Tuesday That Feels Like Monday Ethics Clarifications, 7/6/2021

clarifications

1. What a surprise! Cheating works! Since Major League Baseball decided to enforce its 100 year old rule against doctoring the baseball as pitchers had recently begun using glue to let them throw faster and snap off devastating curve balls, the results have been obvious and significant. In a month since umpires were directed to check, the MLB batting average has gone up by seven points (it was at a record low before the enforcement). Scoring has increased, and several pitchers rumored to be dependent of “the sticky stuff,” notably Yankee All-Star Gerrit Cole, have been hit hard in recent starts. This is because, of the 35 pitchers with the highest four-seam spin rate on June 3, 33 of them saw a decline in spin rate since then by an average drop of 96 RPMs. Consequently, batters aren’t striking out as often.

2. Please clarify: Should I apply the Julie Principle to Maxine Waters? We know she’s an idiot, ignorant, partisan to the point of poisoning democracy and a race-baiting, hateful blight on Congress, her party, the nation and homo sapiens generally. Is there anything accomplished by complaining about Waters acting like Waters, since she’s obviously not going to change? [You can refresh your understanding of the Julie Principle here.] Water was in fine, typical form over the Independence day weekend, blathering as only a fool like her could,

“July 4th … & so, the Declaration of Independence says all men are created equal,” Waters began. “Equal to what? What men? Only white men? Isn’t it something that they wrote this in 1776 when African Americans were enslaved? They weren’t thinking about us then, but we’re thinking about us now!”

Of course, we know that “they” were thinking about black slaves a great deal, as anyone who reads about the debate over the Declaration in the Continental Congress knows. But why should a senior Congresswoman know anything about the founding of the nation? Maxine continued,

“Further, the Dec. of Ind. says we hold these truths to be “self-evident” yet:

– 17 states have enacted voter suppression laws

– Supreme Court gutted Sec. 5 of the Voting Rights Act

– George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Michael Brown, Sandra Bland, Tamir Rice

Need I say more? #July4”

No, actually, Maxine, you didn’t even need to say that: we already knew you were a blathering, hateful dummy. But just to clarify:

  • Laws that are intended to ensure the integrity of elections are not “voter suppression laws”
  • The Supreme Court confirmed that the Federal Government should not meddle in state matters except for demonstrable evidence of racial bias, and since the standards in Sec. 5 of the Voting Rights Act were based on the conduct of Southern states through 1964 only (that’s 57 years ago) and thus did not reflect any reforms, changes or improvement, making the law out of date, SCOTUS quite correctly demanded new data and Congressional update. Get to work.
  • There is literally zero evidence that George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Michael Brown, Sandra Bland, or Tamir Rice met their unfortunate fates because of racial bias.

Or is it silly even to pay attention to Waters’ incurable bile?

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As The Chauvin Jury Finds The Defendant Guilty As They Were Ordered To Do, The President And Rep. Waters Deny That They Said What They Said

But when Yogi Berra denied that he said what he said, it was funny..

In Minneapolis, the jury found Derek Chauvin guilty of unintentional second-degree murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter in his role in the death of George Floyd on May 25, 2020.

It would be a defensible verdict if he had received a fair trial, and the jury didn’t fear that they would spark national riots, property destruction and death if they found reasonable doubt. It would have been more defensible if the otherwise competent judge hadn’t botched his obligation to sequester the jury when another Minnesota police officer shot a black man, and riots did occur, with more on the horizon.

It is not a fair trial when a nationally known Congresswoman and the President of the United States publicly declare that, in the words of the Congresswoman, a defendant is “guilty, guilty guilty!”

So now, after polluting the trial and the verdict, both the President and the Congresswoman are engaging in a wretched display of “I didn’t really say what I obviously said and meant to say.”

Yogi Berra this ain’t.

First, here’s Maxine’s hilarious “translation” of what she meant when she told some potential rioters, ““We’ve got to stay in the streets, and we’ve got to demand justice,” Waters said. “I am hopeful that we will get a verdict that says, ‘guilty, guilty, guilty,’ and if we don’t, we cannot go away. We’ve got to get more confrontational. We’ve got to make sure that they know that we mean business.”

“I wanted to be there kind of as Auntie Maxine, to show them that not only do I love them and I support them, but they can count on me to be there with them at this terrible time in all of our lives,” Waters said in her own defense. But she is not their aunt. She is an elected official of the United States of America, and is sworn to uphold the Constitution, which means, among other things, not using her position to urge members of the public to break the law, and not using her influence to deny an American citizen a fair trial.

In another interview, she tried rationalizations instead of masquerade:

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Unethical And Intolerable: Waters, Babbitt, Sicknick, Part 1.

intolerable

The United States is now being consumed by a wave of audacious double standards and hypocrisy, rooted in racial bias and oppressive partisanship. Exposing it, condemning it and opposing it is to invite “cancellation” and being tarred as an ally of white supremacy. In the words of George H.W. Bush to Saddam Hussein, “This will not stand.”

I. Rep. Maxine Waters.

By any fair and reasonable standard, Waters’deliberate attempt to incite violence and law-breaking among already agitated and agitated protesters in Brooklyn Center, the Minneapolis suburb where Daunte Wright was killed, should earn her serious sanctions from Congress, her own party, and by the standards previously asserted by her party, the justice system. She exhorted the potential “mostly peaceful” mob to “get more confrontational” when the city had already seen burning, looting, and attacks on police. She directly threatened the jury in the Chauvin trial just a few miles away. In response, the judge in that trial, Peter Cahill, castigated Waters by name as the trial went to the jury, saying that her words were “disrespectful to the rule of law,” and adding,

“I’m aware that Congresswoman Waters was talking specifically about this trial, and about the unacceptability of anything less than a murder conviction, and talk about being ‘confrontational.’ [I wish] elected officials would stop talking about this case…I think if they want to give their opinions, they should do so in a respectful and in a manner that is consistent with their oath to the Constitution, to respect a coequal branch of government.Their failure to do so, I think, is abhorrent.”

Then, whistling in the dark, he tried to deny the obvious, saying that her comments wouldn’t affect the jury because he had instructed them not to pay attention to them. Right. Everyone knows that the old “pretend you didn’t hear what you heard’ command is a perfect remedy. (See: “The Verdict.”) Pathetically, Cahill said that one congresswoman’s opinion “really doesn’t matter a whole lot anyway.” Then why did the judge take the extraordinary course of mentioning it during the trial?

Cahill’s refusal to sequester the jury after Wright’s death was a terrible error, and it is coming back to haunt him quicker than anyone could have predicted, thanks to Waters. Later, the truth battled its way out of his mouth and he blurted out that Waters “may have given” the defense grounds “on appeal that may result in this whole trial being overturned.”

And yet Nancy Pelosi, who led a contrived impeachment of Donald Trump for urging demonstrators to peacefully protest because she claimed it sparked an “insurrection,” claimed nothing was amiss with Waters’ speech. “Maxine talked about confrontation in the manner of the Civil Rights movement. I myself think we should take our lead from the George Floyd family. They’ve handled this with great dignity and no ambiguity or lack of misinterpretation by the other side…No, I don’t think she should apologize.”

The rule, then, appears to be that a Democratic Congresswoman can cross state lines to urge an already inflamed crowd to get “more confrontational” while threatening a demonstration showing that it “means business’ if a jury does not provide the verdict she demands, while a Republican President should be impeached and charged with a crime for urging demonstrators to peacefully protest what they and he believe to be an undemocratic election.

Is it material that the Congresswoman inciting a riot is black, and the President who called for a peaceful protest is white? Are we allowed to wonder? Is it permissible to consider reality?

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Ethics Villain: Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Cal.)

I seriously considered not posting this, because Waters’ ethical villlainy should be obvious to everyone, and Ethics Alarms generally doesn’t post on the obvious.

It has certainly been obvious to Ethics Alarms from the beginning: in 2009, in one of the very first posts here, I noted that CREW (Citizens for Responsible Ethics and Responsibility in Washington), the Democratic Party-bolstering fake “non-partisan” ethics watchdog, had labeled Waters one of the “Most Corrupt” members of Congress. This served their masquerade at the time, because it is so obvious that Waters is corrupt that she was “low hanging fruit”: by listing her on their unethical Congress members docket, CREW could claim that they really were bipartisan. (If CREW didn’t list Waters, it would make the group look like the sham it is.) Democrats know Waters is unethical; they simply lack the guts and integrity to say so and do something about her.

As I wrote in another post about Waters, “Never mind though: Waters is black, so by the infinitely adjustable weaponizing definition of racism used by progressives, black activists and Democrats for the previous eight years, to criticize her at all is to be a racist.” There is no member of Congress—maybe no one in government—so brazenly reliant on this principle as Waters. She also girds herself in gender, so pointing out the obvious about her—that she’s a demagogue, a racist, an embarrassment to her her party, a disgrace to Congress and not very bright in the bargain—gets a critic tagged as a bigot AND a misogynist. The fear of this is so great that even Bill O’Reilly, himself an ethics villain who seldom crumpled in the face of race-baiting, groveled an apology for mocking Waters’ helmet-hair in 2017, saying, “As I have said many times, I respect Congresswoman Maxine Waters for being sincere in her beliefs. I said that again today on ‘Fox and Friends,’ calling her ‘old school.’ Unfortunately, I also made a jest about her hair, which was dumb. I apologize.”

Defenders of slavery were sincere in their beliefs. Flat-earthers are sincere in their beliefs. Charles Manson was sincere in his beliefs. Stalin was sincere in his beliefs. The old guy with empty look in his eyes who stood with his old Weimaraner day and night near our street where I grew up, thinking he was still an air raid warden in World War II was sincere in his beliefs, and he was harmless, unlike Maxine Waters.

It’s kind of fun, in fact, to read the Waters dossier at Ethics Alarms, and I was selective. I almost literally could have posted about her ethics vacuum every time she opened her mouth. I had forgotten for example, that she posted this on Twitter:

But history teaches that eventually those who think they are immune from accountability go too far, and if the latest from Maxine isn’t an example of that, it should be. Continue reading

Lost Day Ethics Catch-Up, 9/19/2020: Even Ketchup Can’t Cover The Bad Taste Of This Post!

1.  Is it possible that this is real? A couple allegedly sent this email to wedding reception invitees, explaining that their meals would be determined by the value of the wedding gifts they planned on bringing.

Are there really people this crass? Who in their right mind would do anything but send a curt “Bite me!” note to such a couple, and resolve never to waste a second on them again?

2. OK, I don’t see anything wrong with this, at all. The assignment for an Iowa City school district online learning program asked students of all races to write four sentences about what they would do if they were a slave who was freed.

“Think very, very carefully about what your life would be like as a slave in 1865,” the students were asked.  “You can’t read or write and you have never been off the plantation you work on. What would you do when you hear the news you are free? What factors would play into the decision you make?” After an uproar from parents, the assignment was removed and the teacher was placed on administrative leave. A statement from the district called the assignment “inappropriate” and said it “does not support and will not tolerate this type of instruction.”

What would that be? Assignments that call for critical thought and imagination?

Dibny Gamez said her 14-year-old daughter, Ayesha, who is black, would not complete the assignment because it made her feel uncomfortable. “She just starts tearing up,” Gamez said. “And I was, like, ‘No, listen, you don’t have to be ashamed of who you are.’ I said, ‘You are beautiful for who you are. Don’t let not one soul make you uncomfortable for who you are.’” How would that assignment make a rational student be ashamed of who she is?

Justin Grinage, a professor of curriculum and instruction at the University of Minnesota , claims that assignments asking students to role-play enslaved people or slave owners trivialize or distort the actual events of slavery. “The best-case scenario with lessons like this is that students come away with a fabricated lie about history. So, best-case scenario, they don’t really learn anything, or they learn the wrong thing,” Grinage told reporters. “Worst-case scenario is that it’s a deeply traumatic experience for students of color, particularly Black students.”

Why? Because he says so? Such an assignment is an excellent way to open up the topics of slavery, how it persisted, what led to its abolition, and why it is such an emotional and controversial issue, as well as empathy, the Golden Rule, and ethics. Continue reading

Unethical Quote Of The Month: Rep. Maxine Waters

“My first thought was not again, not one more killing. And I’m reflecting on all of the killings of young black men in particular, but of course, black women too, at the hands of the police and at the hands of, you know, these white supremacists….I think that the officer who had his knee on his neck enjoyed doing what he was doing. I believe sometime some of these officers leave home thinking, ‘I’m going to get me one today.’ And I think this is his one that he got today…And I’m thinking about the way that the president conducts himself. In a way, he’s dog-whistling, and I think that they’re feeling that they can get away with this kind of treatment. And I’m just so sorry about the loss of another life.”

—-Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Cal), in full race-baiting, hate-mongering, Big Lie peddling, mind-reading mode as she sought  to draw damning generalities from the death of African-American George Floyd

I wonder: Has there been a more destructive, vicious, irresponsible and divisive political figure on the American scene over the last 50 years than Maxine Waters?  George Wallace was pretty much through by 1970. Who else? Has there been any such figure, whose rhetoric was even close to this reprehensible, that the news media and Democratic Party were so reluctant to call out for what he or she was? Continue reading

Incompetent Elected Official Of The Month: Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Ca)

When did you first realize Maxine Waters was an idiot? I remember when I did. She was involved in the Block For Bill efforts by House Democrats during the hearings on potential impeachment for then-President Bill Clinton.  Maxine made many jaw-droppingly stupid statements but the best was when she said that we had to do something about “all these young women” tempting male law-makers and leaders, referring to Monica Lewinsky.

You know, the people of Watts have enough problems. They don’t need the added burden of a fool as their representative in Congress. On the other hand, who keeps voting for Maxine, term after term, decade after decade?

But I digress.

The latest display of Maxine’s intellectual limitations and lack of diligence and seriousness occurred to tried to engage in some anti-bank grandstanding sure to cheer the anti-capitalist Democratic base. Waters is the chairwoman of the House Financial Services Committee , which regulates banks. Nancy Pelosi gave her the post. Think about this next time your favorite Democrat mocks one of Donald Trump’s appointments.

During a hearing on the practices of  the nation’s biggest banks, Waters pointed an accusing rhetorical finger at a panel of seven bank CEOs  because, she said, “more than 44 million Americans that owe … $1.56 trillion in student loan debt…Last year, one million student loan borrowers defaulted, which is on top of the one million borrowers who defaulted the year before.” Continue reading

2018 Ethics Retrospective Poll #2 and #3: “Unethical Profession Of The Year” And “Incompetent Elected Official”

The effort to prompt some input into the 2018 Ethics Alarms Awards will obviously continue for another day or two, as my promise to “be posting these periodically during the day and evening” was foiled by intervening priorities yesterday.  There are two polls this time (here was the first, still open), and again, please don’t hesitate to expand on your votes.

Nominations for “Unethical Profession Of The Year”

Once, there was never any question about the “winner” of this  category: it was inevitably educators or, more often, journalists. One of the horrible consequences the 2016 Post Election Ethics Train Wreck, however, is that almost all the professions dived into the muck, sought headlines by making the kind of biased and irresponsible statements that society depends on professionals to eschew, and they have continued their self-debasement ever since. While journalists and educators—in this I include all academics as well as teachers and administrators, have still disgraced themselves beyond debate—they have real competition now. Each profession nominated will be linked to a representative Ethics Alarms post. The nominees are… Continue reading

Saturday Afternoon Ethics Smorgasbord, 7/7/2018

God ettermiddag!

Yeah, I know smorgasbord is Swedish and god ettermiddag is Norwegian. I just woke up feeling Scandinavian today. I even had a Danish for breakfast…

1. Trump Tweets. Our President’s petty and juvenile tweets insulting Maxine Waters’ IQ and Senator Elizabeth Warren’s Native American fantasy are so obviously self-destructive, necessary and irresponsible. Why why why? These outbursts are literally like the President of the United States going on the roof of the White House and screaming, “You’re all poopy heads!”

Who needs to be told that Waters is an idiot? Res ipsa loquitur applies, and anyone who thinks she is the voice of wisdom and moderation is beyond helping.  Trolling Warren by offering her a million dollars to get a DNA test is even more idiotic. Her fake claims of Cherokee heritage already have frozen her political ambitions, and she knows it.  If the Senator is not eager to take the test for free (Does anyone smarter than Maxine Waters believe she hasn’t taken such a test?), why would she do it for money? And Warren doesn’t need a million dollars: like most socialists in power, she’s rich already. It’s this kind of thing that drove George Will, William Kristol and Jeff Flake nuts.

2. Proof that the New York Times has also lost it. Here’s an inflammatory quote from yesterday’s editorial from the New York Times editorial board, in a screed urging Democrats to use any means necessary to block the President from appointing whomever he wants for the Supreme Court—you know, like the Constitution says he can:

“This is all the more reason for Democrats and progressives to take a page from “The Godfather” and go to the mattresses on this issue.”

Nice. This is a direct call to violence and literal warfare. I assume the Times editors have seen “The Godfather.” Don Corleone’s Family went “to the mattresses” when it started a gang war.

I hope Americans realize the values it will be voting for when they decide to put the New York Times’ editors’ chosen party back in power. Hint: it’s not democracy.

Since November 2016, Democrats and their allies have been courting revolution because they didn’t like the way the election turned out. No matter how loathsome the Republican Party has shown itself to be, it has never done that. Continue reading

A Congress Of Assholes*? Maxine Waters Demolishes Basic Principles Of Ethical Comportment

*The headline relates to this and related posts.

I’ll spare you the horror of having to watch the entire video above, and display the transcript of Watts Rep. Maxine Waters as she abused Treasury Secretary  Steve Mnuchin at a House Financial Services Committee hearing this week. Waters continued to interrupt Mnuchin as he attempted to answer her hostile cross-examination. Her mantra “reclaiming my time” expressed her ridiculous position that any words from the guest of the committee that didn’t specifically address her questions to her satisfaction was an intrusion on her time for shameless grandstanding. Note the committee chairman’s explanation to Mnuchin that while the rules can direct how testifiers should be treated, they cannot dictate how they will be treated. In other words, if a member is determined to behave like a rude, disrespectful jerk, she will.

Here’s the mind-blowing transcript. It didn’t literally blow my mind, hence no KABOOM! designation, because Waters is such a well-known and beyond a shadow of a doubt hyper-partisan fool and embarrassment to the nation that pretty much nothing she might do or say can shock me sufficiently. Does it not occur to Africa-American majority districts that electing Representatives this incompetent, shrill and offensive is not in their best interest, even though the Democratic Party and the news media bend themselves in half to pretend she isn’t a disgrace.

Transcript:

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