Morning Ethics Warm-Up, 10/12/2017: Ben Affleck Is Called A Liar, A Blind Man Wants to See Websites, The Boy Scouts Want Girls, And More…

Good Morning!

1 Tales of Moral Luck: Yankee manager Joe Girardi was facing a possible post-season firing for an embarrassing  botch during the second game of the American League Divisional Series against the Cleveland Indians. NY had lost the second game, putting them in an 0-2 hole in a best of 5 series, after an Indian batter’s foul tip into the catcher’s glove for strike three and the inning’s final out was mistakenly ruled a hit by pitch, loading the bases. Replay showed that the ball had hit the knob of the bat, not the batter’s hand, but Girardi didn’t call for a replay review even though his catcher demanding one.  The HBP loaded the bases, and the next batter hit a decisive grand slam. Girardi made things worse in his post-game comments by spinning and rationalizing, then finally took responsibility the next day. He also admitted that he didn’t realize that managers had two challenges in the play-offs, when they had only one a game during the regular season.

Yesterday, the Yankees completed a remarkable comeback, winning three straight games to defeat the odds-on favorites to represent the American League in the World Series. Girardi’s bad judgment, poor preparation and immediate resort to excuses when he undermined his team’s chances no longer matters. He was saved by moral luck, just as earlier he had been slammed by moral luck. After all, if the next batter in Game 2 has popped up harmlessly, ending the inning without any damage, Girardi’s terrible mistake would have been a footnote to a Yankee victory.

Now it’s a footnote again.

Moral Luck.

2. WHOA!  Didn’t see THAT coming! TWITTER just boarded the Harvey Weinstein Ethics Train Wreck!

Actress Rose McGowan, one of Weinstein’s victims who reached a $100,000 settlement with the Hollywood serial harasser 20 years ago and  who is now on the attack having decided that she doesn’t want to be a Hollywood actress any more, has been using social media to condemn actors and executives who enabled Weinstein, writing in one tweet, “you all knew.” Recently, after Ben Affleck  tweeted that the allegations against  Weinstein “made him sick,” McGowan called him out on Twitter.:

@benaffleck “GODDAMNIT! I TOLD HIM TO STOP DOING THAT” you said that to my face. The press conf I was made to go to after assault. You lie.

Twitter suspended her account. In response, McGowran wrote on Instagram.


These social media platforms are untrustworthy. All of them.

McGowan, meanwhile, is fast approaching Ethics Hero territory.

3.  Here is another unethical tyranny of a minority situation. From the New York Times:

…Eight suits have been filed in federal court in Manhattan over the past two weeks, most recently against Hofstra University on Long Island on Oct. 4. In each case, lawyers for Emanuel Delacruz, who is blind, charged that the college’s website is inaccessible to their plaintiff and therefore in violation of the Americans With Disabilities Act.

The filings are part of a growing number of actions involving accessibility and the internet. The federal law requires that public accommodations be accessible to those with disabilities, and legal battles have long revolved around physical spaces and therefore physical solutions, such as elevators or wheelchair ramps. Now, advocates and lawyers argue, websites are also public spaces and need to be accessible, with things like captions or audio descriptions….Since January 2015, at least 751 lawsuits have been filed over the issue. The vast majority have focused on retailers and restaurants, according to a legal blog that tracks such suits. Only seven of the suits have been directed at academic websites. Mr. Delacruz’s suits alone doubled that count. And another website, which includes not only lawsuits but also government investigations into web or technological accessibility, lists 37 schools that have been accused of noncompliance with disability law.

Next?  Law suits against art museums for not having audio descriptions of every work exhibited. Law suits against sports stadiums, alleging that the ADA mandates play-by-play being blasted from the ballpark speakers. Then, I suppose, lawsuits against the world for not making being blind a pleasure.

Dear Mr. Delacruz:

I’m sorry you’re blind. I salute your courage, fortitude and determination. I am willing to make reasonable accommodations to help you live a productive and satisfying life. There are some advantages of sight, however, that just can’t be sued away. Websites are among them. Sorry. If I were forced to make my site accessible to to people like you, I would have to take down my site entirely. I suppose that would satisfy you.

You’re a selfish, entitled, trouble-making, unethical  jerk.

4. On the other hand, we should have seen this coming: The Boy Scouts have announced that they will now be accepting girls. (They were already accepting girls who identified as boys.)  It’s a cynical, unethical decision to build up the organization’s falling membership numbers, fully aware that the change will undermine the Girl Scouts as well as the original and still valid mission of its own organization. Boys are different from girls, and there’s nothing wrong with that. There are well-documented benefits of separate male and female socialization at young ages. This is political correctness posturing and pandering for profit.

I’m glad, for once, that my lifetime Boy Scout father is dead already, because this would have killed him.

32 thoughts on “Morning Ethics Warm-Up, 10/12/2017: Ben Affleck Is Called A Liar, A Blind Man Wants to See Websites, The Boy Scouts Want Girls, And More…

  1. I am troubled by the Boy Scout’s announcement as well, especially being and Eagle. This is one of several moves that seems to be diluting its mission. I even feel blind sided, being a registered adult leader, AND a member of the scouting alumni group. There was no advance notice this was even being considered.

    What is hesitantly encouraging is that they are still maintaining single-gender programs (of course, this is easily a slippery slope). They are starting with allowing all-girl cub scout “dens” along side, separate but equal to all-boy dens. Chartering organizations can choose to allow female dens, or remain male only. Cub scouts, of course, differs the least from Brownie/Girl Scouts, with perhaps more of an outdoor focus.

    In the future, they are going to announce a program that will allow teenage women to become Eagle Scouts. I do not believe they will be “integrating” traditional scout troops, which would alienate major sponsoring organizations such as the LDS. However, if I were to venture a guess, they would allow existing Venture Crews to pursue traditional Boy Scout ranks. Venture scouts is already a co-ed program, open to those 13-21, and focused on more intense outdoor activities. I am uncertain though, as there is a gap between between cubs and ventures, as cubs ends at 10/11.

    If they do integrate traditional scout troops, they will of course retain the option to remain single gendered. Yet my old troop is sponsored by a congregational church, a liberal one in a liberal town. It has traditionally taken a hands of approach to our troop, leaving it to its own devices in light of national scouting policies (most of the controversial ones having been rejected by Connecticut Rivers Council -the local scouting authority- decades ago). We’ve been affiliated for over 50 years, so they respect the troop and allow the use of its basement, with minimal direct support.

    I am worried, though, that the status-quo may change with this nationwide shift. The congregational church may place a modicum of pressure, and liberal minded future scoutmasters/committee leaders may accept it as inevitable.

    I really benefited from the single-gender program (although at the time I felt slightly different). Before the age of 17, I was terrified of women, and frankly people my own age. By happenstance, I ended up the oldest scout in my troop, and thrived. No pressure to “hit” on women, when none are around. Younger scouts having an innate awe when I could teach them advanced knots and lashings, first aid, etc. It was truly a “safe place”, before that became a meaningless buzzword.

    Learning outdoor skills, and more importantly, life and leadership skills along the way helped me immensely throughout my young-adult life. Very rare, am I caught unprepared. I had a difficult time navigating graduate school. My eagle project gave me a template on how to approach people and gain their help and support.

    I currently work in a “STEM” field. The boy scouts announced a STEM scout program. I am afraid this dilutes their mission. I am good at my job in large because of the multi-disciplinary approach of traditional scouting. Camping, conservation, experiencing the clean mountain air and bright night stars at Philmont animated the environmental courses I took as an undergraduate. Focusing solely on the science, rather than the whole picture, seems to miss the whole point of scouting.

    Scouting gave me an awkward, shy teenage boy a place to thrive. I fear any steps that may irrevocably damage that experience for future youth. In a time when record numbers of young women are graduating college, while record few men are doing the same, we need a program that unapologetically works to develop young men who are physically strong, mentally awake, and morally straight.

    • Nice work, Rich. Good luck going forward with your troop. Glad to hear a reasonable and informed opinion on this recent development. Is poaching girls from girl scouts an intended or unintended consequence?

      I think I made it to Life. My brother made it to Eagle. We had great cub scout leadership but the Scout leader was quite a bit of a goofball. Former enlisted Marine. He acted as if he’d been in special ops but he’d been a cook. I think I got more out of high school sports and basic academics than I would have out of staying in scouts. But to each their own. I also went to a boys high school, which I think was a great distraction reducer.

    • I was an Eagle Scout too, but in spite of, not because of, the program, which, in retrospect, was probably a bad fit for me (Aspergians really don’t fit anywhere). However, my parents put on the pressure for me to achieve that top award, I am convinced as much for mom’s family as for me, so that mom could prove to her parents and high-achieving brother that she was raising her kids right. The program taught me some useful skills, but it also taught me that bullying was just something you had to accept (“roll with the punches” was a common phrase used), it taught me that physical abuse was all right (not only were some of the other scouts bullies, but some of the leaders were not shy about striking kids for acting out), and it also taught me that hatred was ok (the Scoutmaster was a bigot and homophobe until the day he died).

      I got my award, despite being a very unpopular Scout within the troop, and I suppose it did for me what it was supposed to do, be one additional thing on my college resume that might have stopped my application from being thrown immediately into the “no” pile and made it possible for me to aim higher than a state school. In retrospect the pain might not have been worth it. Of course then I might be something other than a lawyer, but I just don’t know.

      The Scouts took a big hit when they decided to admit gay members and later gay leaders, despite having prevailed before the Supreme Court on who they were allowed to admit, which turned out to be a Pyrrhic victory a decade later when school boards started to deny meeting space and corporations started pulling funding, citing non-discrimination policies. This too turned out to be a Pyrrhic victory when it resulted in many strongly religious or fearful families pulling their kids, and a sharp dip in numbers. Now the organization has again given way, and made the last possible change, where an organization defined as a single-gender organization admits the other gender. It too will turn out to be a Pyrrhic victory, and may well take the Girl Scouts down with it, as the Eagle program “poaches” girls who are being sold on the idea that they need to be the surgeon, the firefighter, the fighter pilot, because it’s not enough to be the nurse, the teacher, or the administrator, therefore the Gold Award isn’t enough, they need to achieve the Eagle Award.

      This is feminism reaching its logical end. It’s no longer enough to fulfill equally as important roles as the males, it’s not even enough to be as good as the males. Females must be absolutely the same as the males. Actually they must be better than the males, since there is this developing belief that women are in all ways superior to men. Disney churns out yet another gorgeous, determined princess who believes in herself and shows up everyone else every year and a half. Since Tarzan 18 years ago they have yet to produce a single movie that focuses on anything like a traditional (or even unconventional) male hero, despite there being who knows how many myths, legends, and stories in the public domain they could mine. How many sitcoms are there that show male characters as being anything other than lazy, unintelligent slackers? Check out the last Olympics, where there was a movement to press the greatest legitimate talent in the delegation, swimmer Michael Phelps, to turn down carrying the flag in favor of a female, African-American, hijab-wearing fencer (a “one-stop inclusion shop”), who went on to achieve…not much.

      The day is probably coming when women will declare that men should only have authority over other men.

      • Egads Steve. Speaking as a liberal woman whose daughters are in Girl Scouts, I like that there are Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts. They can learn the same skills in each while dealing with the complicated issues of growing up and puberty.

        At the same time, if someone wants to create a scouting group for both genders as well, that’s fine by me. But I have no trouble leaving the Boy Scouts for the boys.

    • Rich I think this may end up being a good thing so long as things are kept separate. Unfortunately girl scouts has mostly been destroyed by feminist, my son and daughter both deserve good programs, hopefully they stay segregated and this may work to strengthen BSA and give our daughters a great program as well.

    • My heart goes out to boys like Rich in CT because they are now going to be in a position not only for being bullied by their own sex*, but also by girls. These are not “just” girls; they are girls who have come of (a very young) age to assert themselves, as far as possible over in every way possible. They have been guided by and absorbed the feminist program which, by definition even if not always actual fact, is resulting in girls learning to deal with their moms’ and grandmommies’ feelings of frustration and rage at exaggerated and perceived-if-not-proven inequalities to conceive of all males as controllers and rapists, and of themselves as victims. [note: racism is taught the same way] Until puberty and well into teenage years for some, girls are physically taller and even potentially stronger. They are taught — consciously or not — to take advantage of this.

      It’s called over-compensation. What it is, is tragic. For both.

      Now, put two girls into a boys’ group and see what happens. It’s not a pretty sight. And while doing no good for girls OR boys, it is especially hard for boys with low self-esteem to work through it. It is possible …. it has been done! … for a girl and a boy, or girls’ groups and boy’s groups to work and play together. Sisters and brothers learn to get along.That’s fine. It’s been mandated for public schools and it works to a certain extent , especially when physical education, sex education and counseling programs have been kept gender-distinct. The enforced mix, however, has resulted in a false dichotomy where once, for instance, the structured clubs, on school property, within faculty oversight were social mixes for those of like interests, yes, including those labeled “boy” or “girl” interests. Nobody says (they wouldn’t dare!) that girls can’t repair cars, but nobody suggested the girls could have their auto repair classes with other girls, and the boys with their own. Too expensive, too hard to schedule, not enough students to start with. Public schools in the area I live in even discourage all- of one sex* or the other’s activites. BS, all of it.

      Like the American myth of a “melting pot,” the enforced mix never materialized for many (I stick my head out here and say “for most”). The single-sex clubs, places to socialize with as well as play, compete without grade-anxiety, cross age and class lines, etc., simply morphed into cliques, including cliques of outsiders. These cliques are worshiped in TV series** (go ahead: name five right off the bat! no credit for “The Clique”). The fact is, enhanced by the ubiquity of personal electronic devices, there is no oversight, no supervision – not teachers, not parents, no anyone – to explain that Lord of the Flies did not have a happy ending. In fact, it has left some loners in the lurch (Columbine being an extreme example; bullying targets into suicide on “social” media becoming the most common).

      If the gender merger on all age levels had been gradual and partial, perhaps the gulf wouldn’t be as wide as it is now, but forcing it closed and, at the same time, pretending it isn’t there is not the answer. It’s like walking around with a fracture that wasn’t set properly and healed that way. The pressure being exerted now — by all, including the best intended, of women and political-feminists in “The Movement” — is breaking every bone*** it can reach, girls’ as well as boys’, without giving any thought to the damage it wreaks. By dispensing with the pre-adolescent separation of the sexes and with all the “niceties” of behavior — because females are now supposed to be Independent (like all males are presumed to be by nature) — we lost more than say, the joys of ballroom dancing and the satisfaction of door-holding: the politeness, kindness, and most of all the room (the privacy of one’s own sex) to allow natural feelings to grow are gone as well. A necessary part of finding out who you are is finding out what you are. That requires a lot of modeling to those who are made like you. And … here I get kicked out of all feminist company, if I had any left … modeling to those who think like you.

      I was never a member of the Scouts and I don’t even like the Girl’s cookies, but I did, over years, get to be a Junior Maine Woodsman (that’s wilderness survival on your own, in the woods, on the mountains, on the water:1st level age 9-12) to both kinds of schools and camps and after-school activities, and work, too. And both fit the bill, at different times and ages, going gradually from single-sex to mix ‘n match. I am still in touch with friends in both groups for entirely different kinds of essential experience.

      *without apology or exception, … well, with some physical-anomaly exceptions, such as hermaphrodites in case they come up in some post, I will refer to “sex” rather than gender where apposite unless multiple gender is the subject or we are discussing Google’s fifty-seven varieties.

      **exception to any denigration of school-set tv series: Degrassi, from elementary through high.

      ***(and boner, sorry, I’m a sucker for a good pun, neither one intended)

      • Jack, could you correct the run-on bold when you have a chance, please? It ends after “what you are” and starts again at “at different times and ages” and ends there. So much for three goings-over.

      • I was never bullied in high school. My experience was very different that Steve’s. Aside from teasing in elementary school, I only experienced bullying once in the 6th grade. The whole first half of my first year of middle school was traumatic, and that bullying was only part of it. I have actually blocked out most of that semester, and only know what I’ve been told happened.

        But I remember reaching out to my homeroom teacher, who I thought was the coolest guy in the world. Reaching out, itself, got me back on track. After that, I became athletic and more involved in scouts. By high school, I was built like a linebacker, although I did cross country. I was simply shy, and kept to myself, and didn’t really put myself out there. Scouting was an outlet that let me thrive, because I basically slept through high school, aside from cross country. I still graduated near the top of my class, mind you, but struggled in college early on because I couldn’t coast anymore. Scouting was where I got the skills to navigate college, because I was unchallenged in high school.

  2. Jack,

    As an Eagle Scout and someone who has known dozens of Girl Scouts, their program sucks. Only a handful of women ever achieve the Gold Award and those that do find it to be largely ceremonial. The only thing undermining the GSA is themselves.

    Meanwhile, the BSA suffers from a plague of scoutmasters and parents who have no interest in making the program more engaging to kids coming up. I learned a lot from Scouting and almost none of it came from the troop’s adult volunteers (and that was 17 years ago). The program starts kids off with lessons on leadership, responsibility, and a series of mindless oaths (which every Scout remembers for life but rarely thinks about). All have meaning, but they’re attempting to “teach” what can only be learned through experience. Only by working with others, gaining a healthy respect for Nature, and stepping outside yourself can those skills ever really be internalized.

    In other words, if women want to learn about leadership, nature, and survival skills, then more power to them.

  3. The ADA should have been revised or amended a long time ago. But the SJWs who dreamed this law up have created an industry for predatory lawyer and parent advocates who bully the schools and universities into giving them whatever they want. The sky’s the limit!

    • I have frequent conversations with people with disabilities as part of my work and once spoke with a fellow whose main source of income was being a plaintiff in lawsuits like this. His lawyer would scout out restaurants and give him a list of where to go.

  4. Re: Boy Scouts
    A long time a go I dated a Scout (note that it does not say “Girl Scout”) back in Mexico and learned that the local org was part of international scouts and unaffiliated with BSA of GSA. The interesting part is that while the programs were separate, requirements for both males and females were identical. I kind of think that approach would avoid most of the problems being faced by the U.S. organizations.

    Then again, I’m unfamiliar with the history of American Scouting organizations, so there may be a good reason for the divergence.

  5. Re: ADA and websites
    We already lost a bunch of free lectures because of crap like this.
    I’ve ranted about this before, and I’ll rant again. First: making a new website that has no video of fancy animations is trivial given today’s technologies. If their IT department managed to screw that up (or whoever they contracted to build the website) they are stupid and too incompetent to manage a tech-savvy org today.
    Second: A lawsuit, really? Can’t we just send a freaking email to provide the relevant content in text format if necessary? What has happened to talking to other people?
    I worked for a few years in computer accessibility. Technologies are good, but could get better. Some content is inherently not accessible, and other than not presenting it there is no way around it. ADA requirements are both a joke (as in completely useless) and burdensome (as in literally impossible to meet). Also there is a ton of money to be made by building “better” accessibility tools, since then corporations can be bullied into buying them at whatever cost (for a marginal improvement over free or already included tools in the OS). A pox on everybody’s houses for this.

  6. On 2: Up until last week, I found Rose distasteful, and while I still can’t bring myself to go all in on supporting her, I can still sit back and applaud a little. It’s brave, and she WAS one of the ones who spoke up sooner.
    It may have hurt her career, but she did it.

    On 4:I was in the Canadian version of the boy scouts, except here we just call them “Scouts” and girls were always free to join… Except they never did, in the 5ish years I was in the scouts before going to an air cadet squadron, there were a grand total of two girls, and they were both children of scoutmasters. This isn’t to say that girls couldn’t be scouts… I just think that if the point was to boost numbers, then this is going to be… spectacularly ineffective. Regardless of the reasons why, children in those age groups tend to self-segregate, you would probably tend to have more girls taking part in the program if you remove the pressures of integration. Female attendance in the cadets however (age 15-19) was almost parity, it’s almost like something changes around that time.

    • HT “children in those age groups tend to self-segregate” YES! You just shrunk one of my long points to its proper significance. Thank you. The rest of your post is spot-on as well (I take it that your last phrase was tongue-in-cheek?).

  7. I’m of mixed mind on the scout thing. They cover ages where separation can help deal with certain issues and is an undervalued aspect. On the other hand, when I was in my green period, I could not stay because there just weren’t any cadet groups less than forty minutes away and gas/money was an issue. There were several boy scout groups within five miles (and they did cooler stuff in the 70s) Getting into the later more serious parts of leadership, maturity, and resourcefulness should be encouraged, we are at a high deficit in those these days. So I just want these kinds of programs available to every kid to maybe learn what passed over their parents. Maye they could have a unified banner, and split when there’s enough for both…

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.