Ethics Quote Of The Week: Ann Althouse

“If we — we individual Americans — can’t handle random snark from varied unknown sources, how can we live with the internet? Who cares if some foreigners are writing crap intended to deceive us into feeling more roiled up and divided than we’re able to do damned well on our own, often with the nudging of the New York Times?”

—Bloggress Ann Althouse, commenting on the strangely prominent front page New York Times story, “Russian Trolls Helped Fracture the Women’s March.”

The day after I complained about how often Althouse has been picking the same topics to write about as I am lately, she did it again. This time, I saw that front page story about 2017 and immediately thought, 1) “Who cares?” and 2) “Boy, I’m sure glad I stopped paying 90 bucks a month for the paper version of this full-time, declining, hyper-partisan propaganda rag.” And as I started to post about how the Times deems it front page worthy to go back five years and try to prove that Russian social media “disinformation” undermined an anti-Trump demonstration that was ridiculous to begin with, something made me check Ann’s blog.

Clearly, she was genuinely ticked off by the story. Althouse doesn’t really write that much in most of her posts, but she did this time, seeing this as entirely contrived and pretty obviously another stretch to swipe at Trump (and the legitimacy of his election): after all, Times readers (and reporters) all think that he was in cahoots with Putin regardless of what the evidence says. Two of Ann’s points,

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On John Fetterman’s Speech Problems…

..and neck problems? What the hell is that thing?

I have tried to find the full video of Pennsylvania Democrat John Fetterman’s “John Fetterwoman” speech that is supposed to show how bad his speaking problems are post-stroke, but so far I’ve failed. I was going to post one of the  edited videos that highlighted his problems, but decided that I couldn’t trust any of them.

Now the mainstream media, and notably NBC News, is (predictably) trying to rescue Fetterman and their clients, the Democratic Party. NBC wrote, “The videos include slight edits, such as cutting out the sound of the audience to make it appear as if he had abruptly stopped speaking (some of the stops occurred when he was pausing during moments of applause and crowd reaction, according to unedited videos seen by NBC News). Other edits cut Fetterman off mid-sentence, to create the perception that what he was saying was nonsensical…. The videos could run afoul of Twitter’s rules against political misinformation, even though they are still available…. Experts have warned that such lightly edited videos, also sometimes called ‘shallow fakes,’ can be particularly effective pieces of misinformation.” Continue reading

Ethics Quote Of The Day: Arizona Republican Gubernatorial Candidate Kari Lake

“Since when can we not ask questions about our elections? As a journalist for many years—I was a journalist after 2016 and I distinctly remember many people just like you, asking a lot of questions about the 2016 election results and nobody tried to shut you up….”

—-GOP candidate for Governor of Arizona Kari Lake, responding to a reporter who baited her with a “whataboutism” question referring to Donald Trump “dividing the nation” by “falsely telling people he won [the 2020] election”?

I don’t know much about Lake or the Arizona governor race, but GOP leaders, candidates and party supporters should study and memorize Lake’s full response to the Democrat-pimping reporter’s question, ““You feel like Joe Biden is dividing the country. Do you feel Donald Trump is doing the same by falsely telling people he won that election when he lost it?”

Lake’s full (perfect) reply:

“How does that divide the country? Questioning an election where there are obviously problems is dividing the country? Since when can we not ask questions about our elections? As a journalist for many years—I was a journalist after 2016 and I distinctly remember many people just like you, asking a lot of questions about the 2016 election results and nobody tried to shut you up. Nobody tried to tell Hillary Clinton to shut up. Nobody tried to tell Kamala Harris when she was questioning the legitimacy of these electronic voting machines to stop. We have freedom of speech in this country and you of all that people should appreciate that. You’re supposedly a journalist. You should appreciate that. So I don’t see how asking questions about an election where there were many problems is ‘dividing’ a country. What I do see divided a country is shutting people down, censoring people, canceling people, trying to destroy people’s lives when they do ask questions. Last I heard we still have the Constitution. It’s hanging by a thread thanks to some of the work some people in this area have done. But we’re going to save that Constitution and we’re going to bring back freedom of speech. And maybe someday you’ll thank us for that.”

As to that last sentence, I very much doubt it.

Assuming the quote is being reported accurately, that is an impressive and fair response even if Lake had expected the question and had her answer polished and ready. Gee, isn’t it nice when candidates can speak in complete sentences and make clear, organized, articulate statements on the fly?

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Sunday Ethics Warm-Up: “Soul Of The Nation” Hangover Edition

Hey…is that a rising sun or a setting sun? Ben Franklin is asking…

On this date in 1886, the legendary Apache leader Geronimo finally surrendered to U.S. government troops. I was thinking about Geronimo last night as I watched “Hot Shots, Part Deux” (the first one is much, much better), by the “Airplane!” guys. In one of the better gags in the film, a special ops team is parachuting into Iraq. Two soldiers shout “Geronimo!” and jump out of the plane, then Geronimo, in full Native American regalia, jumps out shouting “ME!” I found myself wondering if any film maker today would dare to put that into a movie. Isn’t that sad?

In related news, Fox pundit-comic Greg Gutfield is beating all the cookie-cutter all-progressive pandering all-the-time late night comics in the ratings. Imagine: he makes fun of both parties and their supporters! What a ground-breaking concept! He does have a great group of writers, I hear—Mark Twain, Will Rogers, H.L. Mencken, Mort Sahl, Stan Freeberg, Tom Lehrer…

1. Oh, let’s start with the post-Biden Reichstag speech. (My favorite meme inspired by this debacle : that already iconic photo of Biden with his fists raised against the blood-red background with the legend: “It was better in the original German.)

  • Last night, Trump called Biden “the enemy of the people” at his rally. Close one: I actually wrote that description of Biden is a post yesterday, and decided that it was too Trumpy. Not that Trump was wrong…he was also correct to call the mainstream news media “the enemy of the people,” and they are substantially responsible for inflicting Biden on the nation. Their lapdog reaction to the speech is also evidence.
  • Ann Althouse has been in rare form in her blogging about the speech. A liberal Democrat by inclination and belief, she was obviously genuinely offended and angered by it. Apparently progressive historian (well, they are almost all progressives now) Jon Meachum (“American Lion,” which I read and liked very much) had input into the rant, which Politico called the “Democracy speech.” Althouse: “Democracy speech”? Is that what they want it called? The speech where he demonized half of American voters?…Ugh! Warning us about our fellow citizens. Accusing us of “assault.” Claiming to represent “democracy”….it was horrible.” Here, writing about Trump’s rally, she quotes the Times today—“The former president described Mr. Biden’s address as ‘the most vicious, hateful, and divisive speech ever delivered by an American president.’—and comments, “I don’t think the NYT wants us to think Trump is right about that, but I think he is.”

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Ethics Quote Of The Month: Ann Althouse On Biden’s Speech Last Night

“I can sum it up in 7 words: We the People, but not you people.”

—–Allegedly non-partisan blogger Ann Althouse (she’s a Democrat), providing a preview of her soon to be posted review of Biden’s “soul of the nation” speech.

As soon as I read that Biden was going to give a prime-time speech on the peril to the “soul of the nation,” I knew exactly what was coming, what motivated it (panic and desperation, plus terrible advisers), and what it would be: the ultimate IIPTDXTTNMIAFB.

And wildly unethical, of course: irresponsible, disrespectful, unfair, and un-American, as well as hypocritical, indeed a betrayal, from a leader who promised on his Inaugeration Day, “We can join forces, stop the shouting and lower the temperature. For without unity there is no peace, only bitterness and fury. No progress, only exhausting outrage. No nation, only a state of chaos. This is our historic moment of crisis and challenge, and unity is the path forward.”

Was I wrong?

I haven’t read the various pundits about the speech yet, and I haven’t read the text yet; I have a doctor’s appointment and I don’t want to be nauseous. I am curious about whether any of the usual Biden cheer-leaders will have the integrity to state the obvious, and what was obvious the second the speech was announced. This is deliberate divisiveness. It is the essence of totalitarian messaging; it is more fascist in intent and substance than anything Donald Trump ever did or said.

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Comment Of The Day: “More On Nichelle Nichols: Regarding Althouse’s Misguided Snark”

This Comment of the Day by Tom P (who has been on a roll of late) is one of those “in case you missed it…” COTDs. Here he is on the ever-green topic of attacks on past conduct of others by those residing in the present, as raised in by the post, “More On Nichelle Nichols: Regarding Althouse’s Misguided Snark”…in case you missed it:

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The thing about the past is that it is past. The past serves only two purposes. One role is to bring pleasure in the present as you remember past enjoyable episodes of your life. The second is as a guide toward future action. No matter how hard you try, the past cannot be changed or undone. Althouse’s  protestations serve no purpose. Slavery has been abolished for a few years now and all slaves and slaveholders are dead. The original producers of Star Trek are dead or no longer in business. There are no living aggrieved parties nor remedies available to them if they were alive.

More On Nichelle Nichols: Regarding Althouse’s Misguided Snark

In the introduction to this post, Ethics Alarms mentioned the passing of “Star Trek” icon Nichelle Nichols, whose obituaries prominently noted her participation in TV’s first inter-racial kiss. I wrote in part,

“She was more model than actress, and as her role developed, much to her disappointment, the part of “Uhura” became little more than set dressing. But she played one of the first  black female characters on TV to have a non-subservient role, indeed Uhura was fourth in the “Enterprise” chain of command…. In her autobiography, Nichols wrote that Martin Luther King told her that she was advancing civil rights objectives, and convinced her not to quit when William Shatner was getting too obnoxious” …

But Ann Althouse complained on her blog yesterday,

They got away with putting a beautiful woman in a minidress in the background of as many shots as possible, but what did she do other than provide eye candy for the little boys and little men who watched? She was the secretary, seated at the switchboard, receiving calls.

Come on. The sexual politics was ridiculous, and blackness was the device to make it seem progressive, or at least to shut up the critics.

And I mean no disrespect to Ms. Nichols or to any other black actor who accepted a role constrained by stereotypes. There should have been more offers. There should have been more roles.

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Ethics Dunce: Ann Althouse

Bad, bad Ann. I’m very disappointed and surprised. In a post this morning, the usually reliable if eccentric law professor bloggress highlighted the anti-“pit bull” propaganda of DogsBite.org, an Ethics Alarms Unethical Website of the Month, and a vile purveyor of bad information that shares responsibility for the destructive “dangerous breed” laws around the country, discriminatory home-owners insurance rates, and the deaths of thousands and upon thousands of innocent, loving dogs.

Like the execrable website and the incompetent Times article it highlights, Althouse never clarifies the critical fact that there is no such breed as “a pit bull.American Pit Bull Terriers, American Staffordshire TerriersStaffordshire Bull Terrier, and any mixture thereof, plus a number of breeds like American Bullys, Corso Canes, Doggo de Argentino, and especially American Bull Dogs are all lumped together as “pit bulls” by ignorant reporters and police, and even veterinarians, making the website’s assertion that a disproportionate number of dog attacks come from that “breed” a statistical whopper. Yet Althouse, whose husband once had a blog dedicated to dog photos and who is a dog-lover herself, just goes along with the deception, and worse for a lawyer, never points out the “evidence” is absurdly flawed. If you combine many breeds into a single “breed,” of course that “breed” will have a disproportionate share of whatever dog incident one is counting.

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Today’s Intellectually Dishonest Dobbs Leak Freakout: “A Lot Of Powerful People Seem To Have No Clue What Motherhood Means” (Washington Post)

You have to admit, the pro-abortion hysterics and fanatics are doing a bang-up job proclaiming their fury at the possibility that the U.S. Supreme Court may be about to strike down Roe v. Wade without making anything that hints of a good faith argument on the merits. The latest example of this massive exercise in “appeal to emotion” and “let’s keep the American public as dumb as we can, all the better to manipulate them” is an op-ed by Monica Hesse, the Washington Post’s resident gender bigot. Previously, Ethics Alarms had highlighted her fantasy that Mary, Donna Reed’s character in “It’s A Wonderful Life,” is the “real hero” of the classic (Right–she’s the one who gave up her chance at al education and a career to save her father’s rinky-dink savings and loan so Bedford Falls didn’t become a cesspool under the thumb of the richest and meanest man in town) and this article attacking the Trump White House Christmas decorations and using them to excoriate Melania Trump for existing, sneering that any one who referred to Trump’s First Lady as “elegant” meant it as a code word for “White.” Yes, she’s a race bigot too. I would no more have sampled a Hesse column in the Post than tried a fried centipede as a snack, except the Ann Althouse pointed me to it.

[A side note regarding Ann: she’s written 14 posts including the May 2 entry in which she reported on the leak and proclaimed the looming cancellation of Roe “a calamity.” She has never explained why she thinks it’s a calamity, although in 2006 she opined on what the results of Roe going down might be. She’s a law professor, and her blog has no borders, like this one, which is constrained to examine ethics only. Those 14 posts cover everything from her usual linguistic nit-picking to musing about the leak, but there is no explanation of the “calamity” verdict. That’s irresponsible, and, frankly, cowardly. But I digress.]

Here’s the crux of Hesse’s argument, if you can call it that: the supply chain-triggered shortage in baby formula shows how cruel and ignorant the Supreme Court majority is. She writes,

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Ethics Observations On The Dobbs SCOTUS Opinion Draft Leak And Reactions To It

Ethics Alarms posted briefly on the stunning leak of what appears to be a draft of a majority opinion striking down Roe v. Wade and the related Casey decision. [The link to the draft is in that article.] The position here is that any analysis based on the draft itself is premature and irresponsible, since the document is 1) a draft 2) not even necessarily the latest draft, and 3) the opinion as well as the support for it on the Court could change materially before the actual opinion is released.

The only ethics issue immediately clear is that regarding the leak itself, and, by extension, the leaker. Leaks always constitute a unethical breaches of trust; only in the rare cases where they reveal actual criminal activity can they be justified. For a lawyer to leak any information related to a professional obligation or representation is grounds for disbarment, and permanent infamy within the profession. This leak cannot be defended, and pundits, politicians or activists who praise the leaker reveal their own ethics bankruptcy. Keep a watch out for the leak apologists. Then relegate them to your “Untrustworthy” file.

Now the focus shifts to the reactions to the draft, and it is fair to say they constitute a freak-out. Prime among them is the hypocritical and hysterical joint statement by Sen. Schumer and Speaker Pelosi. Imagine: these are leaders of the party that has accused Donald Trump of undermining core American institutions.

The statement is breathtakingly dishonest. None of the members of the Court ever stated that they would not vote to overrule Roe. They said it was the law of the land, which is true, and stated their support for the principle of stare decisus. That did not preclude their voting to reverse Roe later based on a case that hadn’t been briefed or argued yet. I have read enough of the draft to know that Justice Alito clearly explains that stare decisus has always had exceptions (but I knew that) where a wrongfully decided Constitutional case had to be reversed, writing.

“We have long recognized, however, that stare decisis is ‘not an inexorable command,’ and it ‘is at its weakest when we interpret the Constitution.’ It has been said that it is sometimes more important that an issue ‘be settled than that it be settled right.’ But when it comes to the interpretation of the Constitution — the ‘great charter of our liberties,’ which was meant ‘to endure through a long lapse of ages,’ we place a high value on having the matter ‘settled right….On many other occasions, this Court has overruled important constitutional decisions. … Without these decisions, American constitutional law as we know it would be unrecognizable, and this would be a different country.”

It should be very easy for Republicans and anyone else to explain the demise of Roe to the public. It was, as Alito says, a bad decision from the beginning, and it was time for the rights of the unborn to be considered, and not just the imaginary right of mothers to have their children snuffed out.

I’m going to spend most of my time devoted to this episode reading the draft, but here are links to various news reports and commentary: ABC News, The Daily Beast, HuffPost, CNN, New York Times, CBS News, Reuters, Washington Examiner, Associated Press, Fox News, NPR, Townhall, Slate, The Guardian, CNSNews, Al Jazeera, Outside the Beltway, Washington Post, De Civitate, Insider, Bloomberg, NewsOne, USA Today, A Lawyer Writes, emptywheel, pjmedia.com, The Nation, Breitbart, Los Angeles Times, The Daily Signal, Vox, Washington Times, The Comity Channel, Deadline, KLAS, The Daily Caller, Men Yell at Me, PennLive, The Hill, The Moderate Voice, littlegreenfootballs.com, NBC New York, Ninja Smith & Friends, WCMH-TV, HotAir, Variety, Deseret News, BuzzFeed News, NBC News, RedState, Mississippi Free Press, Mediaite, Things Worth Thinking About, thot pudding, homeculture, National Review, Big League Politics, WCTX-TV, Twitchy, Talking Points Memo, SCOTUSblog, CNBC, Jill Filipovic, Lawyers, Guns & Money, The Daily Wire, Maxwell’s Newsletter, A Propensity …, Gem State, Louder With Crowder, PharmaHeretic’s Newsletter, First We Think, Vanity Fair, New York Post, Law & Crime, Raw Story, The 19th, The Texas Tribune, Dana Loesch’s Chapter …, Power Line, The Racket News, New York Magazine, Fortune, Hennessy’s View, Trash Chair Thoughts, VICE, UPI, The Gateway Pundit, GC News, Instapundit, Watch Night News, Rolling Stone, Sacramento Bee, The Even Place, Let’s Get Politigal, WPRI-TV, Daily Insurrection, Mother Jones, Super-Probably Relevant …, Mercury News, The Right News, The Western Journal, TheBlaze, Althouse, Unfogged, Ace of Spades HQ, Teresa L’s Newsletter, Boing Boing, CBS Denver, IJR and Progress Report

Further observations:

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