Today’s Intellectually Dishonest Dobbs Leak Freakout: “A Lot Of Powerful People Seem To Have No Clue What Motherhood Means” (Washington Post)

You have to admit, the pro-abortion hysterics and fanatics are doing a bang-up job proclaiming their fury at the possibility that the U.S. Supreme Court may be about to strike down Roe v. Wade without making anything that hints of a good faith argument on the merits. The latest example of this massive exercise in “appeal to emotion” and “let’s keep the American public as dumb as we can, all the better to manipulate them” is an op-ed by Monica Hesse, the Washington Post’s resident gender bigot. Previously, Ethics Alarms had highlighted her fantasy that Mary, Donna Reed’s character in “It’s A Wonderful Life,” is the “real hero” of the classic (Right–she’s the one who gave up her chance at al education and a career to save her father’s rinky-dink savings and loan so Bedford Falls didn’t become a cesspool under the thumb of the richest and meanest man in town) and this article attacking the Trump White House Christmas decorations and using them to excoriate Melania Trump for existing, sneering that any one who referred to Trump’s First Lady as “elegant” meant it as a code word for “White.” Yes, she’s a race bigot too. I would no more have sampled a Hesse column in the Post than tried a fried centipede as a snack, except the Ann Althouse pointed me to it.

[A side note regarding Ann: she’s written 14 posts including the May 2 entry in which she reported on the leak and proclaimed the looming cancellation of Roe “a calamity.” She has never explained why she thinks it’s a calamity, although in 2006 she opined on what the results of Roe going down might be. She’s a law professor, and her blog has no borders, like this one, which is constrained to examine ethics only. Those 14 posts cover everything from her usual linguistic nit-picking to musing about the leak, but there is no explanation of the “calamity” verdict. That’s irresponsible, and, frankly, cowardly. But I digress.]

Here’s the crux of Hesse’s argument, if you can call it that: the supply chain-triggered shortage in baby formula shows how cruel and ignorant the Supreme Court majority is. She writes,

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Ethics Quiz: The George Washington Hating George Washington Student’s Washington Post Op-Ed

A black college senior named Caleb Francois who is currently attending George Washington University in Washington, D.C. persuaded the Washington Post to publish his op-ed of surpassing ignorance and stupidity. His thesis (or theses)?

The racist visions of James Madison, Winston Churchill and others are glorified through building names, programs, statues and libraries that honor their memory.

The controversial Winston Churchill Library must go. The university’s contentious colonial moniker must go. Even the university’s name, mascot and motto — “Hail Thee George Washington”— must be replaced. The hypocrisy of GW in not addressing these issues is an example of how Black voices and Black grievances go ignored and highlights the importance of strong Black leadership.

The Post is being roasted in various conservative forums for publishing the 800-word essay.  One pundit (at Breitbart) writes,

The arrogance of the Post knows no bounds. Publishing this editorial is just another troll from the Post, a way for the Post to stick its finger in the eye of its critics by relishing the hypocritical double standards the former newspaper now lives by.

I hate to defend the Post, but I don’t think for a second that the paper finds the student’s argument persuasive. It’s just provocative, and like other off-the-wall opinion pieces published by both the Post and The New York Times (remember the op-ed recommending that children and babies get to vote?), publication doesn’t imply endorsement. Yet the author in this case isn’t a historian or a crackpot professor; it’s a maleducated, indoctrinated young black man imbued with the 20-something’s unique certitude that he has everything figured out. If Caleb learns anything after graduation, I think it is very likely that he will want change his name and keep a bag over his head. Should a national newspaper help a young man to make a fool of himself?

Predictably, even the Post’s progressive readership entered an overwhelmingly negative verdict on the piece (which the author will surely dismiss as more racism and white supremacy.) Here is the “most liked” and the most representative of the over 1200 comments:

History professor here. If GW was only known for being a Confederate General or a slave owner, cancel away and rename away. But he was not. He is known for so much more… one of the biggest things is the idea that a president is not a king. And the office is not for life. Without him, our country would not be free. He kept order at a time when fractions would have torn us asunder. For God’s sake, do not rename George Washington University… I’m a liberal, and I believe in equality for all. But this is just stupid.

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Signature Significance: Washington Post Editorial Board’s Fantasy

How can anyone take seriously, much less trust, a newspaper with an editorial board that would publish something like this?

The headline was clickbait, at least for me: “Biden shows once again why he is a huge upgrade from Trump.” I had to read it. “Once again”? “Huge upgrade”? I wondered what on earth the Post could be referring to. The answer took me by surprise.

The editorial was lauding Biden’s pardoning or commuting convicted criminals who committed nonviolent federal crimes. Well, I’m not going to quibble: the traditional POTUS use of the Presidential pardon power is a low, low, lower than low bar to clear. I haven’t seen the full information on those who were pardoned or had their sentences commuted, but they were overwhelmingly drug offenders, and overwhelmingly “of color,” because that’s how this Administration rolls. There is, I surmise, virtually no chance that Joe was personally involved in the choice of who to pardon, and scant chance that he had to do anything more than sign off on the selections made by Elizabeth G. Oyer, the Justice Department’s pardon chief.

Still, the Presidential pardon power is shamefully underused, and has been grossly misused in the past, notably when Bill Clinton, in the waning days of his Presidency, pardoned fugitive Marc Rich, who had been indicted on federal charges of tax evasion, wire fraud, racketeering, and making oil deals with Iran during the Iran hostage crisis. Why did Clinton do this? His ex-wife pledged millions to Clinton’s Presidential library, and suddenly Rich was pardoned.

It was a bribe, straight up. How does the Post describe what Clinton did? A “pardon of a Democratic donor looked like a quid pro quo.” Is that a fair or accurate description? No, but the deceit allows the Post editors to say “President Donald Trump was far worse.” Really? Far worse than taking millions of dollars to pardon scum like Marc Rich? That deliberate misrepresentation is also an excellent reason not to trust the Post.

Trump is condemned by the Post because he pardoned some of his loyalists like Mike Flynn, Joe Arpaio and Steve Bannon, all of whom the Post ranks as worse than Rich by virtue of being connected to Trump. I hold most of those pardons justifiable. The Democrats criminalized politics when Trump was elected: those associated with the President had targets on their backs for partisan prosecutors to aim at. Though the Post’s editors don’t mention it, Trump also pardoned a lot of non-violent offenders who were worthy of mercy.

Here is something else that they don’t mention: if all we are talking about is pardons and commutations, Biden is a “huge upgrade” over Barack Obama, and so was Trump. By Thanksgiving of 2010, a full two years into his first term, Obama had pardoned two turkeys (one the previous year) and no human beings.

But of course the Washington Post doesn’t have the integrity to mention that.

The larger point is this: It is ridiculous to cite the use of the pardon power as evidence of any President’s virtues as a leader. There are literally millions of Americans who would be spectacular at issuing pardons. That doesn’t mean that they would be effective Presidents. How often are numbers of pardons and commutations cited by historians in assessing Presidencies? I can answer that: almost never. It is a relatively minor part of the job, and being a responsible and competent wielder of that power (giving Joe a very large benefit of the doubt) doesn’t make Biden a “huge upgrade” over any of his predecessors.

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Ethics Observations On The Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson Senate Hearings, Part 1

Now take The Washington Post….please.

Yesterday’s Editorial Board screed about the hearings serve a single useful purpose for any readers with a smidgen of memory and a dash of objectivity. It serves as the equivalent of a neon sign reading, “We are shameless partisan hacks!”

Consider its headline: “Republicans boast they have not pulled a Kavanaugh. In fact, they’ve treated Jackson worse.”

Did Republicans dig up a witness (and pro-abortion activist—merely a coincidence, I’m sure) who used a three decade old “discovered memory” to accuse a a 50-year-old judge with an impeccable record as a responsible citizen and a devoted father and spouse of an attempted sexual assault when he was a teenager? No. Did they do this despite the fact that the alleged incident had no individual other than the accuser who could confirm it, nor even a definite date or place where the “assault” occurred? No. Has anything said in the hearings resulted in demonstrators calling the judge a rapist? Continue reading

“Democracy Dies In Dickness”*: The Washington Post’s Racism

This article in the Washington Post yesterday, authored by two “reports of color,” Cleve R. Wootson Jr., a White House reporter for the Post, and Marianna Sotomayor (no relation to that other Sotomayor) who now covers the House of Representatives for the Post after coming over from NBC, gained quite a bit of notice from the conservative news media (and none at all from the much larger other side, for this passage when it was first published:

 
 
Image

Nice! The two post reporters managed to insult Thomas by reducing his legal opinions to knee-jerk bias, and to attack conservatives based on their race. The obvious rejoinder to this slur would be whether the Post would tolerate an article that criticized, say, Justice Kagan as issuing opinions that are in lockstep with the advocacy of “black progressives.” What does race have to do with either observation, the actual one or the hypothetical reverse negative?

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“Democracy Dies In Darkness” And Civic Literacy Dies By Trusting The Washington Post

A few days ago, we were treated to a Post science reporter trying to resuscitate Aristotles’ theory of gravity. Also a few days ago, a Post political reporter “informed” the renowned paper’s erudite and elite readership of the development above.

It’s hard to be more wrong than that news item. First, the Constitution is not “supposed” to include any Amendment that wasn’t ratified within the legal deadline. Thus the archivist isn’t “refusing” to add an unratified Amendment. It can’t be added. It’s not an Amendment!

But wait! There’s more, and it took a conservative law professor to point out the error:

February 2, 2022

Letters Editor

The Washington Post

letters@washpost.com

Re:Amber Phillips, ‘The never-ending fight over whether to include the Equal Rights Amendment in the Constitution,’ The Washington Post (Jan. 31, 2022, 2:22 PM EST), <https://tinyurl.com/m6n3wfts>.

Dear Letters Editor, 

Ms Phillips wrote that: “Two-thirds of the states have ratified the ERA, which meets the constitutional requirements for adding to the Constitution.” This is not correct. Article V of the United States Constitution, which governs the constitutional amendment process, requires ratification by the legislatures of ¾ of the states. In certain circumstances ratification is possible by the conventions of ¾ of the states, but those circumstances are not applicable to the proposed Equal Rights Amendment.

In any event, as long as the United States has 50 states, ratification requires action by ¾ or 38 states, and not 2/3 or 34 states.

Sincerely

/s/

Seth Barrett Tillman 

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Unethical—And Ignorant!—Quote Of The Month: The Washington Post

“The air in humid, hotter environments contains more water, which can condense onto the virus particles, make them bigger and theoretically fall to the ground faster. Wu compares the particles to a rock in this case — the more mass, the faster it falls.”

—-Washington Post Reporter Kasha Patel, forgetting about Galileo and gravity in an alleged science article headlined,  “Covid-19 may have seasons for different temperature zones, study suggests.”

Her editors also seem to have missed 6th grade science. In truth, I believe I learned about Galileo’s experiment with the Leaning Tower of Pisa before the sixth grade, after Santa left a children’s book about “great moments in science” in my sister’s stocking. We shared it, and it ended up with me: it’s around the house somewhere. I think about the book every time I end up on Walter Reed Drive in Arlington, which is often. His story is also in it; I wish I could think of the title.

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Sunday Ethics Fugue: Looking Like America

1. Right on cue...I am seeing an explosion of articles explaining why it is crucial that the Supreme Court “look like America.” This is one of many logically indefensible statements that is pounded into the brains of weak-minded members of the public because it sounds rational if you don’t, or can’t, think about it very hard. What is important about the membership of the Supreme Court is that it contain the best and least biased judicial scholars and legal analysts available, because then we will have the best Supreme court available. I don’t care what the Justices look like, and neither should anyone else. If the nine best legal minds happen to be black, great. If they are all female, or trans, or gay, or in wheelchairs, I don’t care, and neither should anyone else. What drives this particular brand of lookism is the presumption of bias, and judges are supposed to be, indeed are required to be, as free as bias as possible. Bias leads to lousy judges and lousy decisions. The “Make SCOTUS look like America!” crowd, which is almost exclusively on the left, want to substitute a balance of biases standard for the “as little bias as possible” standard. And, of course, the new eruption of this dumb theory is in order to make President Biden’s indefensible decision to place race and gender first among the priorities for picking Breyer’s replacement seem fair, just and rational, when it isn’t. It’s just political pandering.

2. This is a novel way to try to justify the anti-white bias...Jamelle Bouie, the full-time, race-baiting, race-obsessed black pundit formerly of Slate and now with the Times, was given an astounding two full pages in today’s Sunday Review to argue that history hasn’t sufficiently described just how awful slavery was. See, it wasn’t just evil, it was really, really, really evil. “Evil beyond measure!” Thus, we are supposed to extrapolate, it was so unimaginably evil that no current day policies devised to compensate for and make amends for that evil by the descendants of those not enslaved can ever be enough. (So stop bitching about giving blacks an edge in employment forever, because even that won’t be enough.)

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Evening Ethics Illumination, 1/9/22: “Mister We Could Use A Man Like Thomas Paine Again…”

On this date in 1776, writer Thomas Paine published his pamphlet “Common Sense,” making his arguments in favor of American independence from England, thereby uniting a scattering of dissatisfaction into a movement. Only a few publications in our history have had such a profound effect on public opinion; another was “Uncle Tom’s Cabin.” Paine’s most ringing assertion may have been this one:

“Europe, and not England, is the parent country of America.  This new world hath been the asylum for the persecuted lovers of civil and religious liberty from every part of Europe.  Hither they have fled, not from the tender embraces of the mother, but from the cruelty of the monster; and it is so far true of England, that the same tyranny which drove the first emigrants from home, pursues their descendants still.”

Common sense today is in short supply. A sharp, clear explication and reaffirmation of core American values without the tarnish of partisan politics would be a godsend. But among a public in which a minority could even identify who Thomas Paine was, who would understand it?

1. I wonder if it’s even necessary to finish the post on the hypocrisy of Democratic propaganda about a threat to democracy when this kind of thing keeps happening…GovernorJay Inslee of Washington state called on lawmakers to pass legislation making it a gross misdemeanor for some to “spread lies”about election results. Naturally, he called this suppression of opinion and free speech necessary to protect democracy. Inslee spoke against what he called “a continuing coup” by former President Donald Trump. Wait, don’t we need a law criminalizing false claims of “coups”?

Part of the Democratic strategy to keep power is to use the criminal system to muzzle opinions and positions it doesn’t like. Robert Kennedy Jr. wants to punish “climate change deniers.” Many progressives want to punish vaccine skeptics (a group that includes Robert Kennedy Jr.!), and Democratic allies in social media and Big Tech have been increasingly brazen about banning conservatives, replacing the “more speech” remedy the Bill of Rights set out for dubious opinions with “no speech.”

Would it be fair to conclude that Inslee is an ignoramus? Not only have state laws making it a crime for a candidate for office to lie been declared unconstitutional (because they are,) the Supreme Court case U.S. v. Alvarez,  struck down the Stolen Valor Act, protecting a man who falsely claimed that he had received the Medal of Honor, declared that lying speech was still protected speech. Then there’s the little problem of deciding what is a lie and what is just dumb opinion, like, say, suggesting that a state could ban lying about elections.

If Inslee isn’t ignorant about his nation’s Constitution, then he is grandstanding, equating opinions with crimes to rile up the under-educated and the nascent totalitarians who his party has been courting for so long.

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Ethics Pot Meet Ethics Kettle II: Apparently The Washington Post Really Thinks It Has More Integrity Than Fox News

Here’s the head-exploding quote from Washington Post political columnist Phillip Bump today:

Speak up, Bret Baier. Speak up, Chris Wallace. Join colleague Geraldo Rivera in making public your unvarnished thoughts about “Patriot Purge” and all the other non-journalism that somehow qualifies for prime-time airing at Fox News. Your insistence on addressing the network’s outrages “internally” is a cowardly approach and one that is, by all evidence, not working.

The Washington Post, and indeed Phillip Bump himself, are ethically estopped from attacking Fox News for “non-journalism.” In fact, the sudden escalation in attack on Fox News by the worst mainstream media Democratic propaganda purveyors—like the Post—appears to be just another tactic in the now desperate “We have to save Joe Biden!” push by the same people who should be fairly and critically documenting the unfolding catastrophe in D.C..

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