Independence Day With Ethics Alarms 1… Ethics Quote Of The Month: President Donald Trump

“It is time for our politicians to summon the bravery and determination of our American ancestors. It is time. It is time to plant our flag and to protect the greatest of this nation for citizens of every race in every city in every part of this glorious land. For the sake of our honor, for the sake of our children, for the sake of our union, we must protect and preserve our history, our heritage, and our great heroes. Here tonight before the eyes of our forefathers, Americans declare again, as we did 244 years ago, that we will not be tyrannized, we will not be demeaned, and we will not be intimidated by bad, evil people. It will not happen.”

President Donald J Trump, speaking at Mt. Rushmore last night, and aggressively defending the United States of America, its Founders, its history and culture.

Bravo.

Last night’s speech, a ringing assertion of American greatness and a defiant condemnation of those who would topple it, despite the inevitable Trump flourishes of exaggeration, hyperbole, and deliberate provocation, was exactly what was needed, called for, and had to be said. It was inspiring, or should have been: I wonder about anyone who could read the transcript and not be stirred. I would ask, “What happened to you?” We also now know why it was appropriate to give that speech by Mt. Rushmore. The President extolled and defended our heroes, and devoted a section of the speech to each of the Presidents on the mountain, including, as CNN said last night to its damnation, “two slaveholders.”

There are about ten passages in the speech that I could have highlighted. I picked that one because it reminded me of this speech by a fictional President in a movie I detest, “Independence Day.” I would not be surprised to learn the speechwriter had that model in mind:

“President Whitmore” is talking about space aliens trying to destroys us. The mobs of America-haters who are attacking our core values and culture remind me of the aliens in “Invasion of the Body-Snatchers,” taking over the minds and bodies of one rational citizens, and terrorizing those who won’t submit to their “conversion.” Continue reading

Unethical Quote Of The Month: CNN’s Brian Stelter

“You understand that, like, some day you’re going to regret this, right? Some day you’re going to regret this, when your kids and your grandkids look back at this time, and you use slurs and smear us as fake news to hurt news outlets. I think in 10 or 20 years if we sit down and talk about this, you’ll recognize how damaging it was to use terms like fake news, to attack journalists who are trying to do their jobs.”

—-Brian Stelter, CNN’s alleged media expert, excoriating Trump campiagn legal advisor Jenna Ellis.  on his Sunday show “Reliable Sources.”

And with that, Stelter completed an unholy CNN trinity  with Don Lemon and Chris Cuomo who have had on-air emotional outbursts and tantrums because, to put it simply, none of them are very smart or professional. The antics of all three would embarrass any legitimate, trustworthy news organization, which CNN obviously is no longer, and the fact that it continues to employ Stelter, a virulent partisan who covers for CNN’s constant journalism sins, is a smoking gun, one of many. Continue reading

Here’s A “Little List” Worth Perusing: Fake News Clues

The pop-culture-trivia-snark-list website Cracked (and how sad is it that the site based on the inferior magazine knock-off of Mad Magazine is still going and Mad has bitten the metaphorical dust?) has a post listing twenty ways not to be fooled by fake news. It starts out,

Thanks to the Twitters and the Facebooks of the world, these days we pretty much just get our “news” from the clickbait headlines we see while scrolling through poorly-made but still hilarious memes. Which sucks, because it’s pretty much ruining society. So here’s how to avoid becoming an uninformed angry internet denizen in the future.

Among the article’s observations:

  • Don’t trust The Daily Mail. I knew it was basically a rag, but I didn’t know the Daily Mail has overtaken the New York Times as the most visited news website.

I’ve never used the Daily Mail for a story without checking other sources, but he’s right; it’s lazy. I won’t use it from now on.

  • The use of the term “after ” in a headline implies causation that is often not there.

This is a New York Times specialty, particularly on Trump-bashing stories by reporter Maggie Halberman.

  • The post warns of headlines that are composed to nab clicks but that do not accurately reflect the content of the story beneath..

Another New York Times specialty.

  • This one was unintentionally funny, especially in the midst of the rest:

What reputable news sources? As the list amply demonstrates, there aren’t any! Continue reading

CNN Introduces Democratic Presidential Candidate Affirmative Action.

Sorry, Congresswoman, you’re the wrong kind of minority. Besides, Hillary says you’re a Russian asset.

Like all affirmative action, it is discriminatory and unfair.

Last night and tonight, February 6, CNN will host a candidate’s town hall in anticipation of the New Hampshire Primary. Eight presidential candidates were invited to attend: Joe Biden, Elizabeth Warren, Andrew Yang, Tom Steyer,  Bernie Sanders, Pete Buttigieg,  Amy Klobuchar, and Deval Patrick, the African American former Governor of Massachusetts.

Representative Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii was not invited, which is strange, or suspicious, or typical, this being CNN. She is polling higher nationally than Patrick, 1.8 %  to  0.5 %.  Gabbard is also polling ahead of  Patrick, and Yang, and Steyer in New Hampshire, yet they are all invited  to the town hall. Continue reading

From The Increasingly Stuffed “Nah, There’s Mo Mainstream Media Bias!” Files: Politico Changes A Headline

What’s going on here? Apparently either a Politico editor or a representative of the Democratic Party/”resistance”/mainstream media alliance to bring down the President (aka The Axis of Unethical Conduct, or AUC) realized that the headline on the left conveyed an unequivocally positive message regarding Trump. That was a violation of the three-year plan, so the change was ordered. It was especially egregious since impeachment is the objective now, based on the narrative that President Trump is a threat to all that is good and right. Can’t have a positive headline now. Come on!

The USMCA is the new United ­States-Mexico-Canada Agreement.

[The near unanimous vote in the Senate didn’t include Bernie Sanders (he’s Statler, Joe Biden is Waldorf…or is it the other way around?) because, Bernie says, there was “not a single damn mention” of climate change.]

Can anyone point to an example in the Obama administration where a positive headline regarding a victory for the President was replaced in order to suggest that it was less impressive? Does anyone think there ever was such a case?

Hell, I might even post this one on Facebook to see all the rationalizations and excuses my deranged friends come up with. It should be a hoot. Once again I miss the self-exiled “resistance” commenters here, a bright bunch whose machinations and comical pretzelling in their denials that the news media was biased and no more trustworthy than a rabid honey badger were always worth admiration and mirth.

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Pointer: Erin Perrine

Please use this link to post on Facebook, because Mark Z won’t let Ethics Alarms links appear there. Not fake enough, I guess…https://twitter.com/CaptCompliance/status/1218336309955256322

Is This The Most Unethical Book Review Ever?

It has to be close, because I don’t know how a book review can be more unethical.

The book in question is Ruth Marcus’s unconscionable hit piece on Justice Brett Kavanaugh, “Supreme Ambition.” The forum is the book review section of the New York Times, which has been trying to smear Kavanaugh since he was nominated for the Supreme Court, and even since the contrived attempt to defeat him by ancient and uncorroborated accusations of misconduct when he was a teenagerwhen he was a teenagerwhen he was a teenager (no three times is not enough repitition to emphasize how despicable this was) failed, as it should have. The objective, trustworthy reviewer the Times chose to assess the book was Adam Cohen. He writes speeches for and advises New York’s socialist mayor Bill de Blasio, and authored “Supreme Inequality: The Supreme Court’s Fifty-Year Battle for a More Unjust America,” coming out next month.

Yup, the perfect guy to provide an objective review of an anti-Kavanaugh book.

It is clear by now that progressives and the mainstream media have added the Brett Kavanugh confirmation hearing to the shooting of Mike Brown, the death of Trayvon Martin, and the fake Russian Collusion theory as narratives they will falsely characterize until the stars turn cold. Incredibly,  Cohen writes at the end of his review,

“As important as the Kavanaugh battle was for the court, however, there was something even more profound at stake: whether, on the most important questions, our nation is capable of putting the public interest ahead of partisanship, and whether the truth matters. The forces aligned for partisanship and against truth are stronger than ever.”

Cohen’s review is a prime example of the condition he claims to be condemning. What “truth”? Not a single fact was produced during the hearing that had any relevance to Brett Kavanaugh’s fitness to be a Supreme Court Justice. His record as a judge was impeccable and beyond reproach. Ah, BUT…Marcus and Cohen point to this: Continue reading

Comment Of The Day: “’Nah, There’s No Mainstream Media Bias!’ As Chuck Todd Drops The Mask”

This fierce Comment of the Day by Steve-O-in NJ is one more think-piece in a slowly  completing jigsaw puzzle that promises to reveal an ugly, ugly picture.

I can’t quite make sense out of it yet, but I see other pieces; the attacks on Jews by blacks in New York, the rise of anti-Semistsm on the Left, Rep. Omar’s open mourning of an anti-American, murderous Iranian terrorist, Pete Buttigieg’s cynical use of God to make his partisan arguments, Joe Biden’s neon hypocrisy (Joe says he is a devout Catholic who adheres to his religion’s teachings, but he strongly supports abortion because he won’t “impose” his beliefs on others), the concerted efforts of LGTBG activists to bend small businesses owned by Christian to their will rather than leave them to their beliefs—the liberal contempt for religion and the religious is of long standing, and the Democrats have paid discounted prices for their arrogance.

I’m not sure how the pieces fit together yet, or how ugly the final picture will be.

Here is Steve-O’s Comment of the Day, taking off from a quote in the post, “‘Nah, There’s No Mainstream Media Bias!’ As Chuck Todd Drops The Mask”

“If you’re religious, you’re a dope, and you’re the problem. That’s what he thinks. That’s what most of them think.”

I wish it were that simple. Non-believers and nominal believers are pretty much the same as the rest of us. Militant atheists (the ones who constantly attack the beliefs of others) are usually miserable souls and relatively easily dismissed or walked away from. Chuck Todd is one of the insidious liberal elite who see religion as just one more item in the locker of things that can be weaponized against those he doesn’t agree with and wants to see gone. The liberal are happy to have the boost of black churches and ministers. They are happy to portray them as pillars of the community who bravely stand up to the oppressor and defy the racist system. They are happy to have the moral boost that synagogues can provide, whether it’s from the progressive ones for whom Judaism isn’t much more than spiritualized leftism, or the black-clad Orthodox who still count a few tattooed Holocaust survivors among them, both for themselves and because they are one more means to remind everyone that They Are Different And Must Be Respected, so no saying “Merry Christmas” or singing “Silent Night.” They are also happy to have whatever boost they can get from the mosques, and weaponize them to remind us that Not All Muslims Are Terrorists, in fact very few are, and most of them are SUCH warm people of faith, and don’t you feel stupid and cruel for not trusting them?

At the same time they weaponize Catholicism against its adherents, and say how dare you support a church that treats women as brood mares and acts as a procurer for pedophiles? They weaponize evangelical Christianity too, saying how dare you support a church that tells you how to think and supports those icky conservative values? Maybe they’re ok, just ok, mind you, with squishy Episcopalian churches that just exist to wave at the liberal agenda as it goes by, and Unitarian churches that just shrug and say “follow your journey and live your truth,” but probably more than half of them are actively hostile to Christianity in any form, and look down their noses at its adherents. Continue reading

Saturday Morning Ethics Warm-Up, 1/4/20: Abortion, Ann Althouse, A Big Lie And The Big Stupid

Good morning!

We’ve started a year without a dog enriching each day for the first time in over three decades. Don’t like it much.

1 . Lobbying the Supreme Court against abortion.  207 members of Congress — 39 senators and 168 House members from 38 states — filed  an amicus  brief urging the Supreme Court to uphold a Louisiana anti-abortion law when it hears the case in March, stating they “have a special interest in the correct interpretation, application and enforcement of health and safety standards for elective abortion by the people of the states they represent.” In the brief, the mostly GOP legislators (two Democrats also signed on) implore  the Supreme Court to uphold a lower court’s decision to let stand a Louisiana statute that requires physicians who perform abortions to have admitting privileges to a hospital within 30 miles of where the procedure is being performed. SCOTUS declared virtually the same law unconstitutional in Texas; the argument for this law is that Texas is bigger than Louisiana.

I’m serious.

The Center for Reproductive Rights argues that the Louisiana law is really an effort to “regulate abortion out of existence,” claiming that only one physician in the state would be able to  provide abortions if the law is allowed to stand.

Oh, I think it’s pretty obvious what’s going on.

2. Another Big Lie. When I went to a local cineplex to see “Ford vs. Ferrari,” I was stunned at how few employees were in evidence at a movie house with 18 screens and hundreds of people buying tickets. There was one human being selling tickets, the rest were dispensed by automated kiosks. There were no ticket-takers at all; we figured out that we could have just walked into any of the theaters without showing a ticket to anyone. To buy drinks and snacks, I  had to stand in a line for over 20 minutes, because only one person was filling orders. Continue reading

“Nah, There’s No Mainstream Media Bias!” As Chuck Todd Drops The Mask [Corrected!]

[Notice of a material correction: I have corrected this post, which incorrectly stated that the words of a letter approvingly quoted by Chuck Todd on “Meet the Press” were his own words. I won’t list all the sources that confused me on this point, but I primarily blame Newsbusters for a misleading headline, “Todd Bashes Christians in MTP Rant Against Misinformation, Trump.”  Todd let a year-old letter to the Times do his ranting for him, which is a craven technique, but he did not himself “rant.” He just read a letter bashing religion as “fairy tales,” and used it in a manner that indicated that he agreed with it.

If I had been more careful reading this and similar accounts, this wouldn’t have happened. In the end, it’s my fault. However, my assessment of Todd’s intent is unchanged.

Thanks to Arthur in Maine for flagging my error.]

***

To be fair, it never was much of a mask anyway.

On “Meet the Press” today, host Chuck Todd apparently snapped, or perhaps let a letter snap for him. He dredged up a year-old letter to the Times that read,

“Why do good people support Trump? It’s because people have been trained from childhood to believe in fairy tales. This set their minds up to accept things that make them feel good. The more fairy tales and lies he tells the better they feel. Show me a person who believes in Noah’s ark, and I will show you a Trump voter.”

“Look, this gets at something,” Todd told his guest, the Times’ anti-Trump editor , Dean Baquet, “that my executive producer likes to say, voters want to be lied to sometimes. They don’t always love being told hard truths.”

Why in the world would Todd pick this faith-mocking letter to make that point? It’s a cowardly smear by proxy. He can advance the writer’s position, but if he’s criticized for it, he can always say “It wasn’t me, it was him!”

Todd and his colleagues never accept this excuse when someone they want to get retweets an inflammatory statement, though. This was exactly like a retweet….an endorsement.

You see, for all the abuse heaped on Hillary Clinton for her “deplorables” gaffe, calling anyone who supported Donald Trump over the virtuous and brilliant Hillary Clinton  a racist, a fool, and an idiot, Democrats, the “resistance,” and journalists believed it then, and they believe it now.  Chuck Todd adds the detail implied by the letter: if good people support President Trump—we know why the bad people support him—it’s because they were turned into idiots by religion! After all, the elite and educated know that religion is a crock, God is a crock, the Bible is a crock. Never mind all the “diversity” lip service. If you’re religious, you’re a dope, and you’re the problem. That’s what he thinks. That’s what most of them think. Continue reading

Ethics Recovery, 12/19/19, Post Op Edition: Terrible People

Here I am, I think! Hello?

I’m still groggy from the anesthesia, and the doctor said not to do too much, and definitely not to make any important decisions. I remembered that advice just in time, when I was tempted to watch the Democratic Candidates’ debate, and realized I must still be disoriented. Then I turned to ABC, and thought I saw the Miss America Pageant, which is impossible in enlightened 2019, so I was definitely hallucinating. I’ve also been off my blood-thinner for two days, and could stroke out any second.

1. On Pelosi’s desperate stunt. The House of Representatives adjourned before voting to send the articles of impeachment to the U.S. Senate for a trial. Apparently Democrats are refusing to forward the impeachment to the Senate until they receive assurances the trial will be “fair” in their eyes. You know, like the partisan impeachment in the House, which began with closed hearings overseen by Adam Schiff, and no witnesses who had anything to offer but opinions and hearsay, and ended up with Articles that failed to assert impeachable offenses. Fair.

The Democrats have been following through on this insane scheme hoping to get as much TV time as possible showing Democrats insulting the President, hoping that more repetitions of “Orange Man Bad” supported by the seven Big Lies will somehow change enough votes to avoid a disaster in 2020. They know that absent some presently unknown smoking gun, there is no way they can get the two-thirds super-majority to convict (they’re wishing and hoping for that, too) and knew this all long. The plan now is to try to discredit the Senate acquittal in advance.

This requires a belief that the non-Trump Deranged among the public (think of the rest as the equivalent of the infected in “World War Z”) have the IQs of annelid worms, and the short-term memories of mayflies. The party really believes that after Pelosi and the rest said it was imperative to impeach Trump as soon as possible because the nation and the Constitution is in imminent peril, the decision now to stall the impeachment process won’t be seen as proof that the whole exercise was a cynical, dishonest, hypocritical sham. This is more than irresponsible and incompetent. This is a parody of irresponsible and incompetent.

2. More…It also illustrates the dishonest and insincere nature of the Democrat/”resistance”/mainstream media’s three-year  narrative about President Trump ignoring “democratic norms” and the Constitution. Prof. Noah Feldman, who made it clear when he testified that he wants to see Trump impeached and is willing to warp his interpretation of the Constitution to get it done, isn’t willing to endorse this trick. He wrote,

If the House votes to “impeach” but doesn’t send the articles to the Senate or send impeachment managers there to carry its message, it hasn’t directly violated the text of the Constitution. But the House would be acting against the implicit logic of the Constitution’s description of impeachment.

A president who has been genuinely impeached must constitutionally have the opportunity to defend himself before the Senate. That’s built into the constitutional logic of impeachment, which demands a trial before removal.

To be sure, if the House just never sends its articles of impeachment to the Senate, there can be no trial there. That’s what the “sole power to impeach” means.

But if the House never sends the articles, then Trump could say with strong justification that he was never actually impeached. And that’s probably not the message Congressional Democrats are hoping to send.

Alan Dershowitz, who has derided this impeachment from the beginning,writes.

“It is difficult to imagine anything more unconstitutional, more violative of the intention of the Framers, more of a denial of basic due process and civil liberties, more unfair to the president and more likely to increase the current divisiveness among the American people…President Trump would stand accused of two articles of impeachment without having an opportunity to be acquitted by the institution selected by the Framers to try all cases of impeachment. It would be as if a prosecutor deliberately decided to indict a criminal defendant but not to put him on trial.”

Civil rights attorney lawyer Harvey Silverglate described Pelosi’s gambit as  “manipulation of the system.” The whole impeachment sham has been a manipulation of the system, and now Pelosi’s defenders will have to go deeper into denial to defend it. Professor Turley, no surprise, also condemned the maneuver.  “Articles of impeachment were not meant to be articles of barter,”  Turley wrote.  “Just as the House elected not to seek to compel the testimony of critical witnesses, the Senate can make the same decision for its own house.” Continue reading