End Of Week Ethics Exegesis, 1/20/2023, SCOTUS Ineptitude, The Child Shooter’s Parents, A Coinkydink, And More…[Corrected]

[NOTE: This was another one of those posts that I had to squeeze in and get up before I had a chance to do a careful proofing. Coming back to it hours later, it is so embarrassing to find all the irritating little typos: missing letters, transposed letters, words I thought I typed in but didn’t. Ugh. I’m sorry.]

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The mainstream media (and Democrats, but I repeat myself) is doing everything it can to try to make Lyin’ George Santos the big story rather than Joe’s Biden’s document scandal, which has nicely exposed Biden’s hypocrisy along with that of law enforcement and the Trump-Deranged. The Republicans have made it easier for them than it should be: Kevin McCarthy should have created a committee called “Shameless Lying Committee and placed only Santos on it, and made him chairman. Oh, maybe have Adam Schlitt on it to keep George company. McCarthy’s canned line about how Santos was elected to represent his district by voters and they deserve representation is worse than if he said nothing at all. Santos gets to vote on bills, and that’s all an incompetent, lazy, gullible district like his deserves. (If Santos says one more time that he’s done nothing wrong, I may jump out my office window.)

Back to the news media: This morning I watched CNN, Fox, News, and BBC all at once on the DirecTV “News Mix” channel. The experience would be depressing to anyone under the delusion that broadcast news is anything but a confederacy of dunces. As the abrasive and smug “Fox and Friends” kept repeating the same outrage about Joe’s stash of classified materials, CNN interviewed high school students in Santos’ district in an obviously carefully staged segment purporting to show that teens are more ethical and instinctively wise than their elected elders. (Hey, look at these kids! Let’s let 16-year-olds vote!) When one student said that Congress should vote to expel Santos, his grandstanding teacher didn’t point out that Congress can’t, probably because the teacher doesn’t know.

Neither CNN nor the teacher brought up Joe Biden’s career of making up credentials and experiences, which would have been an interesting counterpoint for the aspiring Democrats in the student group (there was one self-proclaimed future Republican, which doesn’t mean there weren’t others afarisd of getting wedgies) to ponder: the thrust of the segment was that Santos and the GOP acceptance of him pushed the students into the Blue.

MSNBC, as usual, was even more flagrant in its bias, and also funnier. It had—get this—Al Sharpton and former Republican National Committee chair Michael Steele discussing how corrupt and incompetent Republican House members were. Michael Steele calling anyone incompetent is like, well, Sharpton calling anyone corrupt. Steele is now a Never-Trump talking head for MSNBC in the Ana Navarro mold, because his flip-flop was the only way anyone would hire him to give his opinion on anything. He was a disaster as RNC head, embarrassing the party by such stunts as okaying a fundraising mailing that intentionally masqueraded as a census document—while the census was underway. Congress passed a bi-partisan law making such chicanery illegal.

Mostly Steele is just an idiot. I know I’ve mentioned this before, but it should be flashed up on the screen any time this dolt tries to be a pundit. When he was running to be re-elected RNC head (he lost), Steele was asked during the one debate among the contenders to name his favorite book. The other hacks (like Reince Priebus, the eventual winner) said that a Ronald Reagan’s biography was their favorite book, but Steele, trying to seem erudite, said “War and Peace.” “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times,” he quoted (from “A Tale of Two Cities”), causing questioner Tucker Carlson to facepalm.

1. The SCOTUS Dobbs leak can’t be found. That’s bad enough. Equally bad were the stunning revelations of sloppy procedures at the Court, probably long the status quo, that nonetheless made this scandal inevitable. From the 20-page report

1. Too many personnel have access to certain Court-sensitive documents. The current distribution mechanisms result in too many people having access to highly sensitive information and the inability to actively track who is handling and accessing these documents. Distribution should be more tailored and the use of hard copies for sensitive documents should be minimized and tightly controlled.

2. Aside from the Court’s clear confidentiality policies and the federal statutes outlined above, there is no universal written policy or guidance on the mechanics of handling and safeguarding draft opinions and Court-sensitive documents, and practices vary widely throughout the Court. A universal policy should be established and all personnel should receive training on the requirements.

3. The Court’s current method of destroying Court-sensitive documents has vulnerabilities that should be addressed.

4. The Court’s information security policies are outdated and need to be clarified and updated. The existing platform for case-related documents appears to be out of date and in need of an overhaul.

5. There are inadequate safeguards in place to track the printing and copying of sensitive documents. The Court should institute tracking mechanisms using technology that is currently available for this purpose.

6. Many personnel appear not to have properly understood the Court’s policies on confidentiality. There should be more emphasis on training so that all personnel fully understand the policies.

7. Bills were introduced in the last Congress which would expressly prohibit the disclosure of the Supreme Court’s non-public case-related information to anyone outside the Court. Consideration should be given to supporting such legislation.

Summary: The Court’;s security has been incompetent and inexcusable.

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Catching Up On The Twitter Files, Part 8: So Twitter Basically Has Acted As An Agent Of The U.S. Government!

From now on, I’m going to use that clip from “The Naked Gun” for all of the Twitter Files reports.

The fact that the mainstream media still is determined to bury this story that has serious implications for health of our democracy, public trust in the government, the apparent independent agendas of government departments and agencies, the threats posed by the “Deep State” and social media’s efforts to control whose opinions  and what information the public is able to receive and assess is itself a major revelation, making the “Twitter Files” one of the most urgent and important news stories of the year.

And it is being ladled out on Twitter in short tweets, which is why the mainstream media thinks its efforts to suffocate the story may work.

The messenger this time is Intercept reporter Lee Fang. This is Part 8; Part 9 came out on Christmas Eve, and I’ll get that posted later today.

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An Unethical Quote Of The Month By ABC Clinches The 2022 Ethics Alarms “Most Unethical Profession” Award

“You talk about open borders, I don’t think I’ve ever heard President Biden say, we have an open border come on over, but people I have heard people say it are you, former President Trump, Ron DeSantis, that message reverberates in Mexico and beyond…”

—-ABC’s Martha Raddatz, desperately spinning for Democrats and the Biden Administration

I always had a soft spot in my heart for Martha Raddatz, because she rminded me of Dick Radatz, the greatest relief pitcher in Boston Red Sox history and my favorite reliever of all time, period. I knew Martha spelled her name with an extra “d,” but always held out hope that they were related. She even looks a bit like “The Monster,” don’t you think?

But I gave up on Martha after her disgracefully biased moderating of the 2012 Vice-Presidential candidates debate between Joe Biden and Paul Ryan. The latest is even more disgusting. Raddatz actually made the argument that Republicans and others describing the current policy of the Biden Administration regarding illegal immigration at the southern border as what it is has caused the flood of illegals into the U.S. Continue reading

Still More Twitter Ethics: Musk’s Cynical Poll And Another”Twitter Files” Summary

Ugh. The 6th installment of the “Twitter Files,” this one tweeted out by Matt Taibbi (your host just had to copy and paste 31 damn tweets together to be readable, always what I love doing before a cup of coffee on a Saturday morning. This might have something to do with why I just spilled orange juice on my modem…You’re welcome.). It is the most alarming of the installments so far. I can’t wait to read how the Washington Post and the other complicity proto-totalitarians in the news media try to spin this one as a “nothingburger.” It is a given that the main methodolgy will involve simply not reporting on it, as has been the primary response to the earlier “Twitter Files” revelations via substack’s rebel journalists. Let’s see: I haven’t checked today’s digital Times yet: Any mention?….

NO!

The only mentions of Twitter involve Musk’s suspension of journalists (BAD Musk!) discussed here yesterday. The embargo on the Twitter revelations are at least as sinister and outrageous as the Hunter Biden laptop media/social media conspiracy; I confess that I’m surprised at the audacity of the Times and the rest (almost everyone but Fox News and the New York Post, and the conservative websites. Well, the ethics blogs, of course)

A few observations before you commence your assignment as an informed citizen:

  • Musk cagily backtracked on the suspensions using the “poll” devise he employed to justify restoring Trump’s tweeting privileges. He was facing threats by the EU (it was going to be expensive and time-consuming to tell the Europeans “bite me,” though that’s what they deserved and it may have occured to him that Ethics Alarms was right: the banning of so many progressive reporters looked like payback even if it were justifiable. Musk can’t run Twitter by poll, though, if he is truly devoted to promoting free and open public discourse.
  • The past seven years (or more) make the conclusion unavoidable that the FBI is untrustworthy, partisan, corrupt,dangerous, and a threat to undermine the Republic. That is not a news that easy to process or accept, but it can’t be ignored or shrugged off any more.
  • In a complete reversal of positions from what was routine in my youth, Republicans are targeting the FBI for criticism and investigation while Democrats appear to be saying by their silence, “What’s the big deal?” The Republican House Judiciary Committee account tweeted, “Does anyone still trust the FBI?” (“republicans pounce!”)  Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo), speculated that  the FBI’s alleged interactions with Twitter could suggest they were working with Google and Facebook as well. Gee, yah think?

  • Again, because it can’t be over-stated, the mainstream media is deliberately trying to keep the public in the dark about all of it.
  • But the major effect of this seems to be only the further erosion of public trust in the news media. The truth is out there, as Mulder and Scully would say, and it’s sinking in. The December Harvard CAPS / Harris Poll  finds that nearly two-thirds of voters believe Twitter shadow-banned users and engaged in political censorship during the 2020 election. Seventy percent of voters want new national laws protecting users from corporate censorship.
  • What is described below is, in fact, the U.S. government violating the First Amendment by proxy:

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Yet Another Pre-Election Story That Should Be Getting Major News Coverage As Relevant To Which Party Is Threatening Democracy

Come to think of it, the Democrats are wielding hammers, though metaphorical ones. More evidence has arrived on how the social media platforms work to serve the current government’s power objectives by suppressing dissent. This has been called a “right wing conspiracy theory” even though the immediate response by Facebook and Twitter to the Hunter Biden laptop report would have been enough to get to a jury if the platforms could be prosecuted for “trying to fix a Presidential election,” and that was two years ago. But every bit of new proof is helpful to convince those apathetic and gullible Americans who need to be hit over the heads with a hammer—I have hammers on the brain today for some reason—before they’ll pay attention.

Twitter: In a final show of defiance that also proved Elon Musk right, Twitter suspended several conservative accounts just as Musk began cleaning house, and only one week before the midterm elections.

Jake Denton, a research associate at Heritage’s Tech Policy Center, found himself suspended on Twitter at 11:10 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 29. Vince Dao, editor-in-chief at the conservative organization American Virtue, had his account suspended a day earlier. Neither had any hint about what led to their suspensions.

Denton said yesterday,

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The Apparent Democratic Party Strategy To Stave Off November Defeat: Lie Their Heads Off

The problem is that this plan depends on the full collaboration of the mainstream media, and cracks are appearing in that previously reliable alliance.

During a Democratic National Committee event, president Biden once again indulged some of his favorite pieces of misinformation (Did you know that Donald Trump lied all the time?). Biden said that gas prices have fallen by “$1.30 a gallon,” with the average now being “less than $2.99” in 41 states and the District of Columbia. He also said that the current unemployment rate of 3.7% is the lowest it has been in over half a century.

CNN, in the midst of a course correction (as in “maybe we should go back to actual journalism a bit”) debunked both statements. “Biden’s claim about average gasoline prices was false, as the White House acknowledged by correcting the official transcript after CNN inquired about the claim on Friday afternoon,” CNN reported. “In fact, zero states have an average price under $2.99 per gallon, figures from GasBuddy and the American Automobile Association show. As the correction notes, Biden got a key digit wrong: 41 states and the District of Columbia have an average price under $3.99, not $2.99….“But the price of gas is one of the most important numbers in politics. Even if the President made an inadvertent error this time, his incorrect remark was televised live on CNN and MSNBC.”

Later, Biden changed his story to say that “a few” states had average gas prices under $3. That was also a lie.

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Morning Ethics Warm-Up, 9/20/22: ” Seeing Bad Stuff In September” Edition

Stop making me defend Scott Pelley! The conservative news media is beating on “60 Minutes” correspondent Scott Pelley for what they are calling a “softball” interview, as if every “60 Minutes” interview of a sitting President hasn’t been just as tame, or even tamer. At least Pelley asked Biden about Hunter. The truth is that Americans still prefer to see their Presidents treated with respect and some degree of deference, unless the President is Donald Trump.

It’s funny: the same outlets that are condemning Pelley as a Democratic ally and hack are wondering why Biden’s “handlers” allowed the blithering POTUS to do an interview at all. Of course the conditions demanded for the interview included no follow up questions, and a softball session. And it didn’t matter! Biden’s performance was frightening anyway, and unlike the 2020 interview with Trump, when Leslie Stahl’s clear objective was to attack throughout, the White House couldn’t complain afterwards that the President was sabotaged by a biased journalist. Pelley asked about Joe’s mental fitness, and Biden replied, “Watch me!” And so we did, and have. He continued,

And it ma—, honest to God, that’s all I think. Watch me. If you think I don’t have the energy level or the mental acuity, then — then, you know, that’s one thing. It’s another thing, you just watch and — and, you know, keep my schedule. Do what I’m doing….“I — I think that, you know — I don’t — when I sit down with our NATO allies and keep ’em together, I don’t have ’em saying, ‘Wait a minute, w— how — how old are you? What are you — what say?’ You know, I mean, it’s a matter of, you know, that old expression: The proof of the pudding’s in the eating. I mean, I — I — I respect the fact that people would say, you know, ‘You’re old.’ And — but I think it relates to h— how much energy you have, and whether or not the job you’re doing is one consistent with what any person of any age would be able to do.”

Whether it was Pelley’s intention or not, he ended up doing what ethical journalists are supposed to do: he let the facts speak for themselves.

1. On the topic of social media viewpoint censorship, this:

It takes a lot of chutzpah for YouTube to demonetize a channel because it violates YouTube’s “values” and then sell ads on the same content.

2. Oh please, please let this happen to me! In an open thread at Althouse, a commenter tells this tale,

A friend’s brother lives in Florida. They recently got new neighbors from NY, a husband and wife. A few days after moving in the wife stops over and sits down. She says, “OK, let’s get this out of the way. I am a Democrat and my husband an Independent. What are you?” Non-plussed, he says he is Republican. For the next 15 minutes he was called every expected name- Nazi, racist, etc. IN HIS OWN F-ING HOME!

It’s my contention that the left now knows its flaws are becoming obvious and are overcompensating to hear themselves repeat their failing worldview…

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Ethics Dunce: The Denver Public School System

Oh yeah, our public school students are in the very best of hands.

Get this:

A video called “Don’t be a Bystander: 6 Tips for Responding to Racist Attacks,” was shown to Denver South High School students in their classes. The film explains that “in our current political moment, White supremacists and White nationalists have been emboldened, and as a result, public attacks are on the rise.”  Those tips for responding to “racist attacks” include do “not call the police” because it “escalates, rather than reduces” violence.  You see, “police have been trained to see people of color, gender-nonconforming folks, and Muslims as criminals, they often treat victims as perpetrators of violence. So, if the victim hasn’t asked you to call the police, do not — I repeat, do not — call the police.”

Apparently some parents had a problem with this particularly heinous example of indoctrination. Five law enforcement associations in Colorado also objected  to the video, warning that it would increase “negative perceptions of law enforcement and [hurt] our efforts to build trusting relationships within the communities we serve, including schools and student populations.”

Ya think?

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Ethics Nightcap, 8/16/2022: Bias, Ignorance, Contrived Ignorance, And Just Plain Dumb

To no one’s surprise, Rep.Liz Cheney lost her primary in Wyoming. Good: she deserved it. She is a “bias makes you stupid”—also ridiculous—case study. Nothing is more ridiculous than someone who repeatedly behaves in an undemocratic manner and then claims that she is fighting for democracy.

In many ways, her fall, though so, so deserved, is an ethics tragedy. She’s smart and serious, but placed her family loyalty above her duties to her state, the public, the House and the nation, and all because she hates Donald Trump for personal reasons. He dared to insult her father and the Bushes, repeatedly and nastily, by declaring their Iraq War a “disaster,” though it certainly was. Cheney has been full NeverTrump ever since, but even that bias isn’t justification for voting for two contrived and hyper-partisan impeachments, especially the second one, which went forward to the Senate without evidence, inquiry or due process supporting it. Then Cheney facilitated the January 6 witch hunt, which was so obviously a Democratic “Get Trump!” exercise that Nancy Pelosi didn’t allow the traditional and sensible party balance that investigative House committees have always had before.

You can tell if someone is Trump Deranged if they express admiration for Liz Cheney. Here is a Republican who joined with Democrats in a their effort to use unethical means to hold power. That Democrats asked their party members in Wyoming to temporarily switch parties so they could vote for Cheney was the perfect embodiment of what that party has become: the fact that they support Cheney and she has supported them proves mutual corruption.

1. Why we don’t trust the news media, Reason 765,988, 204: You can still read news reports saying that the motive for the nearly fatal attack on writer Salman Rushdie is “unclear.” This is the same false media narrative circa. 2001 that Islam is a peaceful religion and only bigots have concerns that radical Muslims aren’t as rare as pigeon teeth. The Washington Post’s op-ed about the attack doesn’t even mention the attacker, but somehow compares it to the Trumpites’ rioting against the 2020 election. The attack was political, you see, not religious. (It was religious.)

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Unethical Quote Of The Month: Ex CNN Anchor Chris Cuomo

“I saw a lot of brave men and women deciding to take somebody on who had a tremendous amount of power and who had come at them by name too and that’s a scary thing.”

—-Disgraced CNN star Chris Cuomo, celebrating himself and CNN for slanting new reports in order to oppose Donald Trump.

Cuomo could not have made a stronger case against the left-biased news media if that had been his objective. Many of his statements to Bill Maher in Cuomo’s appearance on HBO’s “Real Timewould serve as well as the above to prove just how arrogant and unethical Cuomo’s previous profession has become. For example, there is this: Continue reading