Morning Ethics Warm-Up: 7/2/17 [UPDATED]

1. I wonder when and if the LGTBQ community will ever grow up. I had an annoying exchange yesterday when a Facebook friend began whining that President Trump hadn’t done or said anything to honor Gay Pride Day, proving again that he was the spawn of Satan. A friend of that friend then added, to the usual flood of “likes”—all you hve to do is insult the President to get likes— that for him to honor Gay Pride Day would be like Hitler observing ceremonies for Holocaust victims. Of course, nobody had the integrity or the decency to point out what an idiotic comment that was, so I did. When will people stop making me defend Donald Trump? He is the first and only President to enter office fully accepting same sex marriage (unlike Obama and Clinton) and the unending slur that he is hostile to gays is the product of two factors: fearmongering (He was going to put gays in camps!) and bigotry (If he’s a Republican, he must hate gays.) One response to my rejoinder was someone posting this NBC story as a “rebuttal.” The sum total of the anti-gay actions of the Trump administration, according to this alleged indictment? Here’s the description:

“For many LGBTQ Americans, the early days of Trump’s Republican administration have been fear-inducing. A series of Cabinet appointments have been roundly criticized by LGBTQ advocacy groups. An early draft of a reported executive order legalizing broad discrimination against LGBTQ people threw the community into a panic. The dismantling of Obama-era protections through executive orders came with the simple stroke of a pen.”

This is modern day fake-news journalism at its most obvious. All  the paragraph says is…

...Many LGBTQ Americans are afraid (which is a feeling that does not prove there is anything to be afraid of)

…Cabinet appointments have been criticized, which doesn’t mean that the appointees are anti–gay, and doesn’t prove that anything they might do will be anti-gay—not to mention  that every Trump Cabinet appointment was criticized by every segment of the Democratic collective as a matter of strategy and principle.

…There was an early!  draft! of a reported! executive order! ARRRRRRGGHHHHHHHH!!!! We’re DOOOOOOOOMED!!!!

….The “dismantling of Obama-era protections,” which was, in truth, ONE order, and that order involves trangender bathroom policy, which one need have no bias against gays or trangendered citizens to object to as excessive and wrong-headed. I, for example, have no bias against any individuals the LGBTQ alphabet soup stands for, but believe that making a huge majority uncomfortable so a tiny minority won’t be uncomfortable is bad ethics and bad social policy, and if you call me anti-gay for that, you’re a jerk.

Oh…and the article quotes GLAAD President Sarah Kate Ellis as she sounds so foolish that it makes my ears bleed:

“One hundred days of Trump translates into 100 days of erasure for the LGBTQ communit. From the Census exclusion, to rescinding Obama’s guidance for trans youth in schools, and lack of any LGBTQ mentions on the White House website, he has spent the early days of his administration trying to remove us from the very fabric of this country, and we must resist.”

Erases? Because there isn’t a pandering page for gays on the website? Who reads the White House website?

I was going to point out to my friends that the LGBTQ community needs to catch up on political realities. It was entirely on  the Clinton bandwagon; contributed only to that campaign, and did nothing but excoriate Trump throughout. After the election, it engaged in fact-free fearmongering and slander. It has made no effort to open a dialogue with Trump, broadcasting the fact that, as that reply on my friend’s post said, the community regards him as the equivalent of a mass-murderer because…well, just because.

Meanwhile, a group of pro-Trump gays were banned from a North Carolina gay pride parade….and the gay community is indignant they get no signs of love from Trump? Why should he make a big deal about Gay Pride day? I’m hetero-sexual and there are no salutes to that from the White House. I’m a Greek-American: the White House never has made a big deal about any Greek holidays. Why is that? It is because hetero-sexuals and Greek-Americans  aren’t monolithic voting bloc worth pandering to, and there are many, many other Presidential priorities. If the LGBTQ community wants attention from Trump, it can give him some respect and the hope of eventual support. That’s how politics works and always has worked.

I didn’t point this out however, because it would be upsetting nice people to no purpose. The gay community is thoroughly irrational right now. It doesn’t want to be practical, or fair. It just wants to add its voice to the primal screams of its political allies.

2. The “Unethical Incoherent And Sinister Quote of the Year”came yesterday from Carl Bernstein, who said-–on CNN’s “New Day”, appropriately—

“We have never been in a malignant presidency like this before. It calls on our leaders, it calls on our journalists to do a different kind of reporting, a different kind of dealing with this presidency and the president.”

He didn’t explain what was “malignant” about the presidency, since being on CNN he just assumed that everyone knew, because on CNN they have essentially called it that before it began. Nor did the hosts of “New Day” ask the has-been Watergate hero (I like Dustin Hoffman better) what the hell he was referring to, because they are lazy, partisan hacks. Since this came on the heels of Trump’s mean, stupid and entirely self-destructive tweets about Morning Joe and Mika, I have to assume that by “malignant” Bernstein either means “ugly,’ which is not what the word means, or “pursues different policies than Democrats like Bernstein want,” in which case he should say so. Enforcing immigration laws, not pretending that there isn’t a Muslim terrorism threat, bucking the teachers unions, cutting regulations and pulling out of a symbolic climate change accord is not malignant. Bernstein was abusing his position and sowing fear, hate and misinformation. If you use that word, back it up, or don’t use it.

He also didn’t explain what “different kind of journalism” means. Since he was on CNN and “New Day,” I can only assume that he is endorsing CNN-style journalism, meaning the dishonest, biased, partisan, unethical kind.

3. Here is the first Morning Warm-Up Kaboom, from ethics issue scout Pennagain;

From: Airline apologizes for making wheelchair user climb up boarding ramp on his hands: 

A Japanese budget airline has apologized to a passenger in a wheelchair who was made to board a recent flight by crawling up a staircase using only his hands.The incident took place on June 5, as Hideto Kijima was preparing to return to Osaka from a trip to Amami Oshima island. His time on the southern Japanese island had been fantastic, he wrote in a Facebook post…However, the return flight would be a decidedly less accommodating experience for Kijima, who lost the use of his legs in a rugby accident when he was 17 and who now heads the nonprofit Japan Accessible Tourism Center in Toyonaka, Osaka …

At Amami Airport, there were only steps leading up to the plane from the tarmac – and staff for Vanilla Air Inc. told him it was against their company policy for him to be carried up the boarding ramp in his wheelchair….


A. Boy, I knew rugby was rough, but I didn’t know it was THAT rough…

B. File this under “when ethics alarms don’t ring.” They watched a legless man drag himself up steps, and not one person  thought, “This is horrible! I don’t care what the policy is, I’m helping the guy!” This is culture—bad culture.  I strongly believe this could not happen in the United States.

C. It is also an example of an employee following a policy in a situation where any idiot should be able to figure out that the company will be wounded, perhaps fatally, by the result. Guesses: Will the employees who allowed this to happen be praised by their employer, or punished?

D. This story will finally prompt me to post the rationalization “It’s policy!” on the Rationalizations list.

 UPDATE: More on this story (also courtesy of Pennagain):

“Vanilla Air is a low-cost carrier founded in 2011 that is owned by All Nippon Airways, Japan’s largest airline. On its website, Vanilla Air says it does offer a special chair called an “Assist Stretcher” for passengers in wheelchairs to use while boarding and deplaning at airports that lack boarding bridges. However, those passengers must fill out a form and fax it to the airline at least five business days before their departure, the website says.At a news conference Wednesday, Kijima said he had traveled to more than 200 airports at 160 countries around the world, and that people had helped him deplane even when there was no special equipment, the Japan Times reported.”

Here is my harsh take: an airline with such miserable judgment and such rigid and cruel employees can possible be trustworthy for travel. Put it out of business.


8 thoughts on “Morning Ethics Warm-Up: 7/2/17 [UPDATED]

  1. Last graph, First sentence, needs revision. Sorry, I’ve been up since 1:30 preparing for big brother’s 75th birthday. Zzzzzzzzzzzzz……

  2. Jack,

    While Trump is supportive of gay rights, his cabinet looks to us gay people like the legion of doom. Which is why many of us wish he would have recognized gay pride. Doing so would have been a good gesture to reassure, those of us that have followed his cabinet members past careers with their clear bias against the LGBT communities. The one currently getting the brunt of things are LGBT republicans as our more liberal brethren. Are being openly hostile to us and we are seeing. No action from the White House to recognize us. Middle ground is needed but those of us on it seem to be standing on a fault line.

    • The point is, though, that the middle ground isn’t the side demonizing the President with false assertions. Politics ain’t beanbag, and nothing is free. If the community wants public affirmation from a President it spent a year attacking (and hasn’t stopped), it has to change. This is true of all interest groups that acknowledge how the world works and want to make progress rather than play victim and bitch about it.

      Why do corporations give money to both Presidential candidates? They are smart, that’s why. It isn’t who you like that matters, it’s whether whose in power have been given a tangible reason to care about what you want. “We think you’re Hitler, want you to die and are going to rallies where we chant to impeach you, and by the way, why aren’t you nice to us?” is an idiotic position. Always.

      • Exactly.
        Expecting your enemy to be nicer than you are is at naive. But, it isn’t really about that, it’s about power. The progressive left just spent 8 years weaponizing presidential, judicial, and legislative power. Now they have lost hold of it expecting them to give it up without a fight is also naive. From my point of view it’s the extremely open way they go about it that has changed since the pre Obama period. No pretenses, no finesse, no diplomacy, just grabby tantrums and indecency. On the part of both sides, sadly, but brought about by the left using Alinsky as a blueprint.

  3. 1. He is the first and only President to enter office fully accepting same sex marriage

    …After spending the campaign flip-flopping like crazy, pledging to appoint Supreme Court justices to rescind Obergefell, and stacking his cabinet with anti-gay bigots.

    I understand your assertion is that none of this matters, but I find that assertion ridiculous. Yes, Trump did all this to appeal to the religious right; he doesn’t have any specific anti-gay principles, because he doesn’t have any principles about anything. But do you really think “I was extremely anti-gay during the campaign for political gain, not because I genuinely hate you!” is supposed to be comforting to the gay community?

    The idea that the LGBT community are the ones who need to “grow up” and be nicer to Trump…as if they owe him something…is freaking absurd. It is his responsibility as the president to send the message that he stands for the rights of marginalized groups. Refusing to do that because he thinks this group was mean to him is petty and small, but that seems to not even warrant a comment from you anymore, because we’re so used to Trump being petty and small. In addition, Trump is quickly losing all political capitol…reaching out to groups that wouldn’t usually support him is probably in his best interest.

    That said…the LGBT community stands in solidarity with other marginalized groups. I would not expect them to be supportive of Trump even if he did not take the aforementioned anti-gay actions, due to his hostility toward women and Muslims. They know what it’s like to be targeted based on their immutable characteristics; they are not going to support a bigot, even if he isn’t bigoted against them. That is a good thing, Jack.

    Why should he make a big deal about Gay Pride day? I’m hetero-sexual and there are no salutes to that from the White House.

    Please tell me this is a joke. You know this is a false equivalence.

    2. He didn’t explain what was “malignant” about the presidency, since being on CNN he just assumed that everyone knew, because on CNN they have essentially called it that before it began.

    But it is a malignant presidency, and you already know that it is, and why. Don’t you?

    • Chris, he just wasn’t “extremely anti-gay during the campaign, and I’ve challenged my most indignant gay friends to show me the evidence. It isn’t there. And opposing Obergefell is not per se anti-gay; there are decent legal arguments that this is state over-reach.

      The Bottom Line is that Trump stated immediately after being elected that while he believed that marriage is between a man and a woman, same sex marriage is the law of the land and that was the end of the matter. Unless any of the alleged anti-gay appointments are in a position to harm gay rights, and as far as I can see, they aren’t (and I’m not even sure who the anti-gays are), then this is another lame excuse to call Trump what he is not.

  4. I’m so sick of hearing how “We need a new kind of journalism because Trump is not normal.”

    No we don’t. What we really need is a return to the basic tenets of journalism: Report facts, not conjecture, and do it in a non-biased manner. It’s actually pretty simple — but many in the MSM have a hard time grasping that.

    For instance, the AP was just forced to retract a story in which they reported on an EPA meeting THAT NEVER HAPPENED. Of course, the once-great news organization took the opportunity to infer in their story that the meeting (WHICH NEVER HAPPENED) caused the EPA to allow Dow Chemical to manufacture a formerly banned pesticide. I’ve not seen condemnation of this from other media — probably because they’re too busy retracting their own stories.

    Is constantly retracting false stories the new “normal” in journalism?

    Taking six-year-old boys and dressing them up as girls is also “not normal,” but I don’ t recall anyone suggesting journalists need to cover that issue differently.

    I weep for what should be a noble profession. There are still a lot of great journalists plugging along doing important stories, but they’re being drowned out by all the ideologues posing as reporters.

    It behooves real reporters to call out this crap when they see it, and continue to do their jobs: Report facts. And keep your opinions out of the process.

  5. I wonder when and if the LGTBQ community will ever grow up. Me, too. I keep hoping (and working) for the day this blip will disappear as suddenly as it appeared. After going on 40 years — the part I’ve been politically involved in; the rest has been going on since time immemorial — of diligent, sober, rational and intelligent progress, the sudden and seemingly easy successes (as Jack noted), have triggered a mania for grabbing at “rights” that infringe on others’ who hold equal claim.

    Looking back, I can see two examples that should have been noted. Both were considered successes but only one made a positive change:
    First, California Proposition 6, aka “the Briggs Initiative”, went on the California State ballot in 1978, designed to ban gays and lesbians, and possibly anyone who supported gay rights, from working in California’s public schools. The defeat of Prop 6 (58-41%), broke the back [no connection with the mountain] of the national anti-gay movement (led by a spokeswoman for Florida orange juice), and in doing so, unified gay pride and established or strengthened gay organizations and support across the country.

    Second, 37 years later, on June 26, 2015 the New York Times wrote, “In a long-sought victory for the gay rights movement, the Supreme Court ruled by a 5-to-4 vote on Friday that the Constitution guarantees a right to same-sex marriage.”

    The first was just a state-wide referendum allowing a small group of people to obtain and retain their jobs . . . and as time went by, its results were verified by voters’ decisions elsewhere: as of now, 22 states plus D.C. have voted to be okay with non-gender-discrimination employment. The second was a Constitution-backed decision by the country’s highest court that threw a majority of the country into a tizzy. I would guess that most people (including LGBTQ) never read the final decision, much less the SCOTUS arguments.

    The first was accomplished by ordinary human beings, groups of gay men and women (together!) up and down the state, who first talked out their reasoning, established their arguments, gathered parents and friends and stood up with the courage — a very great courage — of their convictions. Who THEN went out two by two (male/female), taking time off from work, paying their own costs, on foot, by bus, car and trains, to every non-gay area they could reach, beginning with their own neighborhoods. They spoke in churches and synagogues, to local governments, PTAs, unions, and one-on-one, house-by-house (only once, I heard, finding themselves literally on the heels of – 5 minutes behind – a pair of Seventh Day Adventists). They made themselves available to speak on radio talk shows, in many cases exposing themselves to ridicule or danger. The connected, one human being to another; they argued, cajoled, confronted, shared opinions, beliefs and feelings, all of which resulted in a startling number of CHANGED MINDS, including a majority of Orange County, the conservative stronghold and home area of Senator Briggs.

    The second involved human beings as well: primarily lawyers, their firms, and their defendants. Day after day, in every gay “ghetto” there were folks out on every street corner and sidewalk in between, looking for contributions for the fight to “win the right to” gay marriage. Domestic partnerships were already in effect: you could carry your domestic partner on your health or dental insurance, take leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act to care for your partner, have authority to visit each other in the hospital [this was huge: imagine being forbidden the bedside of a loved one!] and be considered next of kin for medical decisions. They also provided some social recognition of the important relationship that exists.

    Okay, why are we putting all this energy and money into this? and What’s in this for you? I asked the guys on the street. The answers ran the gamut of federal benefits for married couples (there are over 1,000 of them) from recognition outside our state of residence and easing partner immigration, to the significantly financial, involving asset transfers or inheritances, Social Security, Veteran’s and pension benefits, spousal support or division of assets on divorce, the security for children born during marriage as automatically the child of both spouses (an ongoing bone of contention in many states), and — a biggie! — the advantages of filing a single tax return. As time went one, the financial arguments got heavier, and with it came the idea that pushed my envelope all the way to bursting: “that the other (read: not-gay) people and society in general will respect my relationship more”. Really?
    Because the federal government says so? When all the not-gay people have no reason to respect me, my relationship or my dog? That’s gonna happen?

    Not today, it isn’t. As predicted, just the opposite. Only 12 state legislatures voted to approve the measures in the first place, 12 others are supporting measures today to overturn the decision. This is far from “the will of the people” and it is folly to ignore that fact. Gay, queer, homosexual, etc. — as frequently witnessed in the comments on this blog — continues to be framed negatively and the idiotic stereotypes continue apace, and now they (we, I must say, since I am still a member of the community, however unwelcome) have contributed actively to Jack’s objective ethical observations. It is clock-putting-back and fence-mending and problem-solving time. How about making a list of single-person restrooms in your area?

    If you want quicky statistics, enjoy And thanks, Pew, for telling me I am one of the Silent Generation: I remember when loose lips could sink ships! Bombs away!

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