Capitol Riot Responsibility Ethics

On  December 12, the Senate unanimously passed a measure to remove authority for calling out the National Guard from politicians like Nancy Pelosi, handing the authority over to the Capitol Police. Naturally, this was virtually ignored by the news media, but the reason for the move was clear.

Despite dire predictions by federal authorities before January 6, 2021, the authorities responsible for  calling out the Guard, Speaker Pelosi  and D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser, were more concerned with partisan optics than security. Bowser had opposed President Trump regarding National Guard presence during the BLM riots in the past and wasn’t going to create a marshal law-like atmosphere on her watch.  in D.C.  She decided the Guard should be unarmed on the 6th and relegated to traffic control.

Good call there, Mayor.

Pelosi, meanwhile “was heavily involved in planning and decision-making before and during the events of Jan. 6, 2021, and micromanaged the Sergeant at Arms,” according to texts and other communications that were revealed after the rioting. While the report of the partisan and Trump-deranged House January 6 Star Chamber completely ignored Pelosi’s role in allowing the debacle to occur, the Pelosi team’s negligence was exposed in an investigative report by the House Republicans Pelosi removed from the “J6 Committee” so there would be no distraction from the mission, which was vilify Donald Trump ahead of the 2022 mid-term elections. The exiles were Jim Banks (R-IN), Jim Jordan (R-OH), Rodney Davis (R-IL), Kelly Armstrong (R-ND) and Troy Nehls (R-TX). The final intelligence threat assessment issued three days before the riot warned of a violent scenario in which “Congress itself” could be attacked by armed Trump supporters, but the warning was buried at the end of a 15-page document and was not included in the introductory summary.  Then the the warning was omitted in three subsequent daily intelligence reports.

Shades of Pearl Harbor! Continue reading

Thoughts While Reading Classmate Entries In My Alma Mater’s Anniversary Report, #3

I have just a few general observations this time.

  • I know I have mentioned this before, but I can’t get past it: it is remarkable to me, but maybe it shouldn’t be, how many of my classmates regard climate change as their greatest concern for the future.These are (mostly) smart, analytical people, yet climate change conventional wisdom has been successfully implanted in their brains by relentless media hammering and by cognitive dissonance (that is, what the “good” people believe must be good and true) so deeply that they are incapable of perceiving obvious logical fallacies. The people society trusts to devise substantive and practical solutions to our problems are stuck in the “Do something!” mode. Scary.
  • Trump Derangement rages.
  • So does wilful historical revisionism. One Democrat wrote that his wife was an “Eisenhower Republican” but had abandoned the current Republican Party because it had become too radically conservative. Eisenhower Republicans would make today’s GOP seem like the Antifa. Kennedy Democrats were more conservative than today’s Republican Party.
  • By far my favorite ethical weirdness, though, is the widespread obsession with exaggerating the significance of the January 6 Capitol rioting while referring to it as both an “insurrection” and a bleak portent of the decline of democracy. This opinion is coming from the class that overwhelmingly supported the student take-over of the Harvard administration building and cheered the students who battled riot police who tried to clear out the mob! That invasion of Harvard offices was just a microcosm of the Capitol riot, a foolish and doomed tantrum, except that the students were angry that their school was supporting a war over which they had no authority or control, while the Capitol rioters were protesting what they believed was a perversion of a Presidential election that had rendered their votes and rights effectively null and void. While the students were never held accountable for their civil disobedience, the Capitol rioters have been severely punished. After decades that should have made them wiser, the former students who never held any fantasies that their brief take-over of university offices would allow them to overthrow the Harvard administration now solemnly claim that a few hundred jacked-up idiots with bear spray and sticks thought they could take over the United States government.

Well Waddya Know! Harvard Undercuts A Core Progressive Big Lie!

I can’t let this pass. I’ve been bashing my embarrassing alma mater here for years, and it finally is responsible for something that almost makes me want to hang the ol framed diploma up again, with the back of it to the wall again.

Almost.

The Harvard Crimson reports:

In the most comprehensive study to date of what motivated the Trump supporters to attack the Capitol, Shorenstein Center researchers found that 20.6 percent of the rioters, a plurality, were motivated to take part in the riot because they supported Trump. Another 20.6 percent of the rioters cited Trump’s fraudulent claims that the 2020 presidential election was rigged as their primary reason for participating in the Jan. 6 riot.

The authors of the study — Joan Donovan, Kaylee Fagan, and Frances E. Lee — wrote that their analysis found that the largest proportion of defendants “were motivated, in part, to invade the US Capitol Building by Donald Trump.”

The third most common reason for attacking the Capitol: a desire to start a civil war or an armed revolution, according to the study. Almost 8 percent of defendants indicated it was their main motivation.

In an interview, Fagan said she was surprised by how frequently support for Trump and concerns about the election were cited as primary motivations for joining the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol.

“I don’t think I expected the result to be this stark,” Fagan said. “I also certainly didn’t expect those two motivations to come up nearly exactly as often as they both did.”

Though more than 800 have been federally prosecuted for their participation in the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, the study focused on 417 defendants charged with federal crimes in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.

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Wait, When Did Georgetown Law Center Take Over The Washington NFL Team?

Very puzzling. The Washington “Commanders” (previously the Redskins) are punishing an assistant coach because he dared to express an opinion on social media that his boss and employers don’t agree with, since it is not sufficiently in line with the George Floyd Freakout, The Great Stupid, and the Democratic Party’s show trial strategy to somehow stave off disaster for Joe and Company in the November mid-terms. In this, the NFL franchise is emulating it’s city’s most prominent law school, Georgetown Law Center, which only recently finished driving away a non-conforming law professor who dared to opine that limiting the pool of potential Supreme Court Justices by race and gender was not the wise way to find the best judge available.

To paraphrase Dana above, “What’s going on here?”

Nothing good, that’s for sure. Just another unethical effort by a business entity to strongarm employees into supporting one particular party and ideology, or at least to intimidate them sufficiently that they stifle their dissenting views. There is literally no possible justification for the Redsk…I mean “Commanders” actions. Continue reading

Should Fox News Broadcast The Prime Time Hearings Of The House’s Partisan Jan. 6 Committee? Of Course Not. And Neither Should Any Other Network…

The mainstream media and the usual suspect in the world of punditry are having a particularly silly meltdown over the decision by the Fox News management not to treat the hyped Jan. 6 Committee hearings as anything other than what they are and have obviously been from the beginning: an unethical, biased, last-ditch effort to salvage the November mid-terms by painting the GOP as a threat to democracy—because a bunch of morons and assholes stormed the U.S. Capitol in response to President Trump’s irresponsible claims that the election had been “rigged” and “stolen.”

Meanwhile, Democrats and their legions are trying to intimidate the Supreme Court, undermine the Bill of Rights, legalize racial discrimination,, and bomb anti-abortion organizations. Yeah, these are the people who will “save democracy,” all right.

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Evening Clean-Up On The Ethics Aisle, 4/7/2022: “Yecchh!”

April 7 is a really bad ethics date. In 1994, the worst episode of genocide since World War II was triggered in Rawanda, resulting in the massacre of between 500,000 to 1 million civilian Tutsis and moderate Hutus. Rwandan forces even managed to avoid significant international intervention after the murder of ten Belgian peacekeeping officers: the Tutsis, a minority population that made up about 10% of Rwanda’s population, were never deemed important enough to be rescued by the international community. (Yes, the United Nations has been fearful, negligent, and in this case, racist, for a long time now.) The U.N. did eventually admit that a mere 5,000 soldier peace keeping force could have stopped the slaughter at the start.

That was big of the U.N.

Let’s send them more money.

The genocide’s seeds were planted the early 1990s when President Juvenal Habyarimana, a Hutu, began using anti-Tutsi rhetoric to consolidate his power . What followed were several massacres, killing hundreds of Tutsis. The government and army assembled the “Interahamwe” (meaning “those who attack together”) and armed Hutus with guns and machetes for the explicit purpose of wiping the Tutsis out. On April 6, 1994, President Habyarimana was killed when his plane was shot down. In response, Hutu extremists in the military began murdering Tutsis within hours. Belgian peacekeepers were killed the next day, and the U.N’s reaction was…

It bravely pulled its forces from Rwanda. Thousands of innocent people were hacked to death with machetes by their neighbors, but the international community, and notably the United States, took no action to stop the genocide. An estimated 75 % of the Tutsis living in Rwanda had been murdered. Bill Clinton later called America’s failure to intervene “the biggest regret” of his administration.

At least it beat out Monica.

1. They are still trying to excuse Will Smith and blame Chris Rock! Surprised? There were two additions to the canon today. The New York Times featured an absurd piece called “The Slap, Hair and Black Women.” A sample: Continue reading

The Road To Totalitarianism: California Shows, Once Again, Which Party Is Driving

Late yesterday, the State Bar of California  announced that Orange County attorney John Eastman (above), a former law school dean, law professor, and a long-time respected member of the bar, is the target of a disciplinary investigation into whether he violated laws while advising President Trump on options available to him in the wake of his election defeat in 2020. Eastman wrote two legal memos that advised Vice President Mike Pence that he could declare that the results in several states were disputed and therefore their electoral votes would go uncounted.  The State Bar’s chief trial counsel, George Cardona, announced  that Eastman has been the center of an investigation since September, saying in part,  “A number of individuals and entities have brought to the State Bar’s attention press reports, court filings, and other public documents detailing Mr. Eastman’s conduct.”

That’s odd: bar investigations of ethics complaints are supposed to be confidential, so complaints can’t be used as political weapons or to impugn lawyers’ reputations. Why is Eastman being treated this way? Oh, I’m sure there is some fine print exception somewhere, but the real reason is obvious from the LA Times story headline yesterday: Breaking News: Trump-connected lawyer John Eastman under investigation.” Eastman is “Trump-connected,” so it’s guilt by association, a Joe McCarthy specialty and a favorite tool of despots for centuries.  Beware, any lawyers out there prepared to give counsel, representation and legal assistance to He Whom Progressives Hate and Fear! There will be consequences. Continue reading

Comment Of The Day: “Ethics Reflections, 1/7/22: Two-Day Jan. 6 Hangover Edition”

I don’t know if it’s necessary to de-bunk the absurd claim by Kamala Harris and others that the January 6, 2021 riot was an existential threat to the nation and on par in historical significance to the bombing of the Twin Towers and the attack on Pearl Harbor, much less the claim by the Huffington Post’s White House correspondent that it was “1000 times worse.” Regarding that astounding assertion, I asked, “How can anyone justify or explain that, except as uncontrolled Trump Derangement or deliberate false narrative building?”

But Steve-O-in-NJ decided to explain in detail just how bats this fake narrative is, and I deem it a worthy Comment of the Day for several reasons. First, there may be some readers here who believe the nonsense. Second, I am habitually shocked at just what garbage even intelligent people will accept as true, so I am inclined not to assume that even this self-evident crap won’t pollute some minds. Third, I’m feeling sick today, and should probably be in bed, so I was hoping for a COTD-worthy piece. Fourth, almost no one is commenting today, even fewer than usual on a Saturday, so maybe Steve’s passion will draw fire where I have failed.

Finally, Steve-O was unfairly attacked over the past few days by a nasty bridge-level troll here unearthed by the “echo chamber” survey, and I allowed the jerk to run amuck far too long before banning him/it and sending his worthless comments to Spam Hell.

So here is Steve-O’s Comment of the Day on the post, “Ethics Reflections, 1/7/22: Two-Day Jan. 6 Hangover Edition.Abbondanza!

***

9/11 – the Twin Towers destroyed, the Pentagon badly damaged, 2,977 people killed, including 343 firemen, 72 law enforcement officers, 8 medics, 55 members of the military, 8 children. Victims and first responders alike are still dying of related illnesses. Result: the War on Terror.

Pearl Harbor – 188 military aircraft destroyed on the ground or shot down, five battleships sunk or disabled, three others damaged, 8 other vessels damaged. 2,403 people killed, including 2,008 sailors (1,177 of those on the USS Arizona), 218 soldiers and airmen, 109 marines, and 9 Honolulu firemen who came in to help. Result: American entrance into WW2.

Fort Sumter, April 1861 – no one was killed, but the result was the opening of the Civil War, 600,000, Americans all, killed, and a wound opened which apparently still hasn’t healed, although a lot of us thought it had.

Assault on Washington, August 1814 – unknown number killed, the destruction of much of the public buildings, including the gutting of the White House and severe damage to the Capitol.

Assault on Hampden, ME, September 1814 – only one killed and a few others wounded, two American towns burned to the ground by UK Captain Robert Barrie, who said that he’d have been within his rights to massacre the inhabitants.

Manhattan Draft Riots, July, 1863 – 120 killed, riots crushed.

Bonus Army, July, 1932 – 2, possibly more killed, demonstration dispersed.

Occupy Movement, 2011 – 32 killed, achieved nothing.

Kent State – 4 killed.

George Floyd Riots – 58 people dead (I think), billions in property damage.

Compare this to one rioter shot dead by a police officer and no major damage done last year.

Now we can also talk about occupations – the 2011 attempted takeover of the Wisconsin State Capitol in opposition to a budget repair bill that Governor Scott Walker pushed, which was crushed with no concessions, the Occupy movement, which accomplished nothing except maybe getting a lot of millennials to move out of their parents’ basements (hopefully mom and dad immediately changed the locks), and oh yes, the assaults on both the Senate and the Supreme Court during the Kavanaugh hearings. Funny…each of those times the media sided with the protestors, not the authorities. After all, those times it was all oppression of their good buddies in the Democratic Party and the professional protest community getting stepped on. This time it was a bunch of brainless, fat, toothless (ever notice how conservatives are always supposed to have bad teeth?) yahoos attacking the Capitol and putting their pals in the Squad in danger. It never once struck them as ironic that this time they were strongly against the same behavior their pink pussy hat wearing friends had committed not even four years earlier. Continue reading

Responsibility For The January 6 Capitol Riot, Part I

It is certainly appropriate to analyze and carefully consider the context and causes of the January 6 riot. Doing so, however, does not require the extended hyping, spin and deceit that we have been subjected to by Democrats, Trump-o-phobics and the news media for a full year, culminating in a contrived “anniversary” today. Over the past year, we have heard absurd comparisons of the one day riot to the bombings of September 11, 2001, Pearl Harbor, and maybe Darth Vader’s destruction of Alderaan—I don’t know, I didn’t read every hysterical screed on the topic.

Today’s retrospective overkill in the New York Times, for example, occupies four full pages in the A Section, with seven of the 24 containing at least one riot-related article. Pearl Harbor brought the U.S. into World War II, crippled the Pacific fleet and cost almost 3000 lives. 9/11 ushered in a new era of struggles against Muslim terrorists, also took 3000 lives, and profoundly affected the economy, privacy, civil liberties and politics. And January 6? It provided Democrats with a useful narrative to use to try to neutralize Donald Trump, and opened a new door to criminalizing the Right. The riot never threatened to overturn the election results at any point. It never even delayed the Congressional certification of those results, nor could it.

The motivation behind this orgy of narrative framing is clear: Democrats, progressives and the media are terrified that they are headed for an epic (and oh-so-richly deserved) wipe-out in the 2022 mid-term elections, and the only weapons they appear to have in their arsenal are fear-centered: fear of the end of “democracy” (meaning Democratic Party rule), fear of Trump, and fear of “the deplorables,” with fear of climate change thrown in for variety. It is a massive, shameless, relentless, desperate propaganda effort, divisive, dishonest, thoroughly despicable, and, of course, unethical.

Nonetheless, it would be helpful to examine the reasons the January 6 riot occurred, and I find it incredible that I haven’t seen a single balanced and ethically objective analysis anywhere. Typical of what I have seen is yesterday’s op-ed by The New republic’s contributing editor Osita Nwanvetu. The Times headlined it using a rare form of dishonesty, advancing a lie by denying the lie: “Trump Isn’t The Only One To Blame.” Trump certainly shares a large portion of responsibility for the riot, but since he neither led the mob to the Capitol nor participated in the riot himself, he obviously wasn’t the “only one to blame.” But the politicians and “journalists” who are terrified of him have worked tirelessly to embed that false impression.

Who and what are “to blame” for the ugly events of a year ago? Who isn’t at fault? Here is the Ethics Alarms list. If you know of another equally non-partisan and unbiased analysis, please let me know. I haven’t seen it.

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Dusky Ethics, 1/5/2022: Of Capitol Punishment And Other Things

Yesterday was the anniversary of one of The Boston Strangler’s more audacious murders: Albert DeSalvo (right, above) raped and strangled Mary Sullivan in her Boston apartment, then left a card reading “Happy New Year” leaning against her foot. She was the 13th and last victim of the maniac who terrified the Boston area between 1962 and 1964. I had a near meeting with DeSalvo: in 1964, he knocked on the door of my family’s neighbors, the Morelands, one afternoon. I saw him; of course, I didn’t know who he was or why he was there. It turned out that he had the wrong address, and went to the street parallel to ours in Arlington, Mass. and murdered the woman who lived at the same house number.

DeSalvo was a serial maniac. In the late 1950s, he knocked on the doors of young women’s apartments, claiming to represent a modeling agency and telling them he needed to take their measurements. Then he fondled the women as he used his tape measure. Police called him “Measuring Man.” Next he broke into hundreds of apartments in New England, tying up the women and sexually assaulting them. He always wore green handyman clothes and became known as the “Green Man.” But “The Boston Strangler” was the name that stuck. DeSalvo avoided execution or even the full life sentence F. Lee Bailey negotiated for him. He was stabbed to death by an  inmate at Walpole State Prison after less  than a decade behind bars.

Richard Ramirez, aka.”The Night Stalker,” was, amazingly, worse than DeSalvo; last night I watched a documentary about his reign of terror in the ’80s. A Satanist, Ramirez murdered at least 15 people, committed burglaries and rapes, and sexually molested children. He remained defiant throughout his trial, and though he was sentenced to death, California’s endless appeals system kept him alive, at great taxpayer expense, long enough to perish of cancer after less than twenty years in prison.

Both DeSalvo and Ramirez are excellent examples of the kind of anti-social predators who warrant society having and using a death penalty to establish the ultimate punishment for those who have unequivocally forfeited their right to exist in civilized society. For people like them, capitol punishment is ethical. Allowing them to live on society’s dime is unethical, as well as unjust.

1. To lighten the mood, consider this public service spot by Hawaii’s Department of Health. “Keiki” is Hawaiian for “child.”

Yes, this is the level of awareness so many of our state bureaucracies exhibit. The thing was actually greenlighted. After it had been viewed many times, the video was pulled. “As soon as I saw it this morning, I thought, ‘Hey guys, let’s pull this,’ ” Brooks Baehr of Hawaii’s DOH told reporters. “The intentions were noble, but it was clearly not our best work.”

Boy, I hope it wasn’t their best work. With thinking like this going on in our health departments, no wonder the pandemic is still with us. Continue reading