Celebrating July 5th as a federal holiday is affirmatively strange, because not much good happened on this date. Ted Williams died on July 5, 2002, for example. In 1852, Frederick Douglass picked this date to give his “What to the Slave Is the Fourth of July?” anti-America speech to the Ladies’ Anti-Slavery Society in Rochester, laying the groundwork for anti-America movements in the black community ever since. On this date in 1921, baseball began unraveling the worst scandal in U.S. professional sports, as it concluded that the 1919 World Series had been fixed by gamblers bribing the key players on the Chicago White Sox, aka “The Black Sox.” It was also the date, in 1865, that a military tribunal convicted David Herold, George Atzerodt, Lewis Payne, Mary Surratt, Michael O’Laughlin, Edward Spangler, Samuel Arnold and Dr. Samuel Mudd of “maliciously, unlawfully, and traitorously” conspiring with John Wilkes Booth and others to assassinate President Lincoln on April 14, 1865, and planning to kill General Grant, Vice President Johnson, and Secretary of State William Seward. It was one of the most unfair trials in U.S. history, despite the fact that all of the alleged conspirators were probably guilty. Herold, Atzerodt, Payne, and Surratt were executed [above].
In short, it’s not a good date for ethics.
1 Ethics Alarms has a new Ethics Villain to keep tabs on. David Cole, the ACLU Legal Director who made an ass of himself and attacked his organization’s own client by criticizing a SCOTUS decision that followed the ACLU’s position, was the main authority in a New York Times review of the Court’s just completed term. Here’s nice Cole quote: “The new court is definitely conservative, but that doesn’t mean it is necessarily hostile to civil liberties. It protected many liberties that conservatives favor, including religious liberty, property rights, free speech, the privacy of the home and the right of the wealthy to donate to charities anonymously.”
No partisan bias there! Wait, David, just what are the rights that the progressive justices protect?
2. Speaking of SCOTUS, Steve-O-in NJ asked for my opinion of this idiotic essay in The Week: “The case for ending judicial review.” It reminded me that I never finished the Ethics Alarms compendium of fake news categories, of which this is one: Fantasy Controversies. This kind of essay might as well be “The case for eliminating sex,” “The case for using flatulence to fly to the moon” or “The case for a cheese-based economy.” There is no way for Congress to stop the Court from overruling laws—Separation of Powers exemplified— it finds unconstitutional short of a Constitutional amendment, which is fantasy itself. At the end of the essay, the author concludes, ‘Well, maybe it’s not such a good idea after all.’
It is unethical to waste readers’ time.