Your Deranged Friends Don’t Care That They Are Being Lied To About The “Insurrection,” But You Have An Obligation To Tell Them Anyway

tie guy

In “Journalism Ethics/Legal Ethics/Government Ethics Rot: The Democrats And Journalists Tried To Convict Donald Trump With Fake News,” Ethics Alarms covered the fact, and it is a fact, not an opinion, that the mainstream media and Democrats—the AUC, essentially—deliberately lied to the public in order to appeal to emotion and hype the significance of the January 6 riot. It appears that they were caught at the last second, which is why the decision to call witnesses was suddenly and mysteriously reversed in favor of a vote the Democrats knew they were going to lose.

I think it’s an important post about an important story, but very few people have read it (it’s been viewed 5 times today), or know that contrary to the assertions of President Biden and others, nobody was killed by the rioters, and a park police officer did not “give his life in defense of democracy.” There have been very few news stories pointing out that the Times quietly changed its false story that launched this myth, or that the Democrats deliberately entered it as false evidence in the impeachment trial.

When Ethics Alarms becomes a primary source of news that supposed journalists refuse to cover, we are in big, big trouble, especially since fewer people appear to be coming here (theories abound).

Glenn Greenwald, the primary beacon of that post, is doing what he can to spread the word of just how dastardly the AUC has been in spreading disinformation about the riot. He, as you know if you have been reading here, lost his job at his own journalism organization when it refused to allow him to spill the beans about the Hunter Biden scandal. In his latest post, Greenwlad revealed that the Brian Sicknick falsehood was far from the only example. [I will mention again here that everyone who wants to fight against the increasingly tight noose biased journalism has around the neck of our republic should subscribe to Greenwald’s feed at substack. Do it here.]

For example, we have another false story peddled by the Times and repeated up and down the news media. Here’s Greenwald:

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Ethics Quote Of The Month (Yes, It’s More Impeachment Analysis, And I’m Sick Of It Too, But This Is Important): Professor Jonathan Turley

Shredding-the-Constitution

..Even with acquittal all but ensured, there was no room for constitutional niceties like free speech or due process. There was only one issue — the same one that has driven our media and politics for four years: Trump. Through that time, some of us have objected that extreme legal interpretations and biased coverage destroy our legal and journalistic values.

—-George Washington University Law School professor Jonathan Turley, constitutional law expert, on the conduct of the Democrats before and during the just-completed second Trump impeachment trial.

This statement, as well as the rest of his article for The Hill yesterday, was not only astute (though Turley’s observations should have been obvious) but personally welcome, in part because it tracked exactly with what I have been writing here for four years, but  in no small part because I was almost finished with a post making the same points. For Turley to make them is, of course, better, since a lot more people, though not nearly enough, pay attention to what he says. It was especially welcome because not one but two friends (among others) had made fatuous and indefensible assertions about the impeachment in the past two days, inspiring me to start that now redundant post.

My theme was going to be about how their now completely unhinged, Ahab-like mania to destroy the former President had led them to deny the importance of what once were accepted by liberals and conservatives alike—but especially liberals before their rebranding as “progressives”—as crucial, indispensable, core American values relating to personal liberty and government interference with it. The rationalizations employed in this scary process are stunning.

Prime among them as been 2020’s rationalization of the year: “It isn’t what it is,” #64. As I noted in the previous post, a Facebook friend (whom I strongly suspect was one of the self-exiled progressive Ethics Alarms commenters) wrote on the platform to the usual acclaim of  “likes” and “loves” that the 57 Senators who voted for this corrupt impeachment were voting “for democracy.” They were in fact doing the opposite, and in many ways, as Turley’s article explains (though again, it should be obvious.) Then, in a discussion with a more rational friend, another lawyer, about how the House impeachment had deliberately bypassed due process, I was told that there is no right of due process in an impeachment proceeding, nor should the prohibition of ex post facto laws and bills of attainder apply. Here was a lawyer making technical arguments against ethics. “Legally, due process only applies to life, liberty, and property,” she lectured. “A job is none of those.”

I could rebut that, but the point is that both the Declaration and the Constitution mark out basic values of our society, not just laws, but ethical values. “Due process” means fairness, and this lawyer, an alleged progressive, was arguing that the government doesn’t have to be fair while depriving the public of an elected official and that elected official of his job, and that individual of his ability to seek that job or another one. This is what hate and arrogance have done to the Left.

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Journalism Ethics/Legal Ethics/Government Ethics Rot: The Democrats And Journalists Tried To Convict Donald Trump With Fake News

U.S. Capitol Police officer Brian D. Sicknick lies in honor, in Washington

Gee, does this bother anyone out there who hates Donald Trump or who voted for Joe Biden?

If your answer is no, I’m disgusted with you. You’re beyond help, hope, or rehabilitation.

The farce of a Senate trial the nation just endured was predicated on emotion rather than law, logic, fact, language or evidence. Prime among the emotions weaponized was hatred of former President Trump (in the trial: hatred of then-President Trump was all the Democratic House needed for its evidence-free, investigation-free “snap impeachment” (credit: Prof Turley.) At the trial, House managers alluded to Capitol Police officer Brian Sicknick being “killed’ in the riot, the intended implication being that President Trump was responsible for his death. Nancy Pelosi made certain that Sicknick’s body lay in the Capitol Rotunda, one of only five civilians so honored. All the better to show the nation that the President had blood on his hands. right, Nancy? The AP wrote on February 2,

Slain U.S. Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick lay in honor in the building he died defending, allowing colleagues and the lawmakers he protected to pay their respects and to remember the violent attack on Congress that took his life.

That’s false on its face, but it is the mythology the public and the Senators were fed in the weeks and days following the House impeachment. Here’s CBS: “‘Hero’: Lawmakers honor officer killed in US Capitol riot.”

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Post Impeachment Trial Fiasco Ethics Notes

How’s that unity and no divisive rhetoric theme working out for you, Democrats? Joe? Both Senator Schumer and Nancy Pelosi insulted the Republican Senators who voted against conviction in their post-acquittal remarks. What happened to respecting good faith disagreement among colleagues? When Bill Clinton, who had, unlike President Trump, committed impeachable crimes, was acquitted by a straight partisan vote, no Republican leaders impugned the judgement or “morality” of the Democrats who chose to ignore a President of the United States engaging in conduct that would get any lawyer in the country disbarred for lack of trustworthiness, honesty and integrity. Comity, you know. Respect. Professionalism.

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And so it begins...Senator Lindsay Graham suggested that a GOP majority in the House might well decide to adopt the precedent set by the Democrats and impeach, for example, Kamala Harris. Talking to Chris Wallace on Fox New, he mused.

“If you use this model, I don’t know how Kamala Harris doesn’t get impeached if the Republicans take over the House. Because she actually bailed out rioters and one of the rioters went back to the streets and broke somebody’s head open. So we’ve opened Pandora’s Box here and I’m sad for the country.”​

Tit for tat! Revenge! Who could have predicted that?

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Ethics Hero: Trump Defense Lawyer Michael van der Veen

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I have had dreams that I was in a position to tell a TV news anchor exactly how biased, unethical and destructive his or her profession has become. So far, I have not had that opportunity, but the fact that Donald Trump’s defense attorney in the just completed Senate “trial,” a victory for his client, did have such an opportunity and took full advantage of it marks him as an Ethics Hero.

President Trump’s attorney, Michael van der Veen, appeared on CBS News and was asked by Lana Zak about Sen. Mitch McConnell’s (obnoxious and gratuitous) comments after Trump’s acquittal, specifically whether he was surprised at McConnell’s venom. “I’m not surprised to hear a politician say anything at all. No,” the lawyer replied. Zak then attempted to discredit van der Veen and his defense—he’s Trump’s lawyer, so her job is to discredit him—asking a “when did you stop beating your wife” question,

Throughout the trial you denied that President Trump had a role in inciting the January 6 insurrection at the Capitol. You argued first of all that there was no insurrection, but during your closing arguments you seemingly admitted that there was, in fact, an insurrection, using that word, saying that that was not up for debate. What role did the former President play —

The lawyer cut her off and metaphorically slapped her in the face with a mackerel, saying,

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One Acquittal, Three Quotes, Four Reactions

Trump acquitted

Former President Trump was acquitted in the second impeachment trial stemming from the Democrats’ relentless effort to remove him from office after his shocking election in 2016. In both efforts, the two-thirds super-majority necessary to convict was always impossible, because unlike previous impeachment efforts, these involved no crimes, and were not bi-partisan . They were exercises in pure partisan warfare, despite the contrary intent of the Founders and the flood of exaggerated rhetoric from Trump’s enemies who had presumed he needed to be impeached from the moment he was elected.

The sudden vote yesterday came as a surprise, as the Senate had just voted to allow witnesses in the “trial,” and that would have extended the fiasco considerably. I assume, without knowing, that the Democratic leadership finally figured out that its plot wasn’t working, and that it was time for the party to cut its losses. They might still be considerable. I hope they are considerable. This has wounded the nation badly, and the party that has blathered on about accountability needs some, and hard.

Republican Senators Richard Burr of North Carolina, Bill Cassidy of Louisiana, Susan Collins of Maine, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Mitt Romney of Utah, Ben Sasse of Nebraska and Patrick Toomey of Pennsylvania voted guilty along with every Democrat. Interestingly, only two of the seven have a law degree, which may partially explain why they think a guilty verdict is defensible (it’s not.) The two lawyers, Romney and Murkowski, are barely Republicans and have been consistently anti-Trump. The fact that not a single Democrat had the integrity to buck the party’s mandate and oppose such a damaging precedent and such a dubious impeachment tells us all we need to know about the state of the current Democratic Party.

Now, three quotes following the vote:

Quote #1: From law professor and blogger Glenn Reynolds:

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Regarding The Trump Defense “Fight” Montage

As readers here know, I have not watched a second of the “impeachment” (it is no longer an impeachment) “trial” (it does not comport with the Constitution’s prescription for a Senate trial of a President because I have an unruly sock drawer. There was never a chance that President Trump would be convicted of the manufactured charges rammed through the House when he was in office, and the effort to convict a private citizen or construct a Bill of Attainder to prevent a private citizen from running for office are unconstitutional. If either or both were successful, which is impossible, they would be over-turned by a conservative Supreme Court whose Chief Justice has already signaled his contempt for the partisan exercise by refusing to participate in it. (I hear Roberts’ sock drawer is immaculate).

I’ve read many articles over the last week speculating on what the Democrats are trying to accomplish. Here’s one from yesterday. It’s been pretty clear to me, though incredibly and damningly not the Trump Deranged, that what they are accomplishing is embarrassing and disgracing themselves, their party and the nation; weakening the Constitution and ensuring similar behavior from Republicans in retaliation; exacerbating dangerous division and cynicism among the public, and generally continuing their despicable series of plots over the last four years to reverse the results of the 20i6 election no matter what harm it does to our institutions.

Bias, as the Ethics Alarms motto goes, makes you stupid, and the impeachment charade/fiasco/debacle/ farce/shit-show—you pick your favorite—and hate, as Richard Nixon realized too late, will destroy you. The “trial” is an abject lesson in both truths.

I didn’t watch the any of the trial, but I could not resist watching the video above, not that any of it was a surprise or should have been to any Americans who were paying attention, as in, for example, actually reading the text of Trump’s speech to the protesters. There was no “incitement” in his words, and no one could have been convicted on such evidence, as many objective authorities have pointed out, and many biased professionals have denied, to their eternal shame. Inciting a riot is a crime of intent, and outside of some amateur mind-reading, no intent has been proven or could be. The “case” against Trump—there is no case—has been based on the the “resistance”;s news media allies ludicrously re-casting a riot, a minor one compared to those we have seen over the last decade, almost entirely from the Democratic base with official approval, as an “insurrection,” which it was not. This has been repeated daily since January 6, as if repetition makes it so. It wasn’t even an attempted insurrection, because even the dimmest bulb among the small minority of angry Trump supporters who actually stormed the Capitol could have thought for a millisecond that a couple hundred fools, dummies and clowns had a prayer of overcoming the government or even slowing it down.

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Sunday Ethics Reinforcements, 2/7/21: The “Don’t Watch The Concussion Bowl” Edition

Brain Damage football

Ethics Alarms has been chronicling the mounting evidence that pro football condemns a large percentage of its players to future dementia and premature death for a long time, often in conjunction with what a Georgetown professor friend calls “The Concussion Bowl.” Many of those posts are here, under the CTE tag. Incredibly, the NFL has done little to stop the carnage, perhaps because seriously addressing the inherent damage to brains caused by a necessarily violent sport would end football as we know it, and that would cost owners, TV networks, colleges and merchandisers billions. Can’t have that.

Equally amazing, the public and the news media have allowed the NFL to get away with distracting from its unethical priorities with the flagrant and cynical virtue-signalling of pandering to Black Lives Matter. I’m pretty sure that when it is all tallied, the NFL will have killed more innocent black men by far than all the brutal police officers over the same period. But most people just don’t care. If they cared one hundredth as much about athletes getting permanent brain damage for their Sunday (Monday, Thursday) TV viewing as they do about a single ugly incident where an overdosing lifetime petty crook died under the knee of a Minneapolis cop, there would be action. Not riots and take-overs of public property, but serious, effective action, including safety regulations.. Football would have to change, evolve, or vanish. The public and the media (and government officials) don’t care, and neither do the NFL executives. If Colin Kaepernick had performed his on-field protests against CTE, he would have been suspended and eliminated from the sport faster than Deion Sanders running for the goal line.

Talk about conspiracies….

1. False Narrative Dept. Now dishonest anti-Trump propaganda is showing up on Turner Classic Movies, which has been generally exemplary in avoiding partisan pandering over the last four years. Today, Eddie Muller, TCM’s film noir maven, pointedly showed the 1950 move “The Killer Who Slaked New York,” about a potential smallpox outbreak that was shut down by New York City health officials in 1947. Ultimately only 12 people were infected, and the threat was a single contagious smallpox victim who had to be found and contained. As you can see, this is a perfect analogy for the Wuhan virus outbreak in 2020. Noting that New York City quickly launched a mass vaccination effort (because there was already a smallpox vaccine, another close parallel), Eddie raised an accusing eyebrow and said,voice dripping with contempt, “That’s how we did things then.”

It’s Eddie’s show. I don’t think he should be fired or suspended. He’s welcome to his ignorant and obnoxious opinion. But he’s part of a disinformation campaign and an effort to distort reality, He’s also annoying TCM’s generally mature audience members who have been paying attention, and who presumably watch old movies to get a break from political BS, not to be subjected to more of it by movie nerds driving out of their lane.

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Update: The SECOND Trump Impeachment Ethics Train Wreck

trainwreck

When we last looked in on the destructive, divisive, unconstitutional and unethical fiasco known here as the Trump Impeachment Ethics Train Wreck II, Senator Rand Paul had delivered an excoriating speech about the unconstitutional nature of it all, every Democratic Senator had voted to continue with a trial that is, as Paul stated, unconstitutional on its face, Democrats openly discussed passing a Bill of Attainder (which is what any action barring a single private citizen, Donald Trump, from running for office would be), the Chief Justice refused to sully his name by any involvement with such an embarrassment, and President Biden, while vowing out of one side of his mouth to be a unifying presence, lifted nary a finger to stop his party from engaging in a trial that was based on hate, vengeance, and the craven need to satisfy the worst of its supporters. Meanwhile, the mainstream news media refuses to inform the American public why the whole thing is bad partisan political theater and little else.

Now we have the following fun developments:

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Ethics Dunces: The 55 U.S. Senators Who Voted That It Is Constitutional For The Senate To Impeach A Private Citizen

Paul

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky) offered the obvious and obligatory point of order resolution that a Senate trial of a private citizen, that being former President Trump, is unconstitutional, which it unquestionably is. The resolution failed 55-45, with every Democrat voting for the measure along with five NeverTrump Republicans: Mitt Romney of Utah, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Susan Collins of Maine, Ben Sasse of Nebraska, and Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania.

This means that 55 U.S. Senators, all of whom took an oath to defend and protect the Constitution, have stated on the record that they will do no such thing. Yet their votes do not decide what is constitutional. The Constitution decides. Consider: not a single Democratic Senator had the integrity, independence and courage to declare that what the Constitution says is what the Constitution says, and that the U.S. Senate should not, indeed must not, ignore it to satisfy obsessive Democratic spite. Not one.

That’s one helluva party you got there, Joe.

In addition to that,

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