Unethical Quote Of The Month: Rep. Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY)

“My experience here has given me a front-row seat to how deeply and unconsciously, as well as consciously, so many people in this country hate women…”

—The always entertaining AOC in a fawning puff-piece in GQ, which never felt that putting Mrs. Trump on its cover was appropriate, but now features the supposed working class heroine in a series of glamor shots in the current issue.

So let’s see: in the past seven days, the President has called half the public a “clear and present danger”s” to democracy and “semi-fascists,” and one of his party’s shining stars called a different half “misogynists.”

Did you know that Republicans are hateful and divisive?

AOC goes on to say,

And they hate women of color. People ask me questions about the future. And realistically, I can’t even tell you if I’m going to be alive in September. And that weighs very heavily on me. And it’s not just the right wing. Misogyny transcends political ideology: left, right, center.

Racist, bigoted and sexist—that’s AOC’s view of the United States of America. This is why, she tells GQ, she will probably never be President: “I admit to sometimes believing that I live in a country that would never let that happen.”

Right. That’s why she will never be President.

Continue reading

Afternoon Ethics Woolgathering, 7/20/2022: Conspiracies And Condign Justice

July 20 should be permanently recognized as Conspiracy Theory Day. It’s the anniversary of Neil Armstrong walking on the moon in 1969, and the event spawned one of the most hilarious of all conspiracy theories, that the whole thing was faked by NASA. Many believe it still. This one is an anti-government conspiracy theory, so perhaps the “Truthers” fantasy that George W. Bush bombed the Pentagon and Twin Towers on 9/11 has passed it. Or maybe the theory that a Kennedy assassination conspiracy involving President Johnson and the CIA is at the top of the list. My 8th grade history professor told our class that it was a fact that FDR conspired to let the Japanese bomb Pearl Harbor so the U.S. would enter the war.

A friend from childhood, smart to the point of brilliance, who once commented here often, sincerely believes that Barack Obama’s natural born citizenship is a hoax.

These conspiracy theories that cause people to believe their own government is a malign force are very harmful. More harmful yet is the current environment, where both political parties are vigorously pursuing conspiracy theories against the other.

It does not help the situation that some conspiracy theories, like the one that long held that the government was withholding evidence of unidentified flying objects, turn out to be true.

1. Condign justice dept. “Condign justice” was a term I never heard or read before George Will started using it. Then I stopped reading George Will, whose NeverTrumpism revealed him to be a classist hypocrite, requiring me to use it. Today’s example is the mayors of New York City and Washington D.C. complaining bitterly about being inundated with illegal immigrants. New York is suffering in great part because of its proud position as a “sanctuary city,” thus encouraging illegals to violate our laws. NYC Mayor Eric Adams demanded yesterday that the federal government help pay for what he said was a wave of illegal immigrants pouring into the city, as he whined about the city’s “safety net” being strained by busloads of people coming from border states and elsewhere. (CBS News helpfully apes Adams in calling the border-breachers “asylum-seekers,” hoping to cover-up what they really are.)  Awww. Well gee, Mayor, if you didn’t openly invite them and say they would be welcomed and protected from our mean old laws, maybe there wouldn’t be so darn many.

Some old saw about making beds seems to be appropriate here. Idiot. Continue reading

How Can Anyone Trust An Elected Official That Does This?

Yes, that’s the Honorable Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, after breaking the law in a useless protest before the Supreme Court building, pretending to be handcuffed for the crowd, and then, ridiculously, deciding that a gesture of defiance was better, so she drops the shackled act and raises her arm.

Her fellow Squadder Ilhan Omar also faked handcuffs or zip-ties.

This cynical play-acting is signature significance for frauds, hucksters, scammers and liars. No one with integrity does this. No one with instincts better than a 12-year-old tries it either. The charade proves disrespect for the public, and confidence that they can get away with outright deception without consequences.

They might as well have faked limps, or spilled ketchup on their foreheads.

If elected officials will try this kind of childish fakery, what else are they capable of lying about?

The answer is “Everything.”

From The “Bias Makes You Stupid”—But Funny!— Files, The Unethical Tweet Of The Week: Daily Beast Editor Justin Baragona

googly eyes

No, actually it appears that this editor of a progressive website is so steeped in confirmation bias that he made thatabsurd accusation without checking because Carlton is an eeeeevil conservative, and there is nothing he won’t stoop to in order to make the Right’s foes look bad. Literally.

You see, that’s Rep. Ocasio-Cortez’s real face. Her eyes bug out all the time; it was one of the first things I noticed about her. Imagine, an editor in the journalism profession tweets out a completely false assertion without doing the minimal amount of verification, which would have been watching the woman in any interview, or perusing the photos on Google. If Baragona had the requisite amount of shame, fairness and decency, he would apologize to Tucker, apologize to AOC for saying she has googly eyes (she does, but it’s not polite to say so), and take a leave of absence without pay for making the Daily Beast look like the hack cyber-rag it is.

Nah, he couldn’t even manage the apology part. He pulled the tweet, and wrote,

lame retraction

And this, gentle reader, is how a website joins Breitbart, The Gateway Pundit, The Smoking Gun, and a couple of others on the Ethics Alarms Untrustworthy Sources List.

At least the Daily Beast gave me a good and hardy laugh on the way to oblivion.

Now the evil Toon played by Christopher Lloyd in “Who Framed Roger Rabbit/” REALLY had googly eyes.

Googly eyes

_____________________

Pointer: Twitchy

Stop Making Me Defend President Trump! Those Stupid Tweets Are Many Things, But They Aren’t “Racist”

CNN called them racist yesterday (so did Huffpo, but you know—Huffpo.). That’s not journalism. You tell the public about a statement, and you let others of note or credibility characterize it. It is particularly unethical journalism to cross the line into characterizing a statement and to characterize it falsely to conform to a false narrative or “big lie,” which the “Trump is a racist” assertion is.

Ann Althouse, bless her, saved me the time of explaining why yesterday’s stupid tweets, which I posted about here, are not racist in her first blog post this morning. No one should have to explain that the tweets weren’t racist, since they weren’t, and have no characteristic of racism whatsoever. Critics who choose that cheap route should have to explain why the tweets are racist, using the actual definition, which the accusation defies. Here is Althouse, after repeating the original set of tweets: Continue reading

“Live By The Gotcha!, Die By The Gotcha!”: Another Hilarious Episode of That Hit Sitcom, “I Love AOC” [UPDATED]

Picking on typos, obvious errors and botched rhetoric is the lowest form of political criticism, but the Get Trump! forces have not been able to resist, given the President’s careless tweeting, 7th grade vocabulary and addiction to hyperbole and hearsay. Now such cheap shots are considered standard fare.

Over the weekend, CNN and others made a lot of fun of Fox News for showing a chryon that stated “TRUMP CUTS AID TO 3 MEXICAN COUNTRIES.” The Fox News talking heads correctly reported the story ( about the President cutting aid to three Central American countries), but the Left’s Fox News-bashers couldn’t help themselves.

Some wrote that the error was typical Fox News ignorance. Adam Serwer, a staff writer for The Atlantic, tweeted that “this is less an error than an expression of Fox News’ underlying sentiment towards most Latinos.” RAICES, a group that provides immigrants with legal services, called it “a new low for Fox News, when we thought they couldn’t go lower.” Journalists even suggested that “Fox & Friends Weekend” needs a more diverse staff. Continue reading

Morning Ethics Warm-Up, 3/13/2019: The Defending The Unsavory Edition

Good morning from Alexandria, VA.!

I love Atlanta, but it sure is good to be home.

1. I just posted this note on Facebook to make my “friends'” heads explode:

Rep. Ocasio-Cortez:: “I know when I was growing up, I didn’t see any women like me in positions of leadership, And so when you’re only seeing white dudes just like, running the world, you think you need to act like a white dude to run the world.” She’s a stone-cold bigot as well as arrogant and ignorant. There is no “acting like a white dude” any more than acting like a black dude, or a gay dude, or acting “Asian,” or “acting like a girl.” The woman is an idiot, and is being given a pass by progressives and the media…and many of YOU. She embarrasses her party , the House and her generation just about every time she opens her mouth. Ocasio-Cortez even manages to be an embarrassment to Socialists, which I didn’t think was possible.

2. Now Stop making me defend AOC!Ocasio-Cortez Blames Pipeline That Hasn’t Been Built Yet For An Oil Spill” is a typical headline around conservative media today. It’s a cheap shot: the lively Miss O-C got here South Dakota pipelines mixed up, as would I, as would you. This is the kind of biased and petty “gotchas!’ that these same pundits complain about when the mainstream news media uses them on President Trump. Hypocrites, all of them. The exact same principle applies to Trump and Ocasio-Cortez: they say enough things that genuinely deserved to be criticized without manufacturing targets for mockery.

3.  And stop making me defend Pete Davidson, too! SNL’s Pete Davidson, the same smug jerk who mocked candidate, now Congressman, Dan Crenshaw for wearing an eyepatch (he lost an eye in combat) is under fire again for this joke: Continue reading

Bad Tweets

There are enough unethical, dumb, disturbing and occasionally  illuminating tweets from organizations and public figures every day to devote a whole blog to them; indeed, this is what Twitchy does, albeit with a strong conservative bias. I’m not going to make a habit of it, but these are too ethically provocative to pass up:

1. Here’s a tweet from conservative host and pundit Erick Erickson, a prominent NeverTrumper:

What does this even mean? The Constitution insists on free speech; how is the government enforcing Constitutional principles that ensure freedom, “not free’? The Executive Order he was reacting to only affects government-supported colleges and universities (obviously). Erickson is no idiot: this is Trump Derangement—if President Trump does it, it’s wrong— at its saddest. Combine that with Twitter, and the result is sadly predictable.

2. I don’t see how anyone can argue with Federalist editor Mollie Hemingway here, reacting to a tweet from CNN legal commentator (and Democrat) that is part of a general effort by the mainstream media to cushion the blow for “resistance” members when the Mueller report fails to show that President Trump had a traitorous deal with Russia to steal the election:

Continue reading

Ethics Observations On The Amazon-NYC Blow-Up

Amazon shocked the Big Apple yesterday by announcing that it was cancelling plans for a corporate “campus,” aka.headquarters, in Queens. Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio had promoted the deal, which would have given Amazon $3 billion in tax breaks in exchange for bringing Big Tech to the city and creating an estimated 25,000 jobs, among other benefits.  Anti-corporate and neighborhood activists, however, including elected officials like Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, led opposition to the arrangement, based substantially on the objection to “corporate welfare” to one of the richest companies on Earth. Now Democrats are pointing fingers at each other, and everyone’s mad at Amazon.

At its core, this fiasco is an ethics conflict, with the absolutist ideals of rigid ideology opposing the ethics of the real world.

Amazon: The company is both popular and flush. It can literally take its business anywhere, and many communities will pay for the privilege. The company did nothing unethical in seeking the most advantageous deal it could get. Large employers help a community’s economy. Because they have many choices, it makes sense for them to shop around. It is not unethical to ask for a tax break to choose a city like New York, and it is not even unethical to demand such a break. It is certainly not unethical to accept one, and similarly, not unethical to reject such a deal because, as an Amazon spokesperson said yesterday, Looking at the opposition and the timeline we decided we don’t want to work in this environment in the long term.” Amazon “became increasingly concerned that the backlash in New York showed no sign of abating and was tarnishing its image beyond the city,” J. David Goodman wrote in the New York Times.

It’s their money, their business, their decision. Amazon is not a public charity, nor is it obligated to behave like one. Continue reading

Ethics Warm-Up, 2/8/2019: Coming Out Of My Green New Deal-Induced Coma Edition

Good afternoon!

Sorry; this was all set to go up by 10 am until I read the Green New Deal, and it sent me back to bed.

1. Green New Deal-related, he typed warily: Let’s see if the news media and pundits are as scrupulous about transparent flip-flops when they come from a cute socialist. During an interview with NPR, host Steve Inskeep pointed out to Rep. Ocasio-Cortez how much government involvement it would take to implement the so-called Green New Deal,” She responded,

“It does, it does, yeah, I have no problem saying that. Why? Because we have tried their approach for 40 years. For 40 years we have tried to let the private sector take care of this. They said, ‘We got this, we can do this, the forces of the market are going to force us to innovate.’ Except for the fact that there’s a little thing in economics called externalities. And what that means is that a corporation can dump pollution in the river and they don’t have to pay, but taxpayers have to pay.”

Then, a few hours later, Chuck Todd that same day asked Ocasio-Cortez about the same issue: wouldn’t this require a massive government take-over of private enterprise? This time, she resorted to Authentic Frontier Gibberish and said:

“I think one way that the right does try to mischaracterize, uh, what we’re doing as though it’s, like, some kind of massive government takeover. Obviously, it’s not that, because what we’re trying to do is release the investments from the federal government to mobilize those resources across the country.”

When the truth proves unpalatable, resort to double talk. There is no reason to trust anyone who does this. They are trying to deceive you.

2. But—But–I thought putting Kavanaugh on the Court meant that abortion was doomed, since all the justices appointed by Republicans vote in lockstep! The issue was whether a Louisiana law that required doctors to have admitting privileges in hospitals before they could provide abortions should be stayed pending a Supreme Court challenge. Justices Clarence Thomas, Samuel A. Alito Jr., Neil M. Gorsuch and Brett M. Kavanaugh wanted to deny the stay, with Kavanaugh writing in part,

[E]ven without a stay, the status quo will be effectively preserved for all parties during the State’s 45-day regulatory transition period. I would deny the stay without prejudice to the plaintiffs’ ability to bring a later as-applied complaint and motion for preliminary injunction at the conclusion of the 45-day regulatory transition period if the Fifth Circuit’s factual prediction about the doctors’ ability to obtain admitting privileges proves to be inaccurate….

The law has not yet taken effect, so the case comes to us in the context of a pre-enforcement facial challenge. That means that the parties have offered, in essence, competing predictions about whether those three doctors can obtain admitting privileges….

Before us, the case largely turns on the intensely factual question whether the three doctors—Doe 2, Doe 5, and Doe 6—can obtain admitting privileges. If we denied the stay, that question could be readily and quickly answered without disturbing the status quo or causing harm to the parties or the affected women, and without this Court’s further involvement at this time…. [D]uring the 45-day transition period, both the doctors and the relevant hospitals could act expeditiously and in good faith to reach a definitive conclusion about whether those three doctors can obtain admitting privileges….

Roberts joined the four Democratic appointees—the liberal wing, natch—to allow the stay. Conservatives are horrified, but all this means is that he’s evaluating the case on its merits as he sees it, not following a pre-determined ideological script in lock-step fashion, like, say, the four liberal justices he voted with.

It’s called integrity and independence. Good for Roberts. Maybe he can persuade other justices to view their roles similarly. Continue reading