Ethics Quote Of The Month: The Foundation For Individual Rights In Education

Yale intimidation

Following through on its criticism of Yale Law School administrators’ attempts to threaten student Trent Colbert and intimidate him into signing a pre-drafted apology for an email that violated no policies and was both benign and constitutionally protected, The Foundation For Individual Rights In Education (The F.I.R.E.) has offered its own pre-drafted apology for the offending individuals [Director of Diversity Equity & Inclusion Yaseen Eldik and Associate Dean of Student Affairs Ellen Cosgrove (above)] and Yale’s leadership to sign and present to Colbert, as well as any other students who have been treated similarly but who weren’t as careful as Trent and did not surreptitiously record their meetings:

Pre-written apology

Star Chamber At Yale Law School

Yale-Law-School2

One of the most brazen and enduring Big Lies emanating from the mainstream news media, its pundits and, of course, the progressive/Democratic collective it works for, is that Republicans, conservatives and Donald Trump are existential threats to democracy, all while the various components of the Left, especially the institutions it has co-opted like the news media, Big Tech, the professions and education, are openly attacking the basic tenets of personal liberty. Yale Law School has been caught in a particularly odious example of this (not Harvard, for a change). So far, only conservative media sources and blogs have covered the story, but it is really bad. I doubt the the MSM will be able to bury it much longer.

As first reported in The Washington Free Beacon, Trent Colbert is a second-year student at Yale Law School and a member of both the Native American Law Student Association (NALSA) and the Federalist Society. He sent an email on September 15 inviting NALSA members to a social event, writing, “This Friday at 7:30, we will be christening our very own (soon to be) world-renowned NALSA Trap House . . . by throwing a Constitution Day Bash in collaboration with FedSoc. [That is, the Federalist Society] Planned attractions include Popeye’s chicken, basic-bitch-American-themed snacks (like apple pie, etc.),” and a cocktail station.”

Almost immediately the invitation had been shared to an online forum for all second-year law students, several of whom complained that the term “trap house” indicated a blackface party. It doesn’t. The term can mean many things, like inner city crack dens, but “trap house” is most often generic slang for a place where teens or students can get beer. Oh, never mind! Facts don’t matter! “I guess celebrating whiteness wasn’t enough,” the president of the Black Law Students Association wrote in the forum. “Y’all had to upgrade to cosplay/black face.” She then objected to the event’s affiliation with the Federalist Society, which she said “has historically supported anti-Black rhetoric.” (And that is absolutely false.)

Colbert was quickly summoned to the law school’s Office of Student Affairs, which received nine discrimination and harassment complaints about his message from students. Wisely, the Trent secretly recorded the proceedings at that and subsequent meetings,. This is legal in Connecticut, a so-called “single party” state. It is unethical for a lawyer to do this in Connecticut, but Colbert isn’t a lawyer yet.

Continue reading

Ethics Dunce: Yale Law School Deputy Dean Ian Ayres

Yale-Law-School

Ian Ayres, the deputy dean at Yale Law School—I worked in the administration of a law school, and I must admit that I never heard of a “deputy dean”— decided to signal his virtue and lock-step wokeness as well as, presumably, that of Yale by submitting an op-ed to the Washington Post titled “Until I’m told otherwise, I prefer to call you ‘they’.” I welcome it, if only because the essay shows that it isn’t only Harvard among the Ivies that has been corrupted by “The Great Stupid.”

I realized, as I read this foolishness, that I have cited or thought about the Abe Lincoln riddle about calling a dog’s tail a leg (“If you call a tail a leg, how many legs does a dog have? Four—because calling a tail a leg doesn’t make it a leg!”) more often in the past few years than I had done previously during my entire life. This is because Rationalization #64,Yoo’s Rationalization or “It isn’t what it is,” which easily could have been named “Orwell’s Rationalization” except that John Yoo really deserves to be remembered as the lawyer who tried to justify water-boarding on the grounds that it wasn’t torture, has become a core operating principle of the progressive moment on a dizzying number of fronts.

One of the silliest of all, and signature significance regarding how far the left end of the ideological scale has traveled mid-air over the proverbial shark, is the Woke Wonderland’s insistence that gender is just a construct, and if you want to be a different sex than what all biological and anatomical markers say you are, “Poof!”, you are! Not only that, you are now able to condemn, and some maintain even sue, anyone who doesn’t bow to your peculiar version of reality.

Continue reading

Mid-Weekend Ethics Warm-Up, 8/22/2021: It’s No Longer Illegal To Come Back Here After You Are Deported, And Other Surprises…

betwixt

[I had to get up extra-early to wrote this, since there’s no point writing a warm-up once the thermometer tops 80.] Amusing historical ethics note: on August 21, 1980, animal rights advocates Ingrid Newkirk and Alex Pacheco launched PETA, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. In the intervening 40 years, it has become the preeminent animal rights organization in the world, in part because it will do almost anything for publicity. It is also consistently the most ridiculous animal rights organization in the world, and on Ethics Alarms, in a lively battle with Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington as the most hypocritical and unethical non-profit with “ethics” in its name. The PETA ethics rap sheet is here. When last discussed on Ethics Alarms, PETA was protesting using animals as metaphorical insults because it perpetuates “speciesism.” Jackasses…

  1. From the suddenly overstuffed “Incompetence” Files…Mike Richards, the executive producer of “Jeopardy!” who made himself one of the show’s new hosts in a breathtaking display of conflict of interest contempt, lasted less than a week in his new job. Controversial comments he made on a podcast from 2013 “resurfaced,” officials at Sony Pictures Television confirmed. That means someone who didn’t want him to have the job did a maniacal search to find something that would force him to resign. This is, essentially, the Hader Gotcha, and a rotten, Golden Rule-breaching thing to do to anyone unless they are running for office and pretending to be someone they are not. At least Richards recognized that his duties as executive producer required that he dump himself once he became an anchor on the show he has a duty to protect.

The allegedly cancel-worthy comments Richards made came when he was trying to imitate Howard Stern—imagine that as a life objective—by hosting a podcast called “The Randumb Show.” Naturally, this involved saying sexist and racially insensitive things like Howard and Don Imus, who not too many years earlier were still considered witty and brave in their political incorrectness. He refered to a woman’s “boobies.” He said that he aspired to be a “white guy host” like Ryan Seacrest. Salon, which is always a barometer of just how nuts the far left has become, pronounced l such sophomoric banter “alarming.” I know I was terrified when I read them.

2. If this doesn’t prove that our news organizations are worthless, nothing will. U.S. District Judge Miranda Du, a federal judge in Nevada, struck down as unconstitutional a longstanding statute that makes it a crime to return to the United States after deportation. Here reasoning is that the law is racist and discriminatory against “Mexican and Latinx individuals.”

“The record before the Court reflects that at no point has Congress confronted the racist, nativist roots of Section 1326,” Du wrote in her ruling.“The amendments to Section 1326 over the past ninety years have not changed its function but have simply made the provision more punitive and broadened its reach,” Du wrote.

Continue reading

Spring Clean-Up! Some Ethics Stories That Need Disposal Before The Weekend…

  • I have some major projects and stalled efforts percolating (Yes, Michael Ejercito, including that one!) so I need this post to make sure some interesting items don’t get left on the metaphorical rock…That’s my favorite Charles Addams cartoon above, and the only sad one he ever drew, I think. It was published well before this hit song by the Irish Rovers ( a really big hit in Boston), and I’ve often wondered if the cartoon inspired it. What do you think?
  • In the NYT workplace advice column “Work Friend,” Roxane Gay was asked by a reader about an office colleague who took up a collection to give condolence gifts to two fellow staffers who had lost their pets. Is this a common practice “in our pet-obsessed society,” she asked, or “is it, as I think, utterly bananas?”

This is, to begin with, an utterly bananas use of an advice columnist, assuming there is a good use. If that’s what she thinks, why does the writer need the confirmation of a stranger? Who is Roxane Gay, other than someone can’t spell “Roxanne”? The writer believes, obviously, in the “appeal to authority” fallacy, and is the kind of person who will tell you that her opinion is right because Charles Blow agrees with it. For the record, Roxane asked what was going on in the writer’s life that had her feeling so callous. In fact, this is an easy ethics call: the passwords are kindness and consideration. It doesn’t matter why a friend or colleague is emotionally devastated, or whether you would be as upset facing the same loss. The point is that your friend has suffered what he or she feels is a great loss, and the kind thing to do is to say, “I’m sorry. I care.”

It’s never occurred to me to send flowers or a card to someone who has lost an beloved animal companion, but thinking about it because of this column, I would have appreciated such a gesture after sweet Patience, our English Mastiff, had to be put down at 7 when her cancer became untreatable, or brilliant and brave Dickens, our first Jack Russell, who once saved our son from a malling by a larger dog, and whose heart and lungs gave out after 14 years, or Rugby, who for 16 years demonstrated how to love every living thing and who would sit on my desk with his head on my arm as I typed out Ethics Alarms posts. I can get choked up thinking about any of them still. It’s not “bananas” to be kind to someone suffering these kind of traumas. It’s called “being nice.” Continue reading

It’s Comforting To Know That Yale Is Educating Future Lawyers As Incompetently As Harvard, I Guess

Actually, it’s terrifying.

A core function of lawyers in our society is to give everyone equal access to the law irrespective of their believes, interests, or motives. Without them, the public and all of its entities, institutions and organizations become slaves and victims of laws rather than beneficiaries of them, with an elite and corrupted professions using their knowledge and skills to distort democracy rather than protect it.

The relentless ideological corruption of academia is slowly but surely corrupting the professions it is trusted to train, with lawyers being a striking example. Now law students are increasingly taught that their interests, not their clients, should be the focus of their passions, and those interests have been dictated by progressive and leftist agendas, with the aim of transforning a profession designed to be equally accessible to all into a tool of dominance by one side of the political spectrum over the others.

This developments is the reason ethics alarms must sound over the students of both Yale and Harvard Law Schools condemning a major law firm’s choice of clients. They are trying to build a national law student boycott of Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison until the firm drops  ExxonMobil as a client. Climate change, you know. As we increasingly see, the environmentalist cult is being used to justify weakening democratic institutions and principles.

A pledge is circulating declaring that top students will no longer interview for summer associate positions or work at the firm until Paul, Weiss, and of course there will be other firms, no longer represent the oil and gas giant, and, inevitably, other energy companies.  Providing Exxon with competent representation in a series of climate change lawsuits makes firms complicit in the planet’s destruction. Thus the legal system must be rigged against them.

The last sentence is my fair and accurate translation of the objective behind the pledge, which reads, Continue reading

On Climate Change And The First Amendment, Yale’s Law School Dean Gives Us A Reason To Be Very Afraid

I just wrote in a comment thread,

“The one thing that could change my mind to believe that Trump is less dangerous than Clinton is that the trappings of Trump and his followers reek of stupidity, and the trappings of Hillary and her allies are redolent of totalitarianism.”

The effort by Democrats and anti-gun zealots to deliberately breach the Fifth Amendment to allow “pre-crime” anti-gun laws was one example of the Obama/Clinton/Sanders left’s creeping embrace of totalitarian principles.

Here is another.

Over the weekend, Robert Post, the current dean of Yale Law School where both Bill and Hillary learned to be unethical lawyers, authored a shocking 0p-ed for the Washington Post. In it, he attached his influence and credibility to the idea that the government should use the power of prosecution to intimidate opponents of government policy and widely accepted left-wing agenda items. I have never seen such a disgraceful breach of academic prestige. If I were a Yale grad, I would be heavily involved in calling for Post’s resignation.

Post is supporting the attempts by Democratic, climate change policy-supporting attorneys general to target Exxon-Mobil for fraud because the company opposes certain climate change measures. This comes after eco-facists like Robert Kennedy, Jr. and climate change shills like  Bill Nye (The Self-Promoting Not-Really-The-Expert-He- Pretends -To-Be  Science Guy) have suggested that “climate change deniers” should be jailed. That’s not the theory, though. The theory is that Exxon-Mobil has defrauded investors by misleading them about the results of their own research. Thus the company has been hit by demands for documents by the Massachusetts and New York attorneys general to reveal all of that research.

Exxon-Mobil, as well as others, has condemned this effort as an attempt to chill First Amendment debate. Post, who has allied himself with the censors because climate change is “settled science,”  bolsters the political inquisitioners’ deceit. “It may be that after investigation the attorneys general do not find evidence that Exxon-Mobil has committed fraud. I do not prejudge the question. The investigation is now entering its discovery phase, which means it is gathering evidence to determine whether fraud has actually been committed,” the esteemed dean writes.

Cute. Of course, once the precedent had been established that the government can force someone into expensive legal defense for “the fraud” of disagreeing with the pronounced truths of the State, then dissent and political opinion will be repressed, suppressed, and discouraged. Continue reading

Ethics Dunce: An Angry Young Man at Yale Law School

flame faceA third year law student decided it was appropriate to send an obscene, ranting letter to the entire student body of Yale Law School announcing that he hated “like 90%” of them, and also, in his words (after announcing that he is going to be a writer):

“…fuck you guys, you judgmental, uninformed pricks, patting yourselves on the back on top of your goddamn moral high horses. I realize I am killing my future political career. GOOD. If you’ve read The Republic, you know exactly what my opinion of politicians are. I realize I am burning bridges. EXCELLENT. If I succeed in my passions, I want to make damn sure it is without the help of any of you phony-ass shitdicks. I’ve ALREADY gotten compliments about how inspirational I am, and I haven’t even fucking started yet. That’s the biggest compliment I’ve ever received in my life. It’ll probably take you guys 10-20 years to get that even once, so good luck and keep up the good work!”

His name was included on his post, just to make certain that it keeps him from finding gainful employment with any potential supervisor who doesn’t have a death wish.

A few observations: Continue reading