Midnight Ethics Terrors, 2/17/21: Trump Attacks! Fake Law! Fake News! Fake Science!

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Okay, I started this at midnight, then got the night terrors, and waited until (almost) daylight to finish…

1. Who didn’t see this coming? Yesterday, Donald Trump unloaded with both metaphorical barrels on Mich McConnell as no President, former or otherwise, has ever attacked his party’s Senate leader before. McConnell asked for it, got it, and deserved it. His post impeachment trial acquittal was a foolish attempt to turn the President’s vindication into a defeat, and a pretty transparent example of the “now that the guy who was never one of us is out of power, we can strike at him with impunity” syndrome. Is McConnell really that deluded and incompetent? He must be. He apparently doesn’t understand the cognitive dissonance scale. Amazing. See, Mitch, nobody really likes you. You have the charisma of a scrub brush. As controversial as Trump is, he’s so much higher than you on the scale…

Cognitive Dissonance

… that attacking him just drags you lower still. Don’t you get that? Now Trump has double the effect. Some prime excerpts:

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Update: The SECOND Trump Impeachment Ethics Train Wreck

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When we last looked in on the destructive, divisive, unconstitutional and unethical fiasco known here as the Trump Impeachment Ethics Train Wreck II, Senator Rand Paul had delivered an excoriating speech about the unconstitutional nature of it all, every Democratic Senator had voted to continue with a trial that is, as Paul stated, unconstitutional on its face, Democrats openly discussed passing a Bill of Attainder (which is what any action barring a single private citizen, Donald Trump, from running for office would be), the Chief Justice refused to sully his name by any involvement with such an embarrassment, and President Biden, while vowing out of one side of his mouth to be a unifying presence, lifted nary a finger to stop his party from engaging in a trial that was based on hate, vengeance, and the craven need to satisfy the worst of its supporters. Meanwhile, the mainstream news media refuses to inform the American public why the whole thing is bad partisan political theater and little else.

Now we have the following fun developments:

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Mid-Day Ethics Warm-Up, 1/5/2021: Zombie Lawyers! Imaginary News! Dead Ethics Alarms! Wrong Numbers!

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1. The Florida Bar, protecting us all against unethical zombie lawyers...Last month, the Florida Supreme Court approved that Florida Bar’s decision to disbar Sabrina Starr Spradley, a 41-year-old attorney in private practice in Delray Beach, Florida. She died more than a year ago. The rules do not require another attorney or family member to tell the bar when a lawyer being disciplined has died, so poor Sabrina had to suffer the post mortem indignity of being labeled an unethical lawyer.

“We do have 108,000 lawyers in Florida,” a Florida Bar spokesperson explained. “There are a lot of individuals that we regulate. We rely on people to inform us.”

Why? How hard is it to routinely check the obituaries before wasting the Supreme Court’s time?

2. For the fake news Hall of Fame. Because President Trump is “reportedly” (whatever that means) “considering” flying to Scotland instead of attending Joe Biden’s inauguration on January 20, the Independent reports that Scotland won’t allow him in, because it wouldn’t be “essential” travel. Can a news headline (“Trump not allowed into Scotland to escape Biden inauguration, Sturgeon warns” ) be built on fewer facts than this?

Incidentally, there’s no law requiring an outgoing President to attend the inauguration of a President, and if Trump declines to do so, he would not be the first. He’d be the fourth, following John Adams, John Quincy Adams, and Andrew Johnson. A gracious transfer of power is always in the best interest of the nation, and Trump would do himself a favor if he just sucked it up and pretended to be a statesman. I doubt that he will.

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Follow-Up From The Ethics Alarms “I Don’t Understand This At All” And “Wuhan Virus Ethics Train Wreck” Files: Why Are We Allowing This To Continue?

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Minnesota state Representative Mary Franson and Senator Scott Jensen (who is a physician) collected 2800 death certificates provided by the Minnesota Department of Health, checking to see if alleged Wuhan virus deaths were being over-counted. (Well, anyone who sees the obituaries of 95-year-olds and 103-year-olds who are called pandemic victims knows they are being over-counted. Ethics Alarms has noted this tool of the hysterics, nascent totalitarians and fearmongers before.) Jensen had earlier pointed out that hospitals had financials incentives to use the pandemic as a default cause of death.

Jensen explains that while one would typically look to the “UCOD” or “Underlying Cause Of Death” for classification purposes rather than the “immediate” cause or the “intermediate” causes. The practice the CDC had always required in classifying deaths was to use the UCOD.

But for the Wuhan virus, the CDC practice of 17 years was changed, and physicians were told, “If someone had the pandemic virus, it doesn’t matter if it was actually the diagnosis that caused death. If someone had the virus, they died of it.” Stroke? Multi-organ failure? If the deceased tested positive for the Wahun virus, that was the cause of death. Franson and Jensen uncovered examples where victims of a fall were called pandemic casualties. Drowning victims. One “Covid 19” victim died after being thrown from a speeding automobile. About 800 of the 2,800 death certificates examined indicated that the virus was not the underlying cause of death. That’s a 40% overstatement.

It isn’t just Minnesota that’s doing this, either. It’s every state, and the whole country.

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Waning 2020 Ethics Warm-Up

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A reader reports that he can’t pull up Ethics Alarms on Google Chrome or Microsoft Edge. Is anyone else having this problem?

Wasn’t it nice when we naively assumed that such things were just technical glitches and not part of Big Tech’s increasingly intrusive alliance with the totalitarian-minded forces of the extreme Left?

1. Embrace the narrative. “Louisiana Congressman-elect Luke Letlow dies with COVID-19” is just one of many headlines announcing that the 41-year-old Representative-elect died from the Wuhan virus. So far, every headline I’ve seen is some version of this. Letlow died of a heart attack, in fact, during some un-named procedure related to his treatment for the virus. People die of unexpected heart attacks with some frequency during hospital procedures for other problems, and the cause of death is usually listed as “heart attack.” Maybe the virus caused his death and maybe it didn’t, but the headlines stating this as fact is more pandemic fearmongering, and. yes, fake news.

2. Good. You will recall that Twitter censored The New York Post’s account of the incriminating Hunter Biden laptop being found because it claimed that the business memos, photos of a Hunter using illegal drugs, and other disturbing photos came from a “hacker,” when Twitter’s real objective was, it seems fair to conclude, to keep as many people as possible from learning about matters that might cause them not to vote for Hunter’s father. Now the computer repair company’s owner is  suing Twitter for $500,000,000.00 for libel, defamation, and ruining his business, claiming that the social media giant disparaged him.

3. One more reason to distrust the election results: President Donald Trump topped former President Barack Obama for the title of most admired man in America in Gallup’s 2020 survey. Trump had tied with Obama in 2019 while Obama beat him in 2017 and 2018. President Joe Biden came in third. Obama had been #1 since 2008.

Don’t you find this strange?

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Boxing Day Ethics Warm-Up, 2020: A Tip, An Obituary, A Prank, A Tell, And A Slug

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Now this is a dedicated grandmother: my sister, who has been risk-averse her whole life, and who is my model of a Wuhan virus phobic, bought a used Winnebago, loaded up her old Havanese, and drove from Virginia to Los Angeles to spend Christmas and another three weeks with her son, his wife, and their seven month-old daughter. On the way cross country she parked her vehicle outside the homes of a series of strangers she was connected to by friends and friends of friends. Amazing.

1. There seem to be a few of these Christmas Ethics Heroes every year. In Bartonsville, Illinois, an occasional restaurant customer on Christmas Eve morning left a 2,000 dollar tip—in cash—for the 19-person staff of the Bartonsville diner. The man didn’t even leave his full name, just “Tony,” though he is apparently the son of a regular who joined him for breakfast. “He just said, ‘Merry Christmas,'” the owner told reporters. “How generous of somebody to do that, especially somebody who doesn’t come in that often. Nobody was expecting it, that’s for sure.”

2. How do you write an obnoxious obituary? Here’s how you write an obnoxious obituary. The Lagacy.com. entry for Grace McDonough, who died on December 21, concludes with this gratuitous and graceless—no pun intended—text:

The actions and inactions of the United States government regarding the Covid-19 virus has caused Grace McDonough and thousands of other nursing home residents to lose their lives to the Covid -19 virus. These same residents had successfully fought and won great battles against other diseases and conditions and yet were placed in harm’s way during the pandemic. These frail, elderly, sick and vulnerable innocents were not protected by the government they supported, fought for, contributed to and now depended on. Shame on the United States government! We, as their loved ones, have the right to be profoundly sad and profoundly angry at the same time. May our loved ones now rest in peace. It is the least they deserve.

Grace was 95 years old. She lived in a nursing home, where residents are in close confinement and where pandemic infections were and are especially deadly. Attributing the death of a 95-year-old on the undefined “actions and inactions” of the government demonstrates a) a dangerous gullibility to Democratic propaganda b) denial of reality and c) the continuation of  what is probably a pattern of looking for someone to blame for every misfortune. Fark, the humorous news aggregator website infected itself with predictable leftist bias, termed the obituary “fierce.” I would call it signature significance indicating a family teeming with jerks.

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Sunday Morning Ethics Warm-Up, 12/6/2020: Euphemism, Epidemiology And Epistemology

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1. Unfortunately, the University of Chicago is not typical of American educational institutions. Smith College is. When Jodi Shaw, a Smith administrative staff member, criticized the college’s critical race theory-based “sensitivity training” required of all staff members and posted here own YouTube videos on the issue, the president of Smith College, Kathleen McCartney, felt it necessary to issue a formal statement that said in part:

This past week, an employee of the college posted a personal video to express their concerns about the college’s programming to promote racial justice….This employee does not speak for the college or any part of the college. Further, we believe the video mischaracterizes the college’s important, ongoing efforts to build a more equitable and inclusive living, learning and working environment.

You should know that the employee has not violated any college policies by sharing their personal views on a personal channel. The National Labor Relations Act protects employees who engage in concerted activities, including speech, with respect to workplace conditions. All members of any workplace, including Smith College, have the freedom to criticize the policies and practices of their employer.

Nevertheless, I am writing to affirm that the President’s Cabinet and I believe we have a moral responsibility to promote racial justice, equity and inclusion at Smith College. To the people of color in our community, please know our commitment is steadfast. And especially to our students of color, please know we are here for you always.

All members of Smith College, have the freedom to criticize the policies and practices of their employer; they just risk having the president call them racists.

“Racial justice” is now an Orwellian phrase and euphemism (like “black lives matter”) to avoid discussion and to cut off dissent before it starts. After all, what kind of person objects to “justice”?

2. But wait! There’s more! In an open letter to the Smith community authored by an alumnae group, Shaw is being targeted for “re-education”:

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KABOOM! The Fake U.S. Wuhan Virus Statistics

Apparently the statistics we have been hammered over the head with for months, that have been used to frighten American, close schools, and manipulate Presidential elections, are pure, unadulterated kaka, and, more amazing still, health professionals have known this all along.

KABOOM!

Here is a quote casually thrown into an October Newsweek article about Joe Biden’s attempts to argue the President Trump’s policies have killed people (the bolding is mine):

Biden’s claim doesn’t acknowledge that the U.S. counts coronavirus deaths differently from other countries. Indeed, we are counting deaths differently than we have for any other disease. “The case definition is very simplistic,” Dr. Ngozi Ezike, director of Illinois Department of Public Health, explains. “It means, at the time of death, it was a COVID positive diagnosis. That means, that if you were in hospice and had already been given a few weeks to live, and then you also were found to have COVID, that would be counted as a COVID death. It means, technically even if you died of [a] clear alternative cause, but you had COVID at the same time, it’s still listed as a COVID death.”

Believe it or not, it gets worse. I, and many others, have long suspected that the Wuhan virus death totals were inflated this way, for reasons ranging to incompetence and laziness to greed and a deliberate intention to deceive the public. But here was the next brain-bomb (again, the emphasis is mine):

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Emergency Fake News Alert!

Map 2020

I have now seen several reports that Joe Biden is certain to be elected. This is fake news—a lie—and needs to be debunked immediately, not that it’s difficult. Many are pushing the narrative: Chris Wallace, who has pretty much outed himself as a biased, anti-Trump hack this election cycle, stated as fact that if the former VP wins Nevada and Michigan, he’s the next President. Apparently Chris can’t add.

I can, at least better than Chris. The President at this point has 214 electoral votes, fewer than Biden’s 253. he is certain to win Alaska’s 3 votes, making his total 217.

Even Nate Silver, CNN and MSNBC have conceded today that it looks like Trump may pull out a win in Arizona, winning 10 more electoral votes there. That makes 227.

By the way: good election night state-calling there, AP and Fox News.

Trump has to win North Carolina and Georgia, where it is close, but he is leading in both states with only 5% left to count. That’s 31 more in the Electoral College, giving him 258.

At that point, Pennsylvania, where the President is also leading, would give Donald Trump re-election with 8 votes to spare.

This is far from a certain scenario, but it isn’t unlikely either. And we’re not even considering whether the suspicious vote totals in Wisconsin and Michigan stand up to scrutiny.

Carry on.

Ethics Quote Of The Month: Time Op-Ed Writer Bret Stephens

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“It’s a compromise that is fatal to liberalism. It reintroduces a concept of blasphemy into the liberal social order. It gives the prospectively insulted a de facto veto over what other people might say. It accustoms the public to an ever-narrower range of permissible speech and acceptable thought. And… it slowly but surely turns writers, editors and publishers into cowards.”

Bret Stephens, intermittently conservative New York Times columnist, in an op-ed condemning the acceptance of censorship and self-censorship as norms by the modern Left.

Stephens is certainly on a roll lately. His previous column (effectively and accurately) condemning the pet Times race propaganda “1619 Project” for what it is (that is to say, cultural and historical toxic waste) was not his last, as many predicted, and apparently emboldened by his survival, Stephens is determined to “let it all hang out,” as they used to say in the Sixties. Once again, he is attacking his own paper, which has doubled-down in its determination to publish only the news it feels safe to let its readers know about.

It is telling that Stephens’ column was published in tandem this week with another attempt by the Times to hide the utter corruption of the Biden family from the public, at least until the election is over. Above the Stephens piece—also telling—is the poisonous Michelle Goldberg’s screed suggesting that the discovery of Hunter Biden’s incriminating (to both him and his father) laptop is more GOP “collusion.” The Times’ truly despicable headline: “Is the Trump Campaign Colluding With Russia Again?” Note “Again”: the Mueller investigation found no evidence of “collusion” by any American citizen, much less the Trump campaign (to be fair, it didn’t investigate the Clinton campaign’s Russian dealings), and yet the Times allows that lie to lead its Editorial page. Polls show (I know, I know: polls) that over 70% of Democrats still think the President won the election by colluding with Russia, and mainstream media descriptions like this is a main reason. And it’s intentional.

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