order, and after he had been given his gun back by the backwards state of Alabama. Outrageous! How could that happen?

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Waning Wednesday Ethics Wonders, 6/2/2021…

What’s the ethical reaction to this story? Angelia Mia Vargas, 24, has been charged with deadly conduct with a firearm after she accidentally shot her 5-year-old son while trying to shoot an over-enthusiastic 6-month-old boxer puppy that got loose from a neighbor and was running through her yard. Neither the dog nor the boy were seriously injured. My reflex reaction, I confess, was, “HA! That should teach this idiot something about gun safety!” and then I instantly regretted it. The child was innocent: what really would have been condign justice was if her shot hit her car’s gas tank and it blew up. Shooting herself in the foot would have been good. “She could have handled it differently,” said Bruno the puppy’s owner. Ya think? Here’s the terrifying beast that Angelia thought justified deadly force:

Bruno

Should this woman have custody of a child? [Pointer: valkygrrl]

1. The rest of the story….There were a record number of Tulsa Race Massacre demonstrations on Memorial Day, as one might expect with “hate whitey” being the current fad. What was supposed to be the biggest one, in Tulsa of course, was cancelled after three survivors demanded $1 million each to appear. The May 31st Remember & Rise event was also supposed to feature John Legend and Stacey Abrams—boy, if only my sock drawer hadn’t been in such bad shape!– but it was called off because Viola Fletcher, 107, her brother Hughes Van Ellis, 100 and Lessie Benningfield Randle, 106, increased their appearance fee from $100,000 each to $1 million each. Their lawyers also demanded that a reparations fund be increased from the agreed-upon $2 million to $10 million. What does this tell us about how reparations would turn out if the U.S. were ever so unhinged as to agree to them?

I did learn that the young African-American, Dick Rowland, whose arrest after a white woman accused him of rape (or something) during an encounter in an elevator was the fuse for the violence wasn’t prosecuted. He was released, left Tulsa, and never returned.

I wonder why…

2. Here I go, obsessing about group identity again...In New York, the “Career Opportunities in the Accounting Profession” program, sponsored by the New York State Society of Certified Public Accountants and the Moynihan Scholarship Fund, will introduce 250 “promising underrepresented high school students” to the accounting profession. The program will include virtual sessions about forensic accounting, interviewing skills, public speaking, networking, and an “accounting profession overview” featuring a panel discussion with experts in the profession. What a great idea! Nine institutions, including Ithaca College, Medgar Evers College, Rochester Institute of Technology, St. John’s University, Siena College, SUNY New Paltz, SUNY Oswego, the University at Buffalo, and Westchester Community College co-host the program, which is free of charge for students.

Oh—white students may not apply. The online application for the program includes options for Hispanic, Black, Asian, and Native American students, but no option for white students. When confronted about the apparent discrimination involved, SUNY Oswego Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Scott Furlong huminahumina-ed that “SUNY Oswego participates in supporting the program and sees this as a beneficial service to the profession, but we strongly believe that all disadvantaged students would benefit from the COAP program.While we do not participate in recruiting the student participants in COAP or in the setting of policy for student membership, SUNY Oswego would prefer a more inclusive perspective regarding membership in COAP and the NYSSCPA policy…[which would] “align with SUNY Oswego’s ethos that is rooted in diversity of thought and people, equitable practices and policies, and inclusive experiences.” Furlong said that the matter “merits much future discussion for the purposes of having SUNY Oswego reassess our involvement and reconsider our sponsorship.”

Meanwhile, his institution will continue to participate in a program that discriminates against white students.

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Two Wins For Law And Ethics Over Ideology

DC RULES_blind justice

Judges are proving less partisan and ideologically driven than the increasingly totalitarian Left had hoped.

1. In Vitolo v. Guzman, the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals at Cincinnati ruled last week that the federal government violates the equal protection clause when it considers race or sex in in allocating Wuhan virus relief funds. Following the same track as the earlier case discussed here, the Court agreed that the U.S. Small Business Administration violated the Constitution by giving preference to minority- and women-owned restaurants.

Antonio Vitolo and his wife own a restaurant called Jake’s Bar and Grill. Vitolo is white, his wife is Hispanic, and they each own 50% of the restaurant. Of course, Jake could have gamed the easily manipuated SBA system by just handing his wife the extra 1%. The government requires small businesses to be at least 51% owned by women, veterans or “socially and economically disadvantaged” people to jump to the head of the line, because someone is presumed to be socially disadvantaged if they are a member of a designated racial or ethnic group. A person is considered economically disadvantaged if they are socially disadvantaged, and they face diminished capital and credit opportunities. In such a system, whether the business owner being given preference has actually been disadvantaged doesn’t matter. He or she is presumed to be disadvantaged. This nicely follows the circular logic of Critical Race Theory.

The group preferences are taken into consideration during the first 21 days in which the Small Business Administration awards the pandemic grants to restaurants. After priority applications submitted during that period are processed, the Small Business Administration processes grant requests in the order that they were received. That is, white men come last.

The 6th Circuit majority said Vitolo and his wife are entitled to an injunction forcing the government to grant their application, if approved, before all later-filed applications, and that their color and gender should be irrelevant. The government did not demonstrate a “compelling interest” justifying preferences based on race or sex.

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How Do We Stop This? Once Again, It’s Word-Banning Time At An Institution That Should Know Better

Rutgers-Law-School-Article-202101111459

Not only is Ethics Alarms adamantly opposed to the current effort by the rising totalitarian Left to ban words on the grounds that they might be “hurtful,” I have taken a vow on the issue. I artculated it here, concluding,

“My pledge: I will regard all words in the English language as among the tools I have to speak with, write with, argue with, joke with, and most importantly, think with. I will gladly be accountable when I use any words irresponsibly, but I will not submit to efforts to drag me and my society into the world of Big Brother, by accepting efforts to literally eliminate any of my tools, or attempts to decree that some Americans can use certain words, and others cannot. Fuck that.

That was in November of 2019. The post covered several unethical examples of employees, writers and teachers being punished, even dismissed, for quoting the word “nigger” in circumstances where no one could possibly conclude that the word was being used by the speaker to denigrate anyone. This incidents seemed so self-evidently ridiculous and such obvious incursions on the principle of free speech and expression that I, naive Pollyanna that I am, assumed that they were outliers and aberrations. Instead, such episodes have become more common in the year and a half since, and are given increasing validity as the shadow of The Great Stupid covers the fruited plain.

One can track many of the recent examples using the Ethics Alarms tag, “nigger.” And if you think you are “harmed” by a blog tag, I have some psychiatric facilities I can refer you to.

The latest of these has occurred at Rutgers, already a long-standing nest of woke insanity. A white first-year law student student at Rutgers Law School quoted a line from a 1993 U.S.Supreme Court decision, State v. Bridges, 133 N.J. 447. when discussing a case during a professor’s virtual office hours. The student was recorded, while discussing the circumstances under which a criminal defendant could be held liable for crimes committed by his co-conspirators, reading a quote from a defendant that first appeared in an opinion written by a former State Supreme Court judge, Alan B. Handler. “He said, um — and I’ll use a racial word, but it’s a quote,” the student said, “He says, ‘I’m going to go to Trenton and come back with my niggers.’”

In early April, in response to the incident, a group of Black first-year students at Rutgers Law began circulating a petition calling for the creation of a policy on racial slurs and formal, public apologies from the student and the professor, Vera Bergelson. “At the height of a ‘racial reckoning,’ a responsible adult should know not to use a racial slur regardless of its use in a 1993 opinion,” states the petition, which has been signed by law school students and campus organizations across the country. “We vehemently condemn the use of the N-word by the student and the acquiescence of its usage,” the petition says.

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Greer’s Ranch Cafe Et Al. v. The United States Small Business Administration: No Government Discrimination Based On Race Or Gender Means No Government Discrimination Based On Race Or Gender

OK to be white

When the government says that it isn’t OK to be white (or male), that’s not just unfair, it’s unconstitutional. Why is this so hard to grasp? Why is it controversial?

Texas federal district court Judge Reed O’Connor ruled last week that the Biden Administration was engaged in racial and gender discrimination in the administration of pandemic relief funds under the American Rescue Plan Act. NO! The BIDEN ADMINISTRATION handing out special benefits to women and blacks to the disadvantage of whites based on no other distinctions but race and gender? Impossible! Completely out of character!

Thanks, I had a huge sarcasm lump in my gorge that showed up on my last X-ray as a horseshoe crab. Whew! Finally got that thing out!

Judge O’Connor found that the Biden administration deliberately engaged in systemic gender and race discrimination in implementing Wuhan virus relief for American restaurants. Café owner Philip Greer sued the Small Business Administration arguing that he needs the same financial assistance as minority restauranteurs under the newly enacted American Rescue Plan Act, since his Greer’s Ranch Café lost over $100,000 during the pandemic. But Greer learned that he could not receive benefits from the Restaurant Restoration Fund approved by Congress because he is the “wrong” gender and the “wrong” color.

The White House and the Democratic-controlled Congress want women, minorities and “socially and economically disadvantaged” people” to be first in line. $2.7 billion already has been distributed through the fund and there are almost 150,000 pending applications from owners who will get preferential treatment over Greer. The SBA confirms it already has requests for $65 billion in payments under the fund. Greer worries that he might not get any assistance at all….because he is white. And—yecchh!—male.

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Oops! So Much For That Gun Confiscation Plan…

SCOTUS cartoon

…at least until they pack the Supreme Court, of course….but with lackeys, not liberals.

The Biden Administration, eager to pave the way for the gun confiscation it claims it never would dream of, is eager to expand the “community caretaking” exception from a 1973 case, Cady v. Dombrowski, in which an officer took a gun out of an impounded car without a warrant. The Supreme Court ruled then that police could conduct such warrantless searches as a “community caretaking function” as long as they did so in a “reasonable” manner.

Since the Progressive Borg considers “sensible gun controls” inherently reasonable, and since they (it?) regards the Second Amendment as inherently dangerous to the community, the government argued that“community caretaking” should extend to homes as well as cars.

A Rhode Island man, Edward Caniglia, sued after police officers searched his home and seized two handguns without a warrant in 2015. During an argument with his wife, Caniglia had placed a handgun on the dining room table and asked her to “shoot [him] and get it over with.” His wife left and called the police the next day. She was worried that her husband had shot himself. The police found Caniglia on his porch, alive. He agreed to go to the hospital for psychiatric evaluation “on the condition that the officers would not confiscate his firearms.” But when he did, the police searched his home anyway, and seized his gun.

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