Oh, I know what you’re going to say: “That’s unfair, Jack! You know that the wacko bill is the brainchild of Representative Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas), and she’s not like most Democrats!” It is true that Lee, whose Ethics Alarms dossier is as damning as any one could find on a current member of Congress with the possible exception of Nancy Pelosi, is a particularly awful member of Congress. She’s a fanatic supporter of reparations for slavery; she’s a knee-jerk race-baiter (any criticism of President Barack Obama, a serial bungler, was racist in her view). She’s one of those not very bright people who speak assertively and defiantly because they are laboring under the delusion that they are intelligent, thus fooling others who aren’t very smart either.
Lee once mixed up Wikileaks and Wikipedia in an interview. She has complained that the naming of storms is racist, because the names are “too white,” but we know that if we gave hurricanes names like “LaShonda” to hurricanes, she’d complain that blacks were being deliberately compared to destructive forces.
Nonetheless, you watch: House Democrats will overwhelmingly support Lee’s Leading Against White Supremacy Act, maybe even unanimously, despite the fact that it is unconstitutional, an attack on free speech and thought, and designed to let the government criminalize political positions it doesn’t like.
They will vote for it in part because it has no chance of passing. They also assume that their constituency is so ignorant of our rights it will see Republican opposition as more proof of racism.
It was reported by a non-reliable source that this is the anti-virus mask Rep. Lee put on her dog…
[Okay, bear with me now. This COTD by Steve Witherspoon was actually entered on this post, where the issue at hand was alluded to obliquely in the post, then expanded upon in a comment. But I went into far more detail regarding the issue in today’s Warm-Up, and there was even a poll on the issue, so I’m assigning the comment to that post, not the one that inspired it.]
I officially mark my immediate ethics conflict as solved. The poll results are moot regarding this specific episode but still valid regarding the general problem. So far, about half the voters said I had a duty to post the non-diverse idiot photos even if it did get me called a racist (Easy for them to say!). Fortunately, the option I favored (with three votes out of 24) was made accessible within minutes of the posting. I know have a fully diverse array of dufuses wearing their masks wrong, and hope to have more.
In addition to Rep. Lee, we have Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner:
1. More on my mask photo ethics conflict...I wrote about this in a comment on the post last night about Rep. Lee, but I’m still obsessing about it because I still don’t know what the ethical course is. When I saw that photo of Rep. Lee wearing her mask with her nose exposed (this makes her a nose-breathing idiot rather than a mouth-breathing idiot; it was also upside down), I was going to post it with two other photos showing elected officials doing the same thing. At literally the last second, an ethics alarm sounded. The other two officials, a city mayor and a member of Congress known to be, shall we say, an unlikely “Jeopardy!” contestant, were both black. In the case of Lee, who is the chair of a task force on the national response to the epidemic,the validity of pointing out the visual evidence that she’s an epic boob (we knew that, but still) is unassailable, perhaps even by the race-baiting standards of the Congresswoman herself, who repeatedly attributed any criticism of Barack Obama to racism.
Objectively, however, when accompanied by two other photos of African-American political figures making fools of themselves, would not the array appear to be a racist “dog whistle”? I don’t need to be tarred as a racist—I already have lost considerable income because I dare to oppose the anti-Trump mobs—and this would invite that result. Moreover, as I also commented last night, conservative sites were stinking with racist comments about the Lee photo. (“If you let blacks vote, you get blacks in power over you. This applies to every other non-American race and culture too,” wrote one commenter on Instapundit.) Thus the Second Niggardly Principle seemed to be triggered:
“When an individual or group can accomplish its legitimate objectives without engaging in speech or conduct that will offend individuals whose basis for the supposed offense is emotional, mistaken or ignorant, but is not malicious and is based on well-established impulses of human nature, it is unethical to intentionally engage in such speech or conduct.”
In the narrow context of my post, I’m confident that this is the right call. In a larger context, however, the Third Niggardly Principle seems to apply:
“When, however, suppressing speech and conduct based on an individual’s or a group’s sincere claim that such speech or conduct is offensive, however understandable and reasonable this claim may be, creates or threatens to create a powerful precedent that will undermine freedom of speech, expression or political opinion elsewhere, calls to suppress the speech or conduct must be opposed and rejected.”
Indeed Ethics Alarms has made a recent Third Niggardly Principle stand, refusing to accept the widespread ban on any designation of the virus that references its origins and the Chinese government’s role in turning it into a pandemic. I have done this even though the Chinese connection has led some thugs to attack Asian-Americans. I believe the principle that facts and words must not be suppressed because some may misconstrue them or react irrationally is a crucial one, and a principle that the totalitarian Left is working hard to deconstruct.
So in light of all the factors, what was, or is, the ethical way to handle this conflict?
2. Speaking of polls, here’s where the last one sits. Polling is still open, and you can vote as many times as you want, for different candidates. The poll asks you to choose which Democratic Presidential candidates would endorse withholding online classes from all public school students because poor students didn’t have WiFi access:
Rep. Jackson-Lee is the Chair of the Congressional Coronavirus Task Force. This is how she wears her mask.
Res ipsa loquitur.
I will add that it would be normal and understandable for those who trust and admire the Congresswoman–incredibly enough, there are such people—to look to her as a role model, and would certainly assume that the Chair of the Congressional Coronavirus Task Force would know the correct way TO WEAR A %$#@^&% MASK!Continue reading →
1 How the NFL defines good leadership..The news today that the most recent result of examinations of deceased former football players’ brains shows 99% of them with CTE puts an especially harsh light on the NFL’s new contract with Commissioner Roger Goodell, who was promised hundreds of millions of dollars to serve in the same role he has botched for another seven years. Well, botched is a relative term, I suppose. True, Goodell has made it clear that his league is the least ethical, most venal, and most brutal sports organization on earth. Over his 11 year tenure so far, he proved that the league only regards its star behemoths beating up women after there is a public outcry, then tosses away due process to levy illegal punishments for show. Goodell first denied that the science showing that his game’s routine and unavoidable concussions were deadly, then had his lawyers negotiate an unconscionable low-ball settlement with the desperate families of former players his modern day gladiatorial combat had crippled (it was declared so by a judge, and thrown out), and now says the league is addressing the problem, which it isn’t. Meanwhile, every game, play by play as fans cheer, more young men are sent on their way to a premature, drooling death by brain damage.
Goodell’s biggest star, Tom Brady, and most successful coach, Bill Belichick, are smug cheaters. For the last year, fans paying three figures a game for their seats have had to watch their National Anthem marred by various player protests about..something. Ratings and attendance have fallen; polls show that the NFL is the most disliked sport in America, which it should be, since it kills people, promotes felons and cheaters as heroes, and abuses its fans. But this isn’t considered a botch by the Commissioner, says the New York Times, because “during his tenure as commissioner…Goodell has helped team values skyrocket, and the owners are betting that will continue under his leadership.”
That sentence explains everything, doesn’t it?
2. Welcome to “the resistance” Plan J. Review: Plan A was to reverse the election by hijacking the Electoral College. Plan B was pre-emptive impeachment. Plan C was the Emoluments Clause. Plan D was “collusion with Russia” (The New York Times, to give credit where it is due, actually created a chart to explain this one, and if it isn’t obvious to you how pathetically weak the case is, you played NFL football…), Plan E is”Trump is disabled because he’s a narcissist and a Republican, so this should trigger the 25th Amendment.”, Plan F, the Maxine Waters plan, is to just impeach the President because she really, really doesn’t like him, Plan G is “The President obstructs justice by firing incompetent subordinates,” Plan H is “tweeting stupid stuff is impeachable,” Plan I is “Let’s relentlessly harass him and insult him and obstruct his efforts to do his job so he snaps (see E) and does something really impeachable.”
Senator Kirsten Gillibrand unveiled Plan J, since the others are absurd, when she demanded that the President should resign now for unproven allegations of non-crimes, when none of the misconduct occurred during his tenure as Presidency. This is impressive, because it is just as ridiculous and desperate as the other plans, and I thought they had exhausted the possibilities. At a Congressional hearing examining Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein Texas Democratic Rep Sheila Jackson Lee insisted that women who accused non-President Trump of sexual harassment can report it to the FBI. That’s right: now the FBI should be investigating illicit kisses, “groping,’ and my personal favorite, walking into a Miss USA dressing room where the contestants might be in various states of undress.
These aren’t crimes, they aren’t prosecutable, and they aren’t even close to the FBI’s mission and duties. Continue reading →
Good Morning, Dallas! Proud of your politically correct football team?
1 The New York Times and the rest of the mainstream news media, it is a relief to know, unethically and deceptively slants its news reporting in favor of Republicans when even worse Republicans are involved. Since the Ethics Alarms post about the horrible Strange-Moore run-off, I’ve been reading several articles about the issues involved. So far, I have yet to read any that mention the corrupt manner in which Sen. Strange got his seat. They all mention Moore’s problems, like the fact that he’s a theocrat who doesn’t believe in the Rule of Law.
2. The sports weenies of the year have to be the Dallas Cowboys,who didn’t have either the courage to play it straight and let the silly NFL Anthem Protest Train Wreck miss a stop, or the fortitude to climb right on. On Monday Night Football’s game this week, the Cowboys, owner Jerry Jones, Coach Jason Garrett and other coaches and front office executives kneeled in unison before the anthem, then rose and locked arms as it was being performed. What did it all mean? “Our players wanted to make a statement about unity and we wanted to make a statement about equality,” Jones said at a post game news conference. “They were very much aware that statement, when made or when attempted to be made in and a part of the recognition of our flag, cannot only lead to criticism but also controversy. It was real easy for everybody in our organization to see that the message of unity, the message of equality was getting, if you will, pushed aside or diminished by the controversy. We even had the circumstances that it was being made into a controversy.”
That’s clear as mud, as my dad liked to say.
Here was another theory: Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant told the news media that the decision “was a team thing” that was a direct response to comments and tweets by President Trump over the weekend.
“I feel like that’s the true definition of unity.Trump can’t divide this. I think sports show the perfect example of unity. It’s not just black NFL players, it’s different races. I feel like that was a clear shot at Trump, sitting on that knee like that because you just can’t do that [What Trump said was] super disrespectful. We showed great unity tonight. That’s what that was for. I feel like that was needed. … We’re not going to let a guy like that tear us apart. Not just us but this whole entire league. We’re a prime example of positive people. … He should have never said that. It was a clear punch in the face. I feel like we made up for that.”
Wait, so now this is an anti-Trump protest? What happened to protesting officers getting paid while cop-involved shootings were being investigated—you know, what Colin Kaepernick said?
The Cowboys’ whatever it was was naked, cynical virtue-signalling that ended up being stupidity-signalling. Continue reading →
I was going to let this pass—I pass up a Holder or Obama ethics topic approximately twice a day, just for, you know, diversity—but it is such a blatant Jumbo, and such an insulting one, that it has to be noted. When it occurred last week, I called up my two Hill contacts who have worked with Holder, and asked how they could square this with their “Trust me, he’s a good guy and a decent lawyer who is just over his head” assessments. Now that assessment is “He’s a good guy who is just over his head, the nasty politics is getting to him, and he’s not thinking straight any more.”
Speaking to Al Sharpton’s National Action Network, on April 10, Attorney General Holder went off script to say this, in the context of his remarks about civil rights progress during the Obama administration:
“The last five years have been defined by significant strides and by lasting reforms even in the face, even in the face of unprecedented, unwarranted, ugly and divisive adversity. If you don’t believe that, you look at the way — forget about me, forget about me. You look at the way the attorney general of the United States was treated yesterday by a House committee — has nothing to do with me, forget that. What attorney general has ever had to deal with that kind of treatment? What president has ever had to deal with that kind of treatment?”
The comments were widely and correctly interpreted as an accusation of racial bias, which is exactly what they were: Continue reading →
Ah, if only Joseph Welch and his well-aimed indignation were here today!
We knew, way back when President Obama was running for his first term, that the temptation to paint any opposition to his leadership or his policies as proof of racism would be irresistible for the less ethical among his supporters in the Democratic Party and among the media. This came to pass, but we should prepare for much worse. Now that the President has a thoroughly wretched record and is, to an extent I personally haven’t seen since the paranoid days of Richard Nixon, attempting to avoid accountability by blaming everyone in sight—a thoroughly unleaderly display—the race-baiters have served notice that they will be out in force this time as well, more shameless than ever. Continue reading →
Ah, politics! Words that are dishonest are winked at by the media without objection, and harmless terms generate apologies that support ignorance and vagueness.
I. Colorado Republican Congressman Doug Lamborn apologized yesterday for using the term “tar baby” during a Friday appearance on a Denver radio program. Lamborn said this: “Even if some people say, ‘Well the Republicans should have done this or they should have done that,’ they will hold the President responsible. Now, I don’t even want to have to be associated with him. It’s like touching a tar baby and you get it, you’re stuck, and you’re a part of the problem now and you can’t get away. I don’t want that to happen to us, but if it does or not, he’ll still get, properly so, the blame because his policies for four years will have failed the American people.” Continue reading →
“I do not understand what I think is the maligning and maliciousness [toward] this president,” said Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, a member of the Congressional Black Caucus. “Why is he different? And in my community, that is the question that we raise. In the minority community that is question that is being raised. Why is this president being treated so disrespectfully? Why has the debt limit been raised 60 times? Why did the leader of the Senate continually talk about his job is to bring the president down to make sure he is unelected?”
As is often the case, and is especially often the case with Lee, we are faced with the puzzle of deciding whether an irresponsible and unfair statement by an elected official arises out of a conscious exercise in cynical and dirty politics, or because the elected official involved is just dumb as a box of pet rocks. In this case, my guess would be “both.” Continue reading →