Only my recent travails have delayed my letter not only withdrawing from my Georgetown Law Center class reunion committee but announcing that I have no intention of attending any celebration of a degree that has embarrassed me repeatedly for several years, most notably in this revolting episode. But, to be fair, my undergraduate degree has been rendered equally nauseating, and over a much longer period. That Harvard—it has to be #1 in everything.
This Month’s Harvard Magazine continued the apparently irreversible trend. The Harvard Library announced that it is removing the “illegal alien” subject heading from its collection descriptions, citing the hoary progressive talking-point that “actions can be illegal, but people cannot.” This has always been sophistry and rhetorical sleight of hand to make it linguistically difficult to describe what it is that is objectionable about those who illegally cross our borders and remains here, receiving the benefits of this nation without having been granted them. When the elite and educated in a society start bolstering bad ideas and flawed logic by abusing their perceived authority and confusing the ignorant and gullible, propaganda gains overwhelming power.
The “no person is illegal” trick is intellectually dishonest, of course. Illegal aliens are people who are in this country illegally. Ergo, while remaining in this country, their existence here is illegal, and hence they are illegal. One could say with equal validity—that is, none—that no drug can be truly illegal, because objects themselves can’t do anything, legal or not. It’s what is done with the drugs that is illegal–make them, distribute them, sell them, use them. You can’t prosecute an object.
When I recently noted on Facebook the fact, and it is a fact, that Biden has intentionally told the public that the Georgia voting reform bill limits the times for voting when in fact it expands them, the Trump Deranged reacted predictably, immediately alluding to President Trump’s alleged lies as a justification for giving Biden a pass. First of all, a basic principle of ethics holds that an unethical act is not mitigated by similar or worse conduct by someone else. More importantly, however, when discussing leadership credibility, both quality and quantity matters. As Ethics Alarms pointed out early in the Trump administration, he had such a well-established proclivity for exaggeration, hyperbole, boasting, eccentric views of reality, selective memory and gibberish that it was difficult to take his assertions seriously. Moreover, the news media and anti-Trump fanatics refused to distinguish between actual lies—falsehoods designed to deceive—and Trump’s opinions they disagreed with or statements they deliberately misinterpreted—or lied about themselves, in some cases for years.
Said President Joe Biden from his “bully pulpit” last week:
“What I’m worried about is how un-American this whole initiative is. It’s sick. It’s sick,” Biden said. “Deciding that you’re going to end voting at five o’clock when working people are just getting off work!”
Unconscionable! Outrageous! Except that it’s not true. AND it took the news media almost a week to notice. Good job there, Jimmy Olsen! Wouldn’t that have been a good topic for a question at Biden’s first news conference?
On Election Day in Georgia, polling places are open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., and if you are in line by 7 p.m., you are allowed to cast your ballot. Nothing in the new law changes those rules.However, the law did make some changes to early voting. But experts say the net effect was to expand the opportunities to vote for most Georgians, not limit them.
That’s sick! It’s…wait, no actually there’s nothing wrong with that, is there?
“One could understand a flub in a news conference,” Kessler writes. “But then this same claim popped up in an official presidential statement. Not a single expert we consulted who has studied the law understood why Biden made this claim, as this was the section of law that expanded early voting for many Georgians. Somehow Biden managed to turn that expansion into a restriction aimed at working people, calling it ‘among the outrageous parts’ of the law. There’s no evidence that is the case.”
He also tells us, “We sought an explanation from the White House for the reason for Biden’s remarks but did not receive an on-the-record response.”
How brazen are our indoctrination institutions as they attempt to enshrine the new racism as an American norm? This brazen: Cornell launched a segregated rock-climbing course excluding white students, described as a class will provide a “high degree of individual attention” focusing on “BIPOC individuals and groups in rock climbing.” Campus Reform confronted school authorities about the discriminatory and facially illegal course description, and the school quickly backed down, pulled the description, changing it to one stating that the class is “open to all” students who are “interested in learning rock climbing with this special focus.”
Wow. Cornell must be really certain that all of its students have been thoroughly woked if it took an outside conservative website to get the school to reverse itself. Or perhaps they were confident that any Cornell student who had the perception, intelligence and integrity to flag this outrage would know that he or she risked being driven off campus by an angry mob, not that this would be a bad thing. I would not stay in a college run by administrators who openly discriminate like that, and it wouldn’t matter what group they were discriminating against.
In her very first press conference, new Press Secretary Jen Psaki told reporters that when Joe Biden asked her to do the job, they talked of the “importance of bringing truth and transparency back to the briefing room.” Later she added, “If the president were standing with me here today, he would say he works for the American, I work for him, so I also work for the American people. So his objective and his commitment is to bring transparency and truth back to government, to share the truth even when it is hard to hear, and that is something I hope to deliver on as well.”
What a nice speech! And I would be shocked if a single member of the press corps didn’t know it was utter, complete, transparent bull shit. It did give various news sources an opening for another cheap shot against President Trump, because HIS press secretaries were always spinning and obfuscating. Not Jen! SHE worked for an honest President, so she will always be honest.
This was a stupid, stupid thing for Psaki to say. As Ethics Alarms has noted through two administrations and seven Presidential mouthpieces, these are paid liars. That’s their job. It’s a somewhat easier job when the news media is devoted to giving the boss a pass, as it was with Obama and now again with Biden, but even then, press secretaries are seldom transparent and often untruthful. All of them. In fact, Psaki was lying when she said she was going to be transparent and truthful, so she broke her pledge on Day One.
Day Two, however, was hilarious, or cruel, or perfect, depending on your orientation.
GOP Senator Josh Hawley of Missouri announced yesterday that he would object to Congress’s certification of the Electoral College results on January 6 as “an effort to highlight the failure” of states “to follow their own election laws as well as the unprecedented interference of Big Tech monopolies in the election.” “Millions of voters concerned about election integrity deserve to be heard,” he said in a statement. “I will object on Jan. 6 on their behalf.”
In other words, this is symbolic political theater, nothing more, nothing less. The Constitution requires that challenges to the certification process, which are completely legal, be approved by majorities in both the House and Senate. That;s not going to happen, obviously, and Hawley’s statement makes that clear.
And yet here is Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar, whose status as a favorite of my Democrats friends among the contenders for the Presidential nomination highlighted just how awful that field was, tweeted this:
“This is how you run for President on the Republican side in 2024. You join a coup attempt. Democracy will prevail. As lead Dem on Rules Committee, I will guarantee it. There’s a bipartisan group of electeds who will put our country first. See you on the 6th!”
That’s pretty shameless coming from a Democrat whose party tried one soft coup attempt after another since 2016, including a contrived impeachment without evidence of “high crimes and misdemeanors” and a relentless investigation designed to undermine trust and support of the President. Then there’s the fact, revealed in the New York Times, that in the last three decades, every time a Republican won the election, Democrats in Congress challenged the certification of that election, and when a Democrat won the Presidency, Congressional Republicans did not challenge the certification. Does Klobuchar believe that her party attempted coups in 2000, 2004 and 2016? She’s deliberately mischaracterizing Hawley’s action, but then that’s Amy.
“In the pandemic’s early days, Dr. Fauci tended to cite the same 60 to 70 percent estimate that most experts did. About a month ago, he began saying “70, 75 percent” in television interviews. And last week, in an interview with CNBC News, he said “75, 80, 85 percent” and “75 to 80-plus percent….In a telephone interview the next day, Dr. Fauci acknowledged that he had slowly but deliberately been moving the goal posts. He is doing so, he said, partly based on new science, and partly on his gut feeling that the country is finally ready to hear what he really thinks. Hard as it may be to hear, he said, he believes that it may take close to 90 percent immunity to bring the virus to a halt — almost as much as is needed to stop a measles outbreak.“
No, what is hard to hear, though at this point hardly a shock to anyone with a functioning brain, is that Fauci now admits he’s been lying….you know, “for our own good.”
Don’t heed the spin, the double-talk and the euphemisms: when someone tells you something other than what he or she knows to be true or believes to be true, that individual is deliberately attempting to deceive you by communicating what they believe to be untrue as true. That’s lying. No debate. No defense. That’s what it is, by definition. “I did it for your own good” is a rationalization.
As a long-time Popeye fan, I established the Ethics Alarms designation in the spinach-gulping sailor’s honor to mark the times when I feel compelled to rail against a particularly persistent media distortion of reality. This morning’s New York Times sports section, in a bottom of the page article about ESPN firing one of its more political hosts now earns a Popeye for this bit of deliberate disinformation, aimed at smearing the President (of course). As has been a pattern at the Times, President Trump had little connection to the story but it was decided that a gratuitous attack was appropriate anyway.
Reporter Keven Draper wrote (and Times editors accepted) this:
Le Batard publicly criticized ESPN’s tepid approach to covering politics after President Trump tweeted that four Democratic congresswomen of color should “go back” to “the crime-infested places from which they came” — comments that even members of Trump’s party condemned as racist.
Although this is how the President’s admittedly stupid and inflammatory tweets have been misquoted since they were posted, that is not what he tweeted. Here are the tweets in question:
Lists are fun (that’s why “The Book of Lists” was a runaway best seller); they also drive me crazy. Unless the lists are based on incontrovertible statistics and identifiable features (American League batting champions since 1900; states that begin with the letter “N”) they are essentially a stranger’s arbitrary opinions misrepresenting themselves as facts. I’ve posted about this a couple of times, first in 2011. That one concluded (in part), “I know these lists are all intended in good fun. When one is dealing with history, however, fun doesn’t excuse advancing misinformation at the cost of enlightenment.”
The list in question today involves subjective aesthetic judgments, not history, but it still has ethical problems. It was compiled by the New Your Times film critics—you know: experts!”—and purports to show us the “25 greatest actors of the 21st Century (so far).” That’s a lie. I guarantee that the authors themselves do not believe these are the 25 greatest actors by any standards.
[This is Part 2 of the Ethics Alarms essay that begins here.]
The first section of “A False Narrative Exposed” concluded,
The extent of the Democrats’ false smearing of Justice Amy Coney Barrett and the blatant fearmongering regarding the consequences of her confirmation are put in sharp perspective when one goes back and re-reads the New York Times editorial of the week before headlines, “The Republican Party’s Supreme Court.” Indeed, the Times editorial shows us much more: the utter dishonesty of the mainstream media and its willingness to mislead rather than inform the public; it’s deliberate employment of false history to advance its partisan ends, and perhaps most damming of all, the weak powers of reasoning and analysis the alleges cream of the journalistic crop applies to its craft. Then there are the repeated reminders that the Times is so deeply in bed with the Democrats that it can count its moles.
Let’s look at that editorial…
“What happened in the Senate chamber on Monday evening was, on its face, the playing out of a normal, well-established process of the American constitutional order: the confirmation of a president’s nominee to the Supreme Court. But Senate Republicans, who represent a minority of the American people, are straining the legitimacy of the court by installing a deeply conservative jurist, Amy Coney Barrett, to a lifetime seat just days before an election that polls suggest could deal their party a major defeat.”
Right—those phony polls meant to suppress the GOP vote showing that the Democrats were going to increase their dominance of the House and win control of the Senate. The scandalously misleading and mistaken polls were also part of the novel Democratic argument, endorsed by the Times, that the Senate should reject a legal and historically routine SCOTUS nomination because of clearly biased polls…a corrupting phenomenon the Founders never heard of.
“As with President Trump’s two earlier nominees to the court, Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh, the details of Judge Barrett’s jurisprudence were less important than the fact that she had been anointed by the conservative activists at the Federalist Society. Along with hundreds of new lower-court judges installed in vacancies that Republicans refused to fill when Barack Obama was president, these three Supreme Court choices were part of the project to turn the courts from a counter-majoritarian shield that protects the rights of minorities to an anti-democratic sword to wield against popular progressive legislation like the Affordable Care Act.”
The only valid question for the Senate to consider was whether Barrett was qualified. Even the deeply progressive-biased American Bar Association agreed that she was. I don’t know what the Times is trying to say: the Federalist Society wouldn’t have approved of an unqualified justice. “Anointed’ is just cheap Times rhetoric meaning “conservatives tended to agree with her jurisprudence,” just as progressives approved of the late Justice Ginsberg. Both had to excel during tough questioning in their confirmation hearings. Neither was “anointed.” The editorial board is pandering to its readership’s hysterical biases against conservatives….