For The “Scared Yet?” Files: Glenn Greenwald On Parler’s Take-Down

List of apps

Greenwald, who lost his own organization for insisting on fair reporting on the Hunter Biden scandal deliberately hidden from the public by the partisan media, has delivered an excellent account of what was done to Parler. This is why Ethics Alarms subscribes to his new platform, substack. He is one of that nearly extinct species, a journalist who reports the facts, wherever they may lead.

Of the attack on Parler, the surging alternative to Twitter, Greenwald writes in part,

If one were looking for evidence to demonstrate that these tech behemoths are, in fact, monopolies that engage in anti-competitive behavior in violation of antitrust laws, and will obliterate any attempt to compete with them in the marketplace, it would be difficult to imagine anything more compelling than how they just used their unconstrained power to utterly destroy a rising competitor…In October, the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Antitrust, Commercial, and Administrative Law issued a 425-page report concluding that Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google all possess monopoly power and are using that power anti-competitively. For Apple, they emphasized the company’s control over iPhones through its control of access to the App Store….Parler learned that Google, without warning, had also “suspended” it from its Play Store, severely limiting the ability of users to download Parler onto Android phones. Google’s actions also meant that those using Parler on their Android phones would no longer receive necessary functionality and security updates….

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I Finally Get It: If The Axis Of Unethical Conduct Can’t Hide Wrongdoing By One Of Their Members, Then It Will Deny It Was Wrong [Repaired!]

No, really, I’m not gullible! Fool me once, shame on you, fool me 7,482 times, I eventually figure it out. First (not really first, but I have to start somewhere) progressives, Democrats and the news media (the Axis, or AUC) proclaim that even a rumor of sexually inappropriate behavior by a GOP President’s Supreme Court nominee when he was in high school should disqualify him, then I watch all of them line up behind the most photographically documented serial sexual harasser in U.S. history as their choice for President. Then a failed candidate for the Democratic Presidential nomination blames her horrible performance in the Democratic primaries on people discriminating against her because she is a woman and “of color,” and is subsequently nominated as President-in- waiting only because she is female-of-color (otherwise being a pandering, hypocrical boob) as the AUC rejoices. Next evidence of his son’s foreign influence-peddling with her running mate’s involvement not just buried, but buried with the assistance of an outright fabrication (“It’s the Russians!”). Then such examples start popping up all over: Dan Rather, who disgraced journalism, has a journalism medal named after him. Governor Cuomo is accused of sexual harassment by a staffer, and the story is barely reported.

And yet, and yet, when I first wrote about the Jeffrey Toobin scandal, I felt sorry for CNN’s reliably biased legal analysis (it’s unethical for lawyers to let bias affect their independent judgment—I’ve even been hired to teach that), because I feel sorry for anyone who destroys their career and public trust by doing something so mind-meltingly stupid. I even wrote that I wouldn’t write about it any more, because I didn’t want to pile on. The Golden Rule, you know.

Because, you see, I am a moron. I continue to be unable to grasp the complete attempted inside-out-ization of all American logic, principles and values by the people who currently control the White House, half of Congress, the schools, the universities, the news media, social media, Big Tech and entertainment. So now I reluctantly have to write about Jeffrey Toobin again.

Here are some quotes from prominent progressives and media types that end the New York Times’ “The Undoing of Jeffrey Toobin”:

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The Smoking Gun: This is How The Election Was “Rigged,” And This Is Why The News Media Will Not Be Trusted Again, Unless It’s Trusted By Totalitarian-Minded Progressives To Support Single Party Power.

statue-of-liberty-crying

Harsh? Not at all.

I wrote about this here, in general terms, but the almost complete media embargo and denial of the Hunter Biden laptop story in the days approaching the election was the latest and, arguably, the final and most effective embodiment of the degree to which the deck was unethically stacked against President Trump.

Yesterday, the proverbial other shoe— a big, noisy, smelly one with fecal matter all over the sole and stuck in the ridges so you have to dig it out while trying not to gag—dropped, as anyone honest, conscious and not in denial knew it would.

CNN reported,

After pausing in the months before the election, federal authorities are now actively investigating the business dealings of Hunter Biden, a person with knowledge of the probe said. His father, President-elect Joe Biden, is not implicated.

The last sentence is classic CNN partisan cover. Biden is implicated in lying about his son, what he knew about his soon, and enabling his son. Whether he will be implicated in actual crimes has yet to be seen.

Neo points to earlier CNN reporting of Crossfire Hurricane:

“The investigation was officially opened on July 31, 2016, initially due to information on Trump campaign member George Papadopoulos’s early assertions of Russians having damaging material on Donald Trump’s rival candidate Hillary Clinton. From late July to November 2016, the joint effort between the FBI, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), and the National Security Agency (NSA) examined evidence of Russian meddling in the 2016 United States presidential election. The FBI’s team enjoyed a large degree of autonomy within the broader interagency probe.”

Neo comments ruefully, “The FBI was busy investigating Trump’s campaign associates, based on things they knew to be lies, falsifying evidence in order to obtain surveillance warrants from FISA, and leaking like a sieve to the media, all in the fall of 2016 in order to destroy Trump. No pre-election pause for Trump; au contraire.

More of yesterday’s delayed revelations about Hunter:

Investigators have been examining multiple financial issues, including whether Hunter Biden and his associates violated tax and money laundering laws in business dealings in foreign countries, principally China, according to two people briefed on the probe.

Some of those transactions involved people who the FBI believe sparked counterintelligence concerns, a common issue when dealing with Chinese business, according to another source.

The investigation began as early as 2018, predating the arrival of William Barr as US attorney general, two people briefed on the investigation said. The existence of the probe will present an immediate test of Biden’s promise to maintain the independence of the Justice Department.

Sinclair Broadcast Group reported in October that the FBI had opened a criminal investigation into Hunter Biden. CNN has learned new details about the scope of the probe, including that it is focused on China.

Neo helpfully points us to links here, here, here, and here.

Piers Morgan, a CNN alumnus and certified Trump-hater, properly and neatly puts this in perspective:

Imagine if Trump had actually won fair and square and was now preparing to be inaugurated for his second term of office?

Then imagine that his victory was quite narrow, like Biden’s, and came down to a few thousand votes in the swing states?

And then imagine that just before the election, a major US newspaper had published an explosive story about his son Donald Trump Jr. based around the contents of his personal laptop that revealed extensive dodgy dealings with people from foreign countries, some very unfriendly to the United States, and which even suggested his father may have been involved in some of those dealings?

Now imagine that in this eventuality, and with none of the key elements of the story denied by the Trumps, 90% of America’s mainstream media deliberately refused to cover the story, and social media giants like Twitter and Facebook actively suppressed it altogether?

Finally, imagine waking up today to hear that rather than Hunter Biden being formally investigated by federal authorities from the Justice Department over his financial affairs, as is the case, it was Donald Trump Jr. And that the investigation has been ongoing since 2018 but was ‘paused’ in case it affected the election.And that it has looked at allegations of potential criminal violations of tax and money laundering laws. And that it is now in front of a Delaware Grand Jury with a view to indictment.

By now, some of you might be screaming that the election was ‘rigged’ and ‘stolen’ from Joe Biden, right?…who knows how damaging it might have been if this federal investigation into Hunter Biden’s finances had been revealed before the election, and the mainstream media had given it the full Hillary Clinton email treatment that many believe cost her the 2016 election?

I said at the time that the media’s abject failure to properly report the New York Post’s scoop about Hunter was a shameful dereliction of journalistic duty driven by the inherent liberal bias of much of the US media – and I said it as a liberal myself. Predictably, and equally shamefully, the media responded by then trying to censor me too: I was dropped from an appearance on Brian Stelter’s CNN media show after going on Fox News and lambasting news organisations like my former CNN employers for refusing to follow up the Post’s Biden exposé.

Well of course Morgan was dropped, because CNN’s “media watchdog” Brian Stelter is, and has been, and has been thoroughly exposed as being, a pro-mainstream media bias lapdog. Similarly, law professor, blogger and columnist Glenn Reynolds had his column “The Disgraceful Hunter Biden Cover-Up” spiked before the election, leading to his resignation from USA Today’s op-ed staff.

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Ethics Dunces: Apparently 30% Of Democratic Voters

Rasmussen Tweet

We must begin with the fact that polls of all kinds have the approximate credibility of palm readers. Rasmussen, however (and Gallup) disgraced itself rather less than its competitors in measuring the election trends before November. The verdict of Ethics Dunces would still hold if the percentage was 20%, 10% or 100%, however. The polling results above were published on November 20; maybe fewer people are convinced now that the election was stolen, since the various challenges filed in court have been failing. The statistics above still prompt these observations:

1. If Democrats think that their party steals elections, making it a threat to Democracy, why do those Democrats continue to identify with a party that cheats? The only explanation can be that they do not support Democracy, and believe that their will should be imposed on their fellow citizens by illegal means, They are totalitarians by philosophy and nature.

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The Pandemic Creates A Classic And Difficult Ethics Conflict, But The Resolution Is Clear, Part II: The Amazing Vanishing Johns Hopkins Study [Corrected]

open-up-protest

Update and Introduction

The record shows that way back on May 5, Ethics Alarms published the post titled “The Pandemic Creates A Classic And Difficult Ethics Conflict, But The Resolution Is Clear, Part I: Stipulations.” That resolution was that the lockdown was wrong, indeed tragically wrong, and that a clear-eyed, unbiased examination of the facts made that conclusion inescapable. This, I note again, was in May. Nobody believed that we would still be strangling American society, commerce, education, culture and life as December approached.

I knew the analysis had to be lengthy, so it was planned as a two part post. One reason for this was that the information, data and scientific analysis was contradictory and still coming in as I began the post, and I needed time to review and sort it all out before beginning Part II. Incredibly, after seven months, the information, data and scientific analysis is still contradictory and still coming in. It is also, as this most recent episode demonstrates, still being unethically manipulated to mislead the American public. This is happening even now, after the election, although much of the manipulation of facts was designed and executed by the Axis of Unethical Conduct—Democrats, the “resistance” and the mainstream media– to derail the Trump Presidency, and ensure his defeat on November 3. (Congratulations, by the way! It worked!)

In Part I, I listed ten stipulations that drove my analysis. I assumed, being a fallible human being, that some would prove mistaken; I definitely assumed that some of them would no longer be accurate by now. I was wrong. Here are the ten:

  1. This is an ethics conflict, not an ethics dilemma.
  2. Many, too many, of those involved in the problem are going to approach it as an ethics dilemma…
  3. It is a cruel trick of fate…that this crisis is occurring in an election year…
  4. We still do not have adequate information to make a fully informed decision.
  5. Making important decisions without perfect information is what effective leaders have to do.
  6. No one can rely on “experts.”
  7. Experts have the biases of their own field and its priorities.
  8. The projections and models have been wrong more often than not, but are still being hyped as a valid basis for planning.
  9. The news media has politicized the lock-down, and most of it is actively lobbying for the lock-down to continue.
  10. We have to accept that the ethical system we have to employ here is Utilitarianism, the most brutal of them all.

As you can see, these haven’t changed.

While waiting for both some more definitive data and the time to do a competent analysis before completing Part 2, I posted a Prelude to Part 2. the next day, on May 8, the date Nazi Germany surrendered. It was a thorough fisking of a New York Time op-ed that perfectly represented the AUC’s arrogant and dead wrong attitude toward the pandemic, and that also pointed to the sinister un-American and totalitarian-leanings underlying the Left’s enthusiastic embrace of the lockdown and its consequences. The last paragraph of the “Prelude” pointed the way to what would be (and will be) the principle underlying the conclusion of the argument I started to unpack in May:

Freedom has always had a price. On this 75th Anniversary of V-E Day, it shouldn’t be hard to understand that lost lives aren’t acceptable just because the most rational, responsible policies involve unavoidable risk.

As attentive readers noticed, Part 2 never appeared. (Kudos to long-time commenter Michael Ejercito for repeatedly chiding me on this.) I have been constantly revising a draft, changing directions many times as new data arrived, followed by newer hype and distortions. Then came the Johns Hopkins report, the discussion of which today becomes Part 2, because it is a “smoking gun.”

And that means that what was Part 2 is now Part 3, still in progress, but I promise, Michael, coming soon.

Now here’s the post….

***

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Ethics Alarms Verdict: The AUC Stole the Election, Or Attempted To Steal The Election. It’s One Or The Other.

trump-election-2020

Frankly, this is an easy conclusion. It is overwhelming likely that the first is correct: President Trump has lost the election, and the #1 reason was the four year strategy by the Axis of Unethical Conduct—the Democratic Party, the “resistance,” the mainstream news media, and more recently, the tech giants and social media platforms—to employ unconscionable, unethical means to accomplish that end.

If, by some miracle, the attempted theft fails, it will only be as a result of moral luck. The destructive and democracy-wrecking actions of the AUC are already completed. Their culpability is the same whatever the final election result is.  This is why in criminal law an attempted crime often carries the same penalty as a completed crime. What the criminal did was just as wrong whether he or she was ultimately successful or not.

Before President Trump even took office, a full-on campaign to remove him by any means possible was underway, along with a similarly relentless effort to make it impossible for him to function as the nation’s leader. This continued with no respite from the 2016 election right through to the 2020 election. No President of the United States has ever been sabotaged and savaged in such a manner; indeed I am going to add the denial of this fact to the Ethics Alarms list of the Big Lies of the Resistance. It will be #10, right behind the lie that President Trump caused pandemic deaths in the U.S. (Andrew Cuomo definitely killed people, but not President Trump.) The lie: “Progressives treated President Trump no worse than conservatives treated President Obama.”

Big Lie #10 is different from the rest because it usually is used by ordinary citizens rather than Democratic Party officials, flacks and pundits; the reason is that the statement is so false that even Trump’s worst critics won’t go that far. Their alternative position is that he is so evil that he deserved to be abused. But I hear Big Lie #10 regularly from the social media Borg and my Trump Deranged friends and relatives when they are cornered and feel they have to deny what is literally undeniable. Big Lie #10 is a Jumbo: “Bias? What bias?”

The record of the effort to steal/rig/fix—choose your favorite word, but the objective was to make sure this President never had a chance to succeed, and if he somehow did succeed, that he would never get credit for it—the 2020 election is right here, tracked by the Ethics Alarms tag, 2016 Post Election Ethics Train Wreck, which I hereby retire after a wild four-year run. It took me twenty minutes to just scroll down through all of the posts that carry that tag; if I attempted to read them all, it would take weeks.

The first entry was here, when I announced and christened the Train Wreck, almost exactly four years ago, on November 13, 2016. In that post and three succeeding ones I highlighted four ugly examples of how the President-elect was being denigrated and undermined immediately, following the first post with this one, this one, and this one. I could not suspect that the efforts to demonize the newly-elected President of the United States would metastasize to the extent they did, with every late night TV show devoting large chunks of time every installment to insulting and denigrating him, with the vast majority of major newspaper columnists attacking him personally to the point of obsession, and all previous rules of decorum and official respect being not only suspended by the Democratic Party, but trashed, even to the point of elected officials calling the President a “motherfucker” in public without any penalty or reprimand, and the Speaker of the House making live theater out of tearing up his State of the Union message on TV.

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Unethical Quote Of The Month: New York Time Tech Reporter Kevin Roose

Roose Tweet

“The tricky thing, for Facebook, is that some of the most viral stories aren’t strictly false….But they are feeding a stolen election narrative that is going to be hard to dial back.”

——New York Times Technology reporter Kevin Roose, after being called on referring to four accurate articles as “Right Wing misinformation.”

And there it is! We have a smoking gun regarding the insidious, growing tendency of journalists and the news media to think of information as theirs to withhold, alter, hype, hide or bury permanently for what they perceive as the public good.

“Aren’t strictly false…but.” That’s chilling. What Roose is saying is that the truth can be dangerous, and social media should only allow “good” news to be posted and shared, news items that advance narratives supporting what the Left approves of, rather than those that challenge or rebut their obliviously superior and more virtuous views and objectives.

If a factual story makes the public distrust the election results,then perhaps the election results should be questioned. The remedy is to demonstrate with convincing arguments and other facts why this is a mistaken view. When I hear someone arguing that the remedy is to bury the story, that makes me wonder why that person is trying to keep me in the dark.

The primary facts that support the stolen election narrative is how Democrats, the resistance and the news media behaved over the past four years, making it clear that neither law, nor ethics, nor American institutions, values and traditions, nor basic fairness or common decency, would stand in the way of their obsession with removing Donald Trump from the Presidency by any means necessary.

Why, in light of all that, wouldn’t they try to steal the election?

Saturday Ethics Review, 11/7/2020: And The Beat Goes On (Item #7 Added)

1. It’s not only the obvious hypocrisy and double standard, it’s the fact that they are so shameless about it. Of course, the average low-information voter (or the average partisan hack who likes applying double standards) cheered on Al Gore and the Democrats when they challenged the 2000 election using a shifting set of theories—remember the “butterfly ballot” that sparked the first legal challenge from Al’s lawyers? Then it was the hanging chads. The 2020 election isn’t over and the race isn’t won until every re-count is completed and there is a credible and trustworthy result. The results so far in multiple states are spiderweb thin, and even relatively small instances of voter fraud could change the winner.

As I have already written here more than once since Tuesday, President Trump has an obligation to oversee responsible investigations into questions regarding irregularities in the vote counting and mail-in voting. He is, after all, President for two more months at least. But the Axis of Unethical Conduct is, as it has from the beginning of his term, claiming that what is virtuous and justified when their favorite politicians do it is sinister when Republicans do the same. I have a complete library of asshole tweets to the effect that the latest Democratic coup attempt should be granted instant legitimacy before all of the issues are satisfactorily resolved. Here are two samples,

Tapper twt

Winslow tweet

If you have problems with my characterization of “coup” just now, sorry, I’m not retracting it. The election was not held on even ground, between the news media’s open bias and the use of the pandemic to justify early and inherently corruptible mail-in voting. It is certainly possible that Joe Biden would have won in a fair election, but we will never know that. The price of the party’s “ends justify the means” strategy is that this election can never be regarded as decisive or fair, and expect the Right to act accordingly.

The fact that a news organization or a decision desk has declared Biden the winner doesn’t mean that he is the winner, and if there are valid legal issues and voting questions to be settled, we should settle them now, because we know they won’t be addressed once the Democrats have the Presidency. I also endorse the point made in this tweet…

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Final Pre-Election Ethics Notes I

Election 2020

[I may have more of these as the day goes on, before the riots start.]

1. I just heard a notable radio ad “approved” by Joe Biden. An African-American male voice [Aside: I was once told that identifying a voice as African-America was racist. Can you guess my response to this?] talked about voter suppression—poll taxes, literacy tests, terrorism and intimidation. “They” are up to the same “old tricks,” we are told. Then came a montage of sound clips, one of which was from an unidentified news source stating that “President Trump continues to oppose mail-in voting.” Then the voice says, “Be sure to vote. Not because I want you to, but because HE wants you not to.”

Biden approving this despicable message would have been enough, all by itself, to convince me that he is a liar and a cheat. Every American can go to a polling place and vote if they care enough. Requiring them to prove they are citizens and voting on their own behalf is not “suppression,” and opposing mail-in ballots that are an obvious invitation to voter fraud.

The ad is hate-mongering and a disgusting use of Big Lie #4: “Trump Is A Racist/White Supremacist. ”

This does seem to be the latest strategy to send the Deranged, the Marxists, the antifa, the anarchists and the Black Lives Matter mob into the streets if the President wins.  Playing his part, the House Majority Whip, Rep. James Cliburn (D-S.C.) told Fox News over the weekend that the only way Democrat Joe Biden could lose the election would be “for voter suppression to be successful.”

Nice.

Clyburn also evoked Big Lie #4, and said that he would “pray” for blacks who voted for Trump. I give him credit for originality: when asked why such a vote was apparently worthy of damnation, Clyburn did not immediately jump to Trump’s birther period, which is usually the best anyone challenged to show the President’s alleges racism can come up with. No, he cited…Omarosa!

“I’m the father of three black women. I am the son of a black woman. If any black man can go in a polling place and cast a vote for a man who referred to a black woman as a dog on national television, I’m going to have to pray for them. I will have to pray for them. I don’t know of any man [who] can abide that kind of disrespect and insult,” the habitually race-baiting Representative said. Huh? I had to look it up. Yes, the President called his former “Apprentice” villain a “dog” after she turned on him—as he should have known she would do—and published a tell-all book after being fired from a White House position that he was a fool to appoint her to  in the first place. Of course, Trump has called others he was displeased with “a dog,” and uses the insult on all races and genders. It’s not Presidential and it’s not civil; it’s also not evidence of racism, but if that’s the best Clyburn had to flog the narrative, I guess he was stuck with it.

Then we have this, from the Attorney General of Pennsylvania:

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Decided: The Ten Reasons I’ll Be Voting To Re-Elect President Trump [1-5]

John-Adams-Young

I’ll list these in no significant order, with the final section of the list following soon.

1. A commenter on this Althouse post (itself a motivation to vote for the President) wrote, “Althouse: ‘I could never lower myself to vote for someone like that. He’s icky. Eew!’” It made me realize that my long-held argument that voting for the President while maintaining my professional standards and integrity was impossible could be fairly accused of having the same motivation.

The election is for the benefit of the nation, not about how my vote makes me feel.

2. Four years ago, on the November 9, the day after Donald Trump’s shocking upset victory over Hillary Clinton, I wrote,

Give Trump a chance, and take note of those who will not. He is now in the most difficult job in the nation at the age of 70, with less relevant experience and preparation than any previous occupant of the office. For once, it’s a good thing that he’s an egomaniac and a narcissist, because otherwise he might be perseverating in terror right now. One cannot say that he begins with the most daunting set of problems any POTUS has ever faced, but it’s close. Give him a chance. Nobody becomes President wanting to fail, and not wanting to do a good job for his country and his fellow citizens.  Begin with that, and let’s see what happens.

I took note. Neither the resistance, nor the Democratic Party, nor the news media, nor most of the members of the public that were inclined to believe, trust and believe these voices, gave President Trump any chance at all. No previous elected President had been treated like that, and for good reason: our system does not and cannot work if the nation does not begin each new Presidential administration with the acceptance of its elected leader. The Democrats knew this, indeed they lectured Donald Trump on the subject when they were certain that Hillary Clinton would win.

The Axis of Unethical Conduct, knowing we had elected a President who would need more than the usual amount of support, burdened him further by according him less, hoping for a war, a depression, or a Presidential breakdown.

If this party strategy succeeds in achieving gaining power, it will become the norm. I have no illusions that the Republican Party is motivated by any stronger ethical ideals than Democrats, so if it becomes the norm, the nation is doomed to perpetual division, hate and conflict.

It is not enough to abstain in an election that will decide whether that will the fate of the United States of America. Responsible citizens must vote to reject it.

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