Ethics Nightmares, 6/23-24/21

I’m up at 3:30 am writing an ethics post because a nightmare woke me up. I don’t want to talk about it…

1. Breaking! American citizens are not as stupid as progressives think they are! At least in this instance…the first wave in the Democratic Party’s unethical push to eliminate safeguards agaiants fraudulent voting was the campaign during the Obama administration to label voter ID requirements as “racist’ and “voter suppression.” The argument that it made sense not to require voters to present the same level of identification necessary to rent a car, cash a check or get on an airplane when the integrity of our elections is involved was intellectually dishonest, but the with the degree to which the news media carried the message for their favorite party, I assumed this particular brainwashing exercise was a success. But in the wake of the failure of that party’s attempted take-down of election security last week, the Monmouth University Poll revealed that 80% of the public, approve of voter ID. I know, polls. But that’s a pretty convincing margin:

Even Democrats favor ID, though not by a large enough margin to generate any respect. The big surprise was that Monmouth shows whites splitting 77/21 in favor of ID and nonwhites favoring the measure even more strongly, at 84/13.

The American Left, wherein the One-Worlders dwell, always like to cite the United States’ failure to emulate European governments—which the U.S. decided at its origin not to follow by design—as an argument for various measures like banning capital punishment, nanny states, , and gun ownership restrictions, but have been adamantly mute on the fact that 46 of 47 European countries require government-issued photo ID to vote. The one exception has been Great Britain (although not Northern Ireland), and last month Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s government said it would make photo IDs mandatory in response to a Royal Commission report.

Continue reading

Confirmation Bias or Contrived Ignorance: The New York Times and the Inadvertent Voter Fraud of Mario Hernandez

Accidental illegal Mario Hernandez waits to finally get the citizenship he thought he already had. Those 10 votes he cast without being eligible don't matter, because he wasn't trying to defraud anyone. What else is there to the story? That's it, right? Problem solved!

Accidental illegal Mario Hernandez waits to finally get the citizenship he thought he already had. Those 10 votes he cast without being eligible don’t matter, because he wasn’t trying to defraud anyone. What else is there to the story? That’s it, right? Problem solved!

Last week, the New York Times happily related the heart-warming tale of Mario Hernandez, a former federal employee and an Army veteran who for decades thought he was a United States citizen but wasn’t. The problem was rectified at last when he was sworn in as a citizen in a ceremony in Jacksonville, Florida. In the process of telling the story, the Times casually notes that he voted in every major election since Jimmy Carter’s in 1976. The Times’ ethics alarms are long dead: to them, this is just a detail on the way to arguing one of its pet agenda items, that the immigration system needs fixing. It does, but one weird story where a series of record-keeping errors resulted in a botched citizenship status doesn’t prove it. Because he has a different concern, however Wall Street Journal blogger James Taranto did the math. Hernandez, a non-citizen, voted in ten elections, by his own admission, and nobody knew.

That is significant, and does prove something. It proves that the Democratic, NAACP, Eric Holder mainstream media claim that there is no evidence that people are voting in elections who shouldn’t is a problem worthy of addressing is a cynical excuse to cry racism to tar Republicans who are pushing for an obvious, practical, responsible requirement of photo ID cards to establish voter eligibility. As Taranto points out, such a system would have not only prevented Hernandez’s invalid—but tallied*—votes, but also would have alerted him decades ago of his citizenship problem. More important, the incident illustrates the inherent dishonesty of the argument that because a large number of such votes by non-citizens haven’t been caught, they problem doesn’t exist. If one non-citizen, however innocently, could have voted ten times over decades without it being noted, it is fair to assume that there is a problem. Voter IDs address the problem; it is irresponsible not to address the problem, and to argue that only racism could be behind an effort to improve the integrity of a system that allows a single non-citizen to cast ten votes is unfair, irresponsible and intentionally misleading. Continue reading

Case Study In How Bias Rots Integrity: Washington Post Columnist Harold Meyerson

You see, Harold, this is your brain on bias. Yes, I know it looks yummy...

You see, Harold, this is your integrity on bias. Yes, I know it looks yummy…

Back in the run-up to the Iraq invasion, I exchanged some e-mails with Harold Meyerson, the left-est of the Post’s op-ed liberals. He had been condemning the Bush administration’s decision to go to war against Iraq—we were technically still at war with Iraq, since no peace terms had ever been agreed upon from the previous war, and Saddam was blatantly violating the terms of a cease-fire, but never mind—saying, among other things, that this was the first time in American history that the nation had embarked on a “war of choice” rather than necessity. This was a popular, and ignorant, “talking point” used by the anti-war critics at the time, and I was thoroughly sick of it being shouted in CNN debates without any objective participant protesting that it was a lie. I pointed out to the columnist that this was historical fantasy clothed as fact, and that he owed his readers better.

Most U.S. wars have been “wars of choice,” I wrote, and presumably Meyerson knew this. Arguably only the War of 1812, World War II and Afghanistan didn’t fit that description. The Revolution wasn’t a “war of choice”? Of course it was….most of the country would have been happy to stay subjects of the Crown. The Mexican War was not merely a “war of choice” but a war of “let’s trump up a reason to take away all this land belonging to Mexico” war.  Lincoln certainly didn’t have to oppose the secession of the Southern states and start the Civil War; indeed, the best Constitutional analysis is that he was acting beyond his authority to do so.The Spanish-American War? World War 1? Korea? Vietnam? Granada? Desert Storm? What country was Meyerson talking about?

To my surprise, Meyerson replied, politely and, I thought, a bit sheepishly. Yes, he said, of course you are right, but this war is more of a war of choice than those were. Translation:I oppose this war, and the party of this President, so I’ll say whatever is necessary to get people to agree with me, and I’ll convince myself in the process.” I’ve never taken a Meyerson column seriously since. His reasoning process, like so many on the ends of either side of the political spectrum, is to frame reality in the way that most comfortably supports his ideological objective, and then to allow that warped reality to become part of his own world view. I think this kind of thought process by confirmation bias should disqualify any infected media pundits from commentary, as much as habitual dishonesty, dementia or insanity.

Today, Meyerson once again shows how his biases rot his reasoning and integrity. Continue reading

Busted: The Contrived Racism Attacks On Voter ID

“Aw, why close the door now? The horse hasn’t escaped yet!”

The very day after Pennsylvania’s tough new voter ID law was upheld in court, the lead plaintiff in the lawsuit alleging it was discriminatory, a 93-year-old African-American woman named Viviette Applewhite, who had sued  the state claiming that the requirement of a picture ID effectively disenfranchised her, walked into her local Department of Motor Vehicles branch. Though she had neither a birth certificate nor a Social Security card, she was duly issued a photo ID.

But of course. The accusations cynically and dishonestly adopted by Democrats and the Obama administration claiming that voter ID requirements are a thinly-veiled attempt to rob African-Americans and other minorities of their right to vote have always been nothing but a particularly scurrilous component of the 2012 campaign strategy of tarring Republicans as racist for opposing Barack Obama. Because the mainstream media has been willing to give the myth credence, it has had more staying power than blatant lies deserve. When challenged to show that their claims are real, however, Democrats and civil rights advocates have been exposed as frauds. Continue reading

Ethics Dunce: The ACLU

I suppose they just can’t help themselves, sometimes.

So handsome…and so foolish to mess up with partisan politics.

I support the American Civil Liberties Union because of its mission, and because it is on the correct side of issues more often than not. Still, it is stocked with left-wing ideologues, and too often is blatantly political, which damages its reputation, perceived integrity and effectiveness. Every American should be a supporter of a non-profit organization that stands for individual rights and freedoms as defined by the Constitution. Once such a group aligns itself clearly with one side of the political spectrum, however, this is impossible. At very least, the organization should refrain from partisan political attacks, which raises questions of conflict of interest, fairness, and independent judgment. The ACLU is too important to sully with political bias, but since it is run by people full of it, such taint is inevitable.*

Thus we have the embarrassing “report” by ACLU Liberty Watch. I can’t tell what the affiliation with the ACLU is; I assume that the ACLU approves and oversees an entity that leads with its name. This report attacks Mitt Romney’s running mate, Rep. Paul Ryan, as being “anti-civil liberties,” using the most dubious and extreme rationales to do so. My instant reaction: How can I trust an organization that proudly publishes such slanted trash with such obvious partisan intent to be a dispassionate watchdog on my civil liberties?

The answer: I can’t. Neither can you. Continue reading