1. The number of pundits, talking heads and formally respectable citizens on social media who have implied, suggested or come outright and said that Rep. Steve Scalise deserved to be shot because of the political positions he espouses should be an ethics alarms trigger for progressives and Democrats, but so far has not been. MSNBC’s Joy Reid:
“[I]t’s a delicate thing because everybody is wishing the congressman well and hoping that he recovers, but Steve Scalise has a history that we’ve all been forced to sort of ignore on race,” Reid said. “He did come to leadership after some controversy over attending a white nationalist event, which he says he didn’t know what it was.
He also co-sponsored a bill to amend the Constitution to define marriage as between a man and a woman. He voted for the House healthcare bill, which as you said would gut health care for millions of people, including three million children, and he co-sponsored a bill to repeal the ban on semi-automatic weapons.
Because he is in jeopardy and everybody is pulling for him, are we required in a moral sense to put that aside at the moment?”
What? What’s a “delicate thing?” Absolutely opposing and condemning people shooting elected officials they disagree with is a delicate thing? It’s not a delicate thing at all. It is an ethically mandatory thing. Reid, and all the seriously ethics-deficient people on Facebook calling Scalise’s shooting “karma” are rationalizing assassination and violence, using weasel words. They are beneath contempt at this point in their lives, and need to be told so, repeatedly, until they get some help. They are directly validating violence as a legitimate political tactic.
2. It will be very difficult to convince me that the horrific increase in opioid addiction and related deaths is not at least partially fueled by the surrender of the culture to the pro-pot lobby. I have long predicted this would happen once the government gave its blessing to recreational drug use on any level. The logical jump from “using this drug that incapacitates you and makes you unproductive, stupid, and a burden on society is just fine,” to “using this drug that makes you even more unproductive and might kill you is a crime because it’s bad for society” is too great for a lot of people, and we already knew that. Never mind: the well-to-do pot heads will never admit they were wrong, and this is an especially vicious genie that will not be tricked back into its bottle.
Salon has a list of proposed policy measures to combat the opioid epidemic. Not surprisingly, “Stop glamorizing and enabling recreational drug use” is nowhere to be found.
3. Relevant to this issue are two posts by “The Ethics Sage,” who is really Steve Mintz, Professor Emeritus, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. I recommend his blog highly, and forgive him for no longer dropping by Ethics Alarms to comment as he did once did. His analysis of the legal controversy over marijuana legalization is here, and his subsequent ethics analysis of the issue is here.
I am again reminded that among the three rationalizations I am overdue posting on the Rationalizations List is “We’re just giving people what they want!”
4. This happened on April 30, and I missed it somehow. A man arranged to have his proposal of marriage shown on Fenway Park’s big screen during a game, and almost 35,000 fans saw the love of the man’s life tear his heart in two and stomp on it, rejecting him while a full ball park gawked.
Anyone who would turn a private moment like that into a public spectacle without his significant other’s consent, and apply the coercion of public scrutiny to what ought to be a once-in-a-lifetime decision deserves this treatment, and richly. Maybe the woman later accepted, with the caveat that he never, never put her in a position like that again. That would be nice.
She also may have concluded, with justification, that anyone who shows so little respect for her is a jerk royale, and she would be nuts to bet her life on him.
If the Fenway Fiasco scares off all future grandstanding proposals, several of which have been discussed on Ethics Alarms, that young man’s heart will not have been crushed in vain.
5. Last but not least, top ethics issue scout Fred just sent me the link to the Army’s latest manual on leadership development.