Ethics Warm-Up, 10/24/2018: Catchers, Judges, Photographers, And Journalists Behaving Badly. Then There Are The Bombers….

Good afternoon!

You might as well know: I’ve been what they euphemistically  call “under the weather” recently. Ethics is getting in the way of my naps…

1. About those bombs…Not much that needs to be said about the explosive devices sent to Soros, the Clintons, Obama and—it fits–CNN, except this: it was inevitable. With conservatives being harassed and attacked in public places, Fox News offices and Republican offices being vandalized, and Democratic leadership and the media openly feeding the hate while rationalizing extreme incivility ( Philippe Reines, former adviser to Hillary Clinton, on MSNBC regarding mobs harassing Mitch McConnell and others: “People are doing these things because it’s all that’s left.” Gee, I guess there were some other tactics left after all, eh, Phil?), that some unstable wacko would decide to bring a gun to knife fight was a near certainty. Naturally, the news media and Democrats want to blame Republicans for the crimes. That’s not going to defuse the situation, and it’s also wrong.  The blame falls on all of those who have encouraged the rhetoric of hate and uncivil conduct rather than conducting political debate in a manner that doesn’t shame democracy.

You can make that list as easily as I can. When the Oklahoma City bombing occurred, the extreme anti-government rhetoric—by the standards of those times, at least–of the Right was fairly accorded the bulk of the blame for raising anger to a dangerous level. This time, the hate machine is being operated around the clock by the Left, and for two years without a break or a significant easing on the accelerator—indeed, it is pretty much the Democratic theme of the 2018 elections.

2. It’s a huge bat! It’s a black-robed blur! It’ SUPER JUDGE! In Chehalis, Washington, Judge R.W. Buzzard left the bench and chased  after two handcuffed inmates when they made a run for it from his Washington state courtroom. 22-year-old Tanner Jacobson and 28-year-old Kodey Howard bolted for the door and down  four flights of stairs, but the judge grabbed Howard just as he was about to exit the courthouse, and Jacobson was caught by police apprehended Jacobson a few blocks away.

As with the cases of bank tellers and grocery clerks who spontaneously play vigilante, the judge was exceeding his authority and interfering with law enforcement. This wasn’t his job, and is not the kind of image the judiciary wants to project. He should be disciplined, but probably won’t be.

Sheriff Rob Snaza said of the incident, “These things don’t happen very often.” No kidding. And they shouldn’t happen at all.
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Comment of the Day: “KABOOM! Head Exploded, Can’t Write, Don’t Need To: The FBI Forensic Scandal”

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Long-time Ethics Alarms commenter Michael R. delivers another of his provocative and informative Comments of the Day, this time on the festering scandal that is prosecutor misconduct and abuses of due process in our criminal justice system. This kind of commentary justifies the existence of Ethics Alarms, in my view, regardless of what I may write here. It is a virtual template for what makes a Comment of the Day.

Here is Michael R’s COTD on the post, “KABOOM! Head Exploded, Can’t Write, Don’t Need To: The FBI Forensic Scandal”… Continue reading

Comment Of The Day: “After The Brooklyn Cop Murders, The Sound Of Spinning: WindyPundit Takes On My ‘Smear'”

Neil Dorr is among my favorite regular Ethics Alarms commenters, because he is passionate, articulate and fearless, and because he disagrees with me about 85% of the time. I’m also fond of Neil because he is part of an esteemed father-son team here: Karl Penny, his dad, had registered his commentary at Ethics Alarms since its launch. Neil informed me this month that his father had died, suddenly and unexpectedly. It is strange: I had never met Karl face-to-face, but I feel like I have lost a friend, so vivid and good-natured were his periodic communications here. Neil, of course, has lost far more, and my heart and good wishes go out to him and his family.

Someone had to register this response to my conclusions regarding the assassinations of two police officers in New York. I assumed that this would be the reaction of many and perhaps the majority, which is why I almost didn’t post my position. I know it walks into the spinning propeller of predictable resistance to truth-telling on this issue.

The media is already doing a bang-up job confusing the public and muddying the water, primarily by misrepresenting the situation as a) a dispute over “police abuse,”when the issue is the presumed racism of the system; b) focusing on NYC Mayor De Blasio, who is a minor player at best, and c) making it seem like the consequences of the despicable “Hands up!” propaganda are a local New York issue only. In this they have been ably assisted by clumsy blow-hards like Rudy Giuliani, who virtually made a straw man and handed it to his critics. “Is Giuliani correct in saying that President Obama started a propaganda campaign four months ago that “everybody should hate the police”? asked Washington Post “Fact Checker” on the way to giving Rudy four “Pinnochios.” Of course he wasn’t correct. I, however, am correct when I conclude that Obama and others have created an environment where African Americans fear and distrust the police, the justice system, and their fellow citizens who happen to be white more than any period since the Civil Rights movement. I know that Obama supporters  disheartened Democrats hate to hear this, and will resist accepting it like the approach of grim death. They can take solace, perhaps, in the fact that my influence on and ability to enlighten public perception is negligible, so with the help of the news media, accountability can be ducked once again, at least for a while. Maybe after the death toll rises sufficiently, people will be ready to listen….to someone else with a bigger megaphone, presumably.

Here is Neil Dorr’s Comment of the Day on the post “After The Brooklyn Cop Murders, The Sound Of Spinning: WindyPundit Takes On My ‘Smear,'” and yes, I will have a rebuttal at the end: Continue reading

Ethics Dunce: Rep. James Clyburn (D-S.C.)

I know that Ethics Alarms has been a bit relentless regarding the accusations and the innuendos against Sarah Palin and others in the wake of the Arizona shooting, but it is an unusually widespread out-break of unfair conduct, and the Ethics Dunces are coming in waves, and from all sides and sectors.

We have a sheriff on the scene, Clarence Dupnik, who seems determined to create the assassin’s defense for him, by claiming, in the face of much evidence to the contrary, that he was driven to violence by inflammatory political rhetoric. Watch Loughner’s crack criminal defense team run with that. We have the nation’s supposedly premiere news source, the New York Times, running a revolting editorial describing Loughner’s attack as political, when this is clearly not true. (An excellent condemnation of the Times piece by James Taranto can and should be read here). Not to be outdone, Rep. James Clyburn (S.C.), the third-ranking House Democrat, took the same low road. Referencing defeated G.O.P. Senate candidate Sharron Angle’s justly criticized “Second Amendment solution” statement from the campaign (it probably, and justly, lost her the election), Clyburn tied it to Jared Loughner’s attack. Continue reading

Ethics Final For Barack Obama

Is President Obama the fair, ethical, unifying, anti-partisan president of all the people that he promised to be in 2008, or is he a Machiavellian, undercover Chicago pol, willing and ready to use divisiveness and deceit to enhance his power, silence critics and advance his agenda? During the past two years, there has been ample evidence supporting both descriptions, but his address in Arizona Wednesday could settle the issue. If the President emulates his Democratic predecessor, Bill Clinton, using the massacre in Arizona as a political wedge the way Clinton used the Oklahoma City bombing—if he adopts the philosophy of former Chief-of-Staff Rahm Emmanuel that one should never waste a crisis—then we will know the dispiriting truth about Barack Obama. Continue reading

It’s Come to This: The Schoolboard Shooter Spin Competition

The frightening incident in which a man held a Panama City, Florida school board at gun point (he was ultimately shot and killed by a security officer) is somehow being used…or is being perceived as being used…to discredit both the Right and the Left in ultra-polarized America. Yet it has absolutely nothing to do with either. Continue reading