Now I’m REALLY Sorry American University Dropped Me As An Adjunct Legal Ethics Professor, Because I Can’t Resign In Protest Now

1943_Colored_Waiting_Room_Sign

American University in Washington, D.C. has a course called AUx2 which freshmen must take. Students will learn about “race, social identity, and structures of power.” In the course, students “evaluate how racism intersects with other systems of oppression.”

The campus paper, “The Eagle” reports that the university has all-Black sections in the course, and has since last year. “We’ve definitely heard from Black students and other students of color that the material can be a lot for them because it is part of their lived experiences,” Izzi Stern, the AUx program manager told the student newspaper. “And we wanted to create a space where they could be together in community and have an overall positive experience with the course.”

On the university’s webpage, a former AUx2 student says, “The AUx Program is fundamentally shifting the culture, and students, of American University, while simultaneously fulfilling the institutions’ commitment to social justice and equity. I could not be more enthusiastic about my support for the transformative impact of the AUx2 course.” A sophomore at American University told the paper that “having an all-Black space truly changes the way you interact in that space and the level of comfort you feel.”

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Morning Ethics Warm-Up, 8/17/2012: The Ethics Buck Stops Here [Updated]

All My Fault

1. Note to future elected officials and politicians trying to weasel their way out of a fiasco of their own making: if you say “I take full responsibility,” then you can’t go on to blame anyone you can think of. The painting above, by artist Mort Künstler (b. 1931) is titled “It’s All My Fault,” and depicts the moment when General Robert E. Lee met his shattered troops after they had marched, under his orders, into Union artillery and Meade’s troops entrenched on higher ground, in the doomed “Pickett’s Charge” that ended the Battle of Gettysburg. “It’s all my fault!” is what he reportedly told his men. National leaders like President Biden, Hillary Clinton and former President Biden might well reflect on those words, which in my view justify remembering and honoring Lee all by themselves, as their supporters tear down Lee’s statues. (President Trump tried to protect the statues, but he has never emulated Lee in the matter of accepting responsibility either.) Their version of taking responsibility is to mouth “I take full responsibility” followed by a string of “buts” that translate into “It wasn’t my fault!” In the Biden version, you do this and then refuse to take questions (Like, say, “WHAT???) and jump on a plane to flee.

Yesterday, President Biden cynically used Harry Truman’s creed “The buck stops here” after blaming the Afghanistan debacle on President Trump and the Afghans themselves. Apparently in a competition with other media hacks for the boot-licking gold, Brian Williams said, on the air, that Biden’s speech wasn’t what it was (Rationalization #64). “He didn’t run from it, he owned it. He owned this decision. He owned the fact that, as he put it, the buck stops with him,” the exiled former NBC news anchor said. Since Williams has no credibility whatsoever, he has none to lose, but this was still stunning: not just a lie, but a Jumbo: “Excuses? What excuses?”

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Incompetent Elected Official Of The Month, Year, Decade, Century, And Eon: Rep. Cori Bush (D-Mo.)

I know, I know, this is res ipsa loquitur. Anyone with a functioning brain, unlike Rep. Bush, will immediately see the hilarious flaw in her “reasoning,” if one can call it that. There may be high-functioning mollusks that could see it. But I’ve had a crummy day, and deserve some fun.

Yes, this isn’t a parody or a deep fake. (House Whip James Clyburn might think it is, since he swears no Democrat has ever advocated defundung the police. Well, him, but no others…) We really have someone in Congress who passionately, angrily insists that taxpayers should pay for her private security force so she can make sure the U.S. Congress defunds the police. There isn’t enough space in this post to explain how many alarms one had to lack in order to be recoded saying something like this. Not just ethics alarms, but hyp[ocrisy alarms, common sense alarms, alarms, “Wow, I’m embarrarsing party, my district, my family, my friends, and all of my teachers!” alarms, and of course the crucial “Gee, I’m sounding like an idiot!” She is the best illustration of the Dunning-Kruger Effect I have ever seen.

We knew, if we knew anything about Bush at all, that she was an idiot. After all, she ran as a Black Lives Matter candidate and still believes that Mike Brown was shot while holding up his arms and saying “Hands Up! Don’t shoot!” She’s obviously unqualified to be a lawmaker, but the video shows she’s also too lacking in basic cognitive function to be 7-11 clerk, a crossing guard, an au pere, a gardener, a house-painter, a dog-walker. or a lemonade stand proprietor. She mistakes passion and certitude for wisdom. She also is likely to mistake an anteater for a spoon.

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And Yet Another Entry From The Res Ipsa Loquitur Files! “There Is No Good Reason You Should Have to Be a Citizen to Vote”(NYT)

shackles

I really didn’t plan this. I certainly didn’t plan on having to shackle my arms to prevent myself from expressing the appropriate sentiments after encountering not one but two examples of how ethical ignorance is apparently reaching a new and dangerous high in the United States of America. But my print version of the New York Times contained an op-ed that really “argued” for the proposition above, and the New York Times, allegedly a responsible newspaper, actually felt that such an uninformed, civically illiterate, stupid opinion was worthy of publication.

We are told that the author, Atossa Abrahamian is a journalist “who has written extensively about citizenship,” evidently without understanding what citizenship is. We also are told, “This essay is part of a series exploring bold ideas to revitalize and renew the American experiment.” Bold! You know, like “Let’s have a monetary system based on cheese!” Or “Let’s select members of Congress by having Beer Pong competitions!”

Note that I still haven’t made any substantive statements rebutting this garbage or explaining why it is the intellectual equivalent of toxic waste. I don’t need to; first, I can count on my almost exclusively intelligent, ethical and erudite readers to do it, and moreover,such sentences as this are res ipsa loquitur…they speak for themselves:

“The strongest case for noncitizen voting today is representation: The more voters show up to the polls, the more accurately elections reflect peoples’ desires”

Yes, that’s the strongest case.

You take it from here.

From The “Res Ipsa Loquitur” File: I Hope And Pray That Race-Based Entitlement Hasn’t Gone This Far Off The Rails, But I Strongly Suspect That It Has

Quarterback Tom Brady led the Tampa Bay Bucs to victory yesterday in the Concussion Bowl over the Kansas City Chiefs black Quarterback Patrick Mahomes. Brady’s triumph sparked these and similar tweets:

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From The Ethics Alarms Res Ipsa Loquitur Files: A Lot Of People Are Not Taking Democracy Sufficiently Seriously In New Hampshire

With a slogan like “Fuck the police!” how could she lose?

The ultimate example of the legal principle of res ipsa loquitur,  meaning that the existence of something alone is sufficient evidence to prove misconduct, comes from a classic case,which I have quoted here before, involved a  lawsuit against R.J. Reynolds. The suit was brought by a  customer who had chawed down on a  rotting, severed human toe while trying to enjoy a plug of chewing tobacco. He initially lost his case based on the theory of “let the buyer beware,” but won on appeal. On the subject of whether the plaintiff had to prove negligence, a wry appellate judge wrote (in 1918) that assuming ordinary care, it boggled the mind to…

“imagine human toes could not be left out of chewing tobacco, and if toes are found in chewing tobacco, it seems to us that somebody has been very careless.”

In today’s example of the same principle, I can imagine no reason why, with ordinary care, a trans, anarchist, Satanic candidate using the campaign slogan “Fuck the Police” should be the Republican candidate for sheriff in Cheshire County in New Hampshire. If a trans, anarchist, Satanic candidate using the campaign slogan “Fuck the Police” is the Republican candidate for sheriff in Cheshire County in New Hampshire, it seems to me that somebody has been very careless.

The story is here. Continue reading

“My Name Is Jack, I Am Not A Racist, And All Of You Are A Disgrace To The Nation.”

Columnist Rod Dreher reports that Northwestern University Law School held a town hall meeting online, and participants were “require  to begin with  a ritual denunciation of themselves as racist. The screen shot above is from the discussion.

You know, I am increasingly seeing ethics stories that require little or no elaboration or commentary, like this morning’s post about the Washington D.C. government favoring eliminating the Jefferson Memorial and Washington Monument. If you have to have these things explained to you, the probability is that you are already beyond helping, or, perhaps, six.

What we see above is reminiscent of the forced behavior in Communist re-education camps. I do not what kind of Americans would submit to such a directive, but I do know what must be involved: weak character, weak self-esteem, destructive education, flaccid parenting, basic estrangement from American culture, and dangerous vulnerability to peer pressure.

And cowardice. Let’s not forget that. These people are cowards. The United States is too good for them. They weaken the nation’s values, strength and spirit by submitting to coerced “confessions” of this kind.

Oh, how I would have loved to be in the meeting, and announce myself to these sad shells of human beings, so willing to abandon their liberty and self-respect to signal imaginary virtue.

And Today’s “Madness! Madness!” Item Of The Day: “The Unintentional Racism Found In Traffic Signals”

I didn’t make that title up. “The Unintentional Racism Found in Chex Mix,” I made up. Not  the other one.

You can read the article here.

The writer, David Kaufman, says in the article that he is black, so I’ll take his word for it. I’m not going to fisk or rebut the piece, any more than you would take the time fir rebut my Chex Mix conspiracy theory, if I really wrote it down. Both articles inhabit the special category  of “res ipsa loquitur” reserved for things that, without further analysis or explication, prove that their creator is mentally ill, or, in the alternative, trying, for whatever reason, to make people believe waht isn’t so, or, possibly engaging in satire. When you  read the article, the latter possibility is quicklyerases, and so is the second. The author is serious. He is deranged.

Here’s one section, just to illustrate:

“And there you have it: The government-approved origins of the “little White men” telling us to cross the street at corners across New York….I am now convinced that technology and necessity, rather than some anti-Black conspiracy, propelled the shift from verbal crosswalk cues to a lunar-white Walking Person. But my heart still sinks at the specter of teaching my sons to ask a White man for permission to do — well, anything. Because so much of the world already insists that we do.”

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From The “Res Ipsa Loquitur” Files: This Is What “Jezebel” Considers A Compelling Justification For The Riots.

Feminist website Jezebel introduced a jaw-dropping interview with a New York protester, a black woman who said she was a social studies teacher, with this:

Despite escalating police violence, arrests, and city-mandated curfews, protesters are continuing the crucial work of speaking out against the murder of George Floyd by police officers and the continued violence against unarmed black people. For reasons that escape logic, protesters and activists are still being asked the same question by reporters and those who refuse to come to terms with America’s history of racism: Why are you here? How do you feel about the looting? It’s a series of questions too often forced upon black people who are expected to educate the masses while simultaneously being oppressed, murdered, ignored, and told to be quiet and “get over” hundreds of years of institutionalized racism.

How unreasonable to expect those engaged in mindless violence against their community and police to have a coherent explanation for what they think they are accomplishing!

The exchange that Jezebel thinks explains it all began with the unnamed black woman saying,“I mean, I’m a black mother and a Social Studies teacher and I’m raising a black son in America so I have no choice but to fight and walk. That’s all I can do.”

Asked about whether the looting and rioting had overshadowed the message of the protests, her response was to reference a  century-old race riot in Oklahoma in 1921. “I mean these white mobs came and rioted in Tulsa and did the same shit, excuse my language, but I’m just sayin’ like, what’s the difference?” she said. Continue reading

Unethical Quote Of The Month: New York Magazine Reporter Olivia Nuzzi

“If more Americans died in the last six weeks than the entirety of the Vietnam War, do you deserve to be re-elected?”

—–Olivia Nuzzi, New York Magazine reporter, at yesterday’s pandemic briefing.

I’m seriously tempted to leave this post with that alone, as a perfect embodiment of the principle of “res ipsa loquitur,” or “the thing speaks for itself.” I’m not sure I care to have someone so dim that that they can’t discern that such a question is moronic, partisan and offensive reading Ethics Alarms. Still, some further comment is appropriate.  But please don’t be insulted that I’m discussing the matter at all: I know you can recognize unprofessional journalism when to see it.

  • This comparison has turned up in other places; apparently the Democratic Party/”resistance”/mainstream media Axis of Unethical Conduct circulated a memo or something to try it out and see just how stupid the American public is. As the song went, “How low can they go?” the question is a non-sequitur that falsely implies that there is any relationship between war casualties (casualties in the Vietnam war could have been ended by Presidential fiat at any time  over the course of the conflict) and pandemic deaths, which are outside a President’s control.
  • There had been 55,952 reported deaths in the U.S. as of yesterday. Nuzzi might as well have asked,

“If more Americans died in the last six weeks than the number of songs written by Irving Berlin (1500), plus the total number of hits by Pete Rose, Ty Cobb,  Hank Aaron and Stan Musial, (12,216), added to the number of yards Jim Thorpe rushed in college (3, 616), plus the number of words in the Book of Jeremiah (33,002), added to the cost of two inflatable giant Twister games ($4000), for a grand total of 54, 334, do you deserve to be re-elected?”

That would make just as much sense. Continue reading