The Race-Baiting, Divisive, Unprofessional, Unethical “Squad”

What an embarrassment….to the Democrats, to Congress, to the nation, to women especially….and this display ought to embarrass anyone who voted for these three  blights on the Republic.

At least Rep. Omar, in the process of lying and playing victim to challenge her expulsion from the House Foreign Relations Committee, nearly stayed within the (unfortunately) acceptable range of elected official conduct—cynical grandstanding, claiming that she didn’t do what she did, you know, the usual.Though I must say, her sudden affection for Israel as she faced the just desserts of her repeated adoption of anti-Jewish stereotypes and rhetoric was breathtakingly hypocritical even for Congress. Risibly, Omar joined more than 30 House Democrats voting “yes” on a new resolution “recognizing Israel as America’s legitimate and democratic ally and condemning antisemitism.” Huh! lhan Omar has had many opportunities during her time in Congress to support America’s greatest ally in the Middle East, and did the opposite. Who knew Omar was such a fan of Israel after all?

I’m sure it was just a coincidence that what NBC News hackily calls her “evolution” happened as she was facing the consequences of her open anti-Semitic bigotry. Continue reading

“Keeping It Real” When “Real” Means “Selfish, Unprofessional Jerk”

I tried to find a straight video of  KWWL-TV’s Mark Woodley, its sports reporter, modeling unethical workplace conduct and a complete lack of professionalism in his emergency stint this week as a weather reporter. I couldn’t: every available clip compilation is presented like the CNN version above. Isn’t this cute and hilarious?

It isn’t either.  I can see that CNN’s talking heads might thinks so, since that network allows unprofessional conduct by the ‘talent” regularly, like Don Lemon getting bombed on the New Year Eve. Unless Woodley was told to be whiny prima donna as a publicity stunt and he might have been, given the state of journalism, broadcast and otherwise, in 2022, his attitude and ostentatious bitching should have guaranteed a suspension or worse.

When one is called upon by one’s employer or leader to fill in, do extra duties, help get through a crisis or emergency, or to be a team player and do what the team needs to have done, the  ethical and professional response is to do the best possible job you can with good cheer and without complaint. Woodley, who did the opposite, helped metastasize “quiet quitting” and many other forms of workplace societal rot.

This is how society becomes miserable in a Nation of Assholes. Continue reading

KABOOM! There Goes My Head! A Convicted Murderer Is Admitted To Law School

Just when I think The Great Stupid has reached peak stupid, there is a new high. I don’t see how society can get more stupid than this, but I now know that it will. You know in movies when someone says, “There’s no good way to say this, so I’m just going to say it”?

Here is as much of the announcement by Mitchel Hamline Law School, an institution I was mercifully unaware of until now, that I can re-post without gagging:

Mitchell Hamline School of Law will welcome Maureen Onyelobi into its juris doctor program this fall, making Mitchell Hamline the first ABA-approved law school in the country to educate currently incarcerated individuals.

It’s a moment nearly three years in the making as part of a collective effort by the Prison to Law Pipeline, a program of All Square and its newly formed subsidiary, the Legal Revolution. The effort aims to transform the law through initiatives that center racial equity, wellness, and the expertise of those most impacted by the law…

“Learning the law is a vital vehicle for freedom and lasting change in our community,” said Elizer Darris, chair of the board of the Legal Revolution. “Maureen’s acceptance is social proof that the time for change is now and the energy is here to change it.”

…“Mitchell Hamline has a long history of looking for ways to expand the idea of who gets to go to law school,” said Dean Niedwiecki. “It’s important for people who are incarcerated to better understand the criminal justice system, and this is one important way to do that. Our students will also benefit from having Maureen in class with them.”

…A series of factors made Onyelobi’s acceptance to law school possible. The American Bar Association recently granted a variance to allow her to attend classes entirely online, which she will do from Shakopee. The variance will allow Mitchell Hamline to admit up to two incarcerated students each academic year for five years. Onyelobi’s tuition will be paid through private fundraising and the same scholarship assistance available to all Mitchell Hamline students.

The Prison to Law Pipeline also has the full support of Commissioner Paul Schnell of the Minnesota Department of Corrections…

Guess what the official announcement conveniently leaves out! Oh, only the fact that Onyelobi was convicted as an accomplice to first-degree murder, received a mandatory sentence of life in prison with no chance of parole. Continue reading

The American Bar Association Has Lost Faith In Professionalism, It Seems.

For as long as I can remember, lawyers took pride in that fact that they could pound away at each other in the court room, shout, sneer, mock and beat an adversary into a metaphorical pulp, and put it all aside the second the case was finished. The idea that being friends, even close friends, with an opposing advocate compromised a lawyer’s determination and willingness to fight for his or her client was an anathema to the whole concept of professionalism. During the Civil War, West Point classmates on opposite sides sometimes met before a battle, shared a whisky, old memories and a few tears, and the next day did their best to kill each other. That mindset was analogous to how I was taught lawyers were supposed to behave, and, indeed, did.

Now the American Bar Association has apparently decided that it was all a myth. In  Formal Opinion 494, “Conflicts Arising Out of a Lawyer’s Personal Relationship with Opposing Counsel,” the ABA expresses doubts that many lawyers are up to the task.

“A personal interest conflict may arise out of a lawyer’s relationship with opposing counsel, the ABA now says. “Lawyers must examine the nature of the relationship to determine if it creates a …conflict and, if so, whether the lawyer reasonably believes the lawyer will be able to provide competent and diligent representation to each affected client who must then give informed consent, confirmed in writing.”

The opinion breaks possible personal relationships into three categories:

Continue reading

As An Ethics Alarms Public Service, Here’s Another Reminder Of What A Phony, Dishonest, Brain-Dead “Factcheck” Site Snopes Is

Judge websites, social media platforms and your friends who rely on this flagrantly unethical site  as authority accordingly.

For some reason there has been an outbreak of tips to Ethics Alarms involving the usual Snopes stunts, including its factchecking  the conservative satire site, the Babylon Bee. Reader Pennagain reminded me of this classic though, which nicely sums up Snopes in a concise, stinky package.

The Snopes question it supposedly examined (but didn’t) in a 2018 “FactCheck” has resurfaced because there is a new podcast about the Banks tragedy. (I can tell when Banks’ story is attracting attention again when the EA post about Wanetta Gibson starts picking up traffic.)

Here’s the rest of that “factcheck”:

Snopes pulls this bait and switch trick a lot. The answer to linkbait question ‘Was Banks wrongly convicted of rape?” is  “Yes”, and any assertion to that effect isn’t “mostly true,” it’s absolutely, 100% true. Beneath the question that heads the “inquiry,” Snopes significantly rephrases the “claim” which it then “debunks” by giving us the breathless revelations that Gibson didn’t recant ON Facebook, she contacted Banks through Facebook and then confessed in person, and that Banks “only” served 5 years and two months, not “six.” Continue reading

“Oh The Humanity!”

Today is the anniversary of one of the most vividly recalled disasters in U.S. history.  On May 6, 1937, the German passenger airship LZ 129 Hindenburg, a flying equivalent of The Titanic,  burst into flames while trying to dock with its mooring mast at the Naval Air Station in Lakehurst, New Jersey. The conflagration was captured in spectacular and now iconic newsreel footage, as well as in dozens of photographs.

Many  are surprised to learn that there were only were 35 fatalities in the explosion, 13 passengers and 22 crewmen,  among the 36 passengers and 61 crewmen on board (There was one fatality on the ground). The accident looked far more horrible than it was.

The appearance of the accident was so spectacular that it ended the passenger airship business That’s a  classic example of the Barn Door Fallacy, in which the reaction to  predictable and often inevitable disasters leads to  emotional over-reactions, as if by retroactively making an event impossible it can be reversed. Airships were a safe mode of travel (and a luxurious one: remember “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade”?) in good weather when they were filled with Helium. The Hindenburg and other German Zeppelins used highly flammable hydrogen, making them flying tinderboxes, just waiting for a spark. But once the fireball that the ship became was gasped at world wide, no  explanations could make the visceral image recede. Nobody wanted to get on those things again. Continue reading

And Now Chris Cuomo Scores A Jumbo!

When we left CNN’s quarantined (when he feels like it) anchor, he was telling SiriusXm listeners how sick he was of his job, among other complaints.

Now he’s doing his Jimmy Durante impression (“Elephant? What elephant?”) and denying , Bart Simpson-style…

… that he did what he did when there is absolutely no question that he did it. The Clinton version of Bart and Jimmy’s tactics is “Deny, deny, deny.”

From the Hollywood Reporter:

“It’s not true,” Cuomo said today. “I never said it. I never meant it…I have never been in a better position, professionally, than I am in right now. They’ve been so good. They’ve been so supportive of me in ways I could never have imagined. … I’ve never had a group of people professionally care about me the way they have shown. I’ll never be able to repay them, but I’ll try hard to do so. I’ve never been more grateful. I’ve never been on a better team….I love where I am, I love the position that I’ve been given, and I love who I’m doing it with. Those are all matters of fact for me. No place has ever been better to me. No place has ever given me the opportunities that [CNN president] Jeff Zucker has.”

Well, which is it, Chris, not true, something you didn’t say, or something you didn’t mean?

Cuomo is ridiculous. How CNN expects any sentient being to trust a reporter, pundit or whatever he is who would deny he said what he said on the air the day before, and quite flamboyantly too, is unfathomable.

Fredo Snaps

Chris Cuomo is a fascinating case. Maybe someone will write an opera about him.

He’s the younger, less ambitious, less accomplished son of a popular and (in some circles) revered governor of New York. If the term privileged has any meaning at all, it applies to him. He graduated from elite schools, including law school, but as he has proven again and again, he neither acquired any skill at critical thinking, nor at legal reasoning and the basic principles of law. He’s emotional, and not very bright. The younger Cuomo was blessed with good looks, a usually amiable nature, and charisma, and these, along with some excellent contacts, were enough to get him an anchor’s position on CNN. In this position he has embarrassed himself repeatedly; fortunately for him, the news organization he works for has become immune from embarrassment, as evidenced by the fact that it also  employs Brian Stelter and Don Lemon, among others.

Every now and then his amiability is cracked open to reveal the traditional frustration and anger of the lesser son. Cuomo erupted a while back when he was first referred to as “Fredo,” alluding to the elder but mentally deficient son of Vito Corleone in the “Godfather” saga. The nickname is mean but apt, and frankly, as long as CNN allows someone of Chris Cuomo’s limitations to pretend to inform its audience, it is also useful. Cuomo is a fraud, and by presenting him as a trustworthy journalist, CNN is mistreating its audience. Yes, I’m sure Cuomo does the best he can, but then, so did Fredo Corleone.

Cuomo is ill with the Wuhan virus, and quarantined. I’m sure this is hard for him, but his stresses are still less than those of most Americans. He’s broadcasting (and making a fool of himself) from home; he’s getting a 7-figure salary; his ordeal is relatively minor.

Apparently a confrontation with  someone Cuomo considers one of the little people  on Easter Sunday caused the CNN anchor to snap and reveal the turmoil within, much like Fredo in his famous lament to Michael in “Godfather II.” On his Sirius-XM  satellite radio show, Cuomo vented about the incident, in which a stranger on a bicycle confronted him on Easter Sunday for being outside his Southampton home with his family despite the positive Wuhan virus diagnosis. Continue reading

Ethics Hero: Exotic Dancer Genea Sky, Who Kept A-Goin’

To get the day off to an inspirational start: in the video above, now going viral across the net and deservedly so, Dallas exotic dancer Genea Sky falls almost 15 feet from her pole, lands on her face, and keeps twerking until she leaves the stage for urgent medical attention. The fall, which occurred over the weekend,  fractured the dancer’s jaw, which was operated on the next day, broke some teeth,  teeth and sprained her ankle.

On the plus side, she provided a visual example of professionalism, dedication, and guts for the ages. Her diligence in continuing to dance even after the accident is a marvelous exhibition of character. A GoFundMe page set up to help pay her medical expenses has raised more than $20,000.

Good. Sky deserves it. She had a job to do, and by God, she was going to do it. Continue reading

Saturday Ethics Warm-Up, 2/8/2020: “Procrastinating To Delay Writing About Another Debate” Edition [CORRECTED]

Good morning.

Way, way too much ethics-related politics this past week. I keep getting complaints about all the political content, and it annoys me too, but I don’t know what kind of alternatives I have. Back in the sane days, the idea of a House Speaker planning on tearing up the official copy of the State of the Union speech would have been the stuff of Saturday Night Live…when SNL would make fun of Democrats, anyway. I’m trying to keep the politics to a minimum. I swear.

1.  The Astros cheating scandal, cont. Would you wonder about this answer? A.J. Hinch, the ex-Houston Astros manager who was fired and suspended by Major League Baseball for allowing an illegal sign-stealing scheme to be used by his players for the entire 2017 World Champion Astros season, finally sat down for an interview.   When he was asked whether Houston players had utilized buzzers in their uniforms to receive signsduring the 2019 season as some have claimed based on inconclusive evidence and rumors, Hinch only would answer, “The Commissioner’s Office did as thorough of an investigation as anyone could imagine was possible.”

Why not “No”? That was what reporters term a “non-denial denial.”

2. If they advised her to run her sick child through the washing machine and he drowned,  would that be their fault too? The death of a four-year-old boy named Najee is being blamed on an anti-vaxx Facebook group.

The boy had been diagnosed with the flu and the doctor had  prescribed Tamiflu. His mother sought advice from the Facebook group “Stop Mandatory Vaccination” on how to treat her son’s’ illness. The members told her to give the boy vitamins, botanicals, zinc, fruits and vegetables, and to skip the medicine.

“Ok perfect I’ll try that,” she responded. Later that night, Najee had a seizure and died. Continue reading