Morning Ethics Warm-Up, Sort-of Veterans Day, 2017:

Good Morning!

1 I had to fix the title: today is being observed as Veterans Day by banks and other institutions, but it isn’t Veterans Day. Phooey. If a holiday is observed on a certain date, then in my terms, that is the holiday. No wonder the country is fatally confused all the time.

2. Well that was fast! I see that I have to write a “Stop Making Me Defend Roy Moore!” post. Yechhh.  The Left’s shameless virtue signalers are out in force representing a slug who repeatedly failed in efforts to date teens 40 years ago as a menace to womankind. Oddly, many of these same white knights dismissed Bill Clinton using an intern half his age as a sex toy in the Oval Office as “just sex.”  How can these people stand to be in the same room with themselves?

3. Former Vice President Joe Biden said in an interview with Oprah Winfrey that he believes he was the most qualified person to be president in 2016.

Yechhh. This is right up there with a losing team saying it was really the best team, but even worse. It’s like defaulting the decisive game because it’;s chilly outside, and making that claim.

“Oprah, no woman or man should announce they’re running for president unless they can answer two questions,” Biden told O. “One, do you truly believe you’re the most qualified person at the moment — I believed I was.” He did? That in itself disqualifies him. Joe Biden has never held an executive position in his life. Being Vice-President is relevant experience, for sure, although Biden hardly covered himself with glory during his tenure. Joe is also not the sharpest knife in the cutlery set, to be nice about it. He’s been caught plagiarizing speeches. He says jaw-droppingly dumb things almost daily. Is self-delusion a qualification?

Sure, Joe was preferable to Trump or Hillary: I would have held my nose and voted for him. He’s right to say he was better qualified than those two, simply because he’s not corrupt and has at least a rudimentary concept of right and wrong. Being better than those too doesn’t make him “the most qualified” that’s Biden’s weak mind at work. Jim Webb, to name one of many, had (and has) far stronger leadership qualifications. One of those qualifications is courage, which in Biden’s case meant having the guts to step in a try to take the nomination from Hillary Clinton. Biden had a duty to do this, but when it came down to action, he ducked.

Disqualified.

4.  Can there be any more blatant Ethics Dunces than LiAngelo Ball, Cody Riley and Jalen Hill, the three freshmen on the UCLA men’s basketball team who apparently shoplifted Louis Vuitton sunglasses  in the Chinese city of Hangzhou? UCLA is in China for a week-long visit as it was scheduled to open its season in Shanghai this weekend against Georgia Tech. The three players are now out of that game, and it is even in doubt whether the game will take place at all, since the UCLA team is confined to its hotel. The Three Dunces could be months away from returning home as the legal process in their case plays out. If they were Chinese citizens, they would be facing prison.

<gag!><ACK!><arghhh!> This is embarrassing to the whole country, not to mention UCLA and its basketball program. Of course, Big Time college sports breed and nurture such  arrogant, entitled, sociopathic conduct. Is it possible that all the players were not instructed in the dos and don’ts of traveling in not just a foreign nation, but in a Communist power looking for ammunition to wield against the U.S. in the diplomacy wars? Oh, sure it’s possible. I wonder if the players were also told not to take a knee when they played the Chinese national anthem.

Shoplifting? Do the players shoplift at home, or is this just something they think is appropriate in China? My guess is that there will be some deal-making to get the players home, and then let’s watch carefully what happens to Ball, Riley and Hill. This will be an integrity test for the NCAA and the school.

If they don’t flunk it, I will be stunned.

5. Here is an odd story about the  end result of unethically posing as someone else on the web. Not only is it true that on the web, nobody knows you’re a dog; on the web nobody knows that you are a 13-year-old girl writing for various sophisticated baseball websites while posing as a married adult male. As time passed—used the fake identity online for 8 years— she found that she had personal and professional relationships she valued with people who thought she was someone else, and…it gets worse from there.

This is why I applaud the Ethics Alarms commenters who use their real name and identity, even though I know who you are if you don’t. Posing on line leads to bad things too often, as Becca Schultz, aka Ryan Schultz, has learned the hard way.

6. A Kevin Spacey note, and I sure hope someone is keeping sharp objects away from the fallen star turned burned out lump of space debris: Director Ridley Scott decided this week  to remove Spacey from a finished movie, “All the Money in the World,” and refilming scenes with his character in it using a Christopher Plummer. This will be very expensive, and is unprecedented. Scott ahs to hurry; he promised Sony Pictures Entertainment that the movie will be ready in time for a scheduled Dec. 22 release.

This is literally historical airbrushing in the world of entertainment. Is it going to be the new standard for Hollywood? Great actors who are discovered to be lousy human beings will be CGIed out of existence and the cultural memory, diminishing the art but signalling Hollywood’s yummy goodness? Charlie Chaplin liked underaged girls: is this going to be the fate of his films? Will Tony Randall be digitally inserted into all those Doris Day movies with Gig Young, who murdered his young bride before killing himself? Will they finally take “Nordberg” out of the three “Naked Guns” movies, since he was played by O.J. Simpson?

Scott was lucky: he moved just in time. Expense issues aside, I would have done what he did. Regardless of how well Spacey may have acted his role, his presence after all the awful stories and publicity would have been a massive distraction for the audience, and substantively harmed the movie.

7. Famed writer Gay Talese has now boarded the Harvey Weinstein Ethics Train Wreck via the Kevin Spacey caboose. He told a told a Vanity Fair eporter:

“I would like to ask [Spacey] how it feels to lose a lifetime of success and hard work all because of 10 minutes of indiscretion 10 years or more ago. I feel so sad, and I hate that actor that ruined this guy’s career. So, O.K., it happened 10 years ago. . . . Jesus, suck it up once in a while! You know something, all of us in this room at one time or another did something we’re ashamed of. The Dalai Lama has done something he’s ashamed of. The Dalai Lama should confess . . . put that in your magazine!”

Count the rationalizations!

28 Comments

Filed under Around the World, Arts & Entertainment, Character, Education, Ethics Alarms Award Nominee, Ethics Dunces, Ethics Train Wrecks, Government & Politics, Romance and Relationships, Sports, The Internet

28 responses to “Morning Ethics Warm-Up, Sort-of Veterans Day, 2017:

  1. Still Spartan

    Gig Young is different. He obviously had mental and substance abuse issues. Plus, he is dead. I think it is okay to enjoy his movies.

    • But the issue is can you? I can’t. That awful story makes it impossible for me to find him funny. Same with Bob Crane and “Hogan’s Heroes.” I love the “Naked Gun: movies, but OJ takes me right out of them into ugliness.

      • Still Spartan

        To be honest, I’m not sure I have seen a lot of Gig Young’s work, so it doesn’t really affect me. I think a better example for me personally would be Robin Williams. We now know that he battled mental illness for years — and may have been given a dangerous drug known to increase risk of suicide. I absolutely enjoy the body of his work — and will continue to do so. Of course, the only person he harmed was himself, but I don’t think I would be doing credit to his memory if I decided to stop watching him.

      • A.M. Golden

        Gig Young was in my all-time favorite episode of “The Twilight Zone” and I watched “Hogan’s Heroes” constantly as a teenager. But, then, both of them died when I was 8 and before I began watching them on television.

        I haven’t tried watching “The Naked Gun” movies since the O.J. trial, though. I wonder how I would feel if I tried.

  2. On 6, I won’t go nearly as far as Talese, but I do think that we need to rediscover compassion and forgiveness.

    If all that had happened in the Spacey saga was the first accusation, even if everything Rapp said happened exactly as he said… 30 years later, maybe we look back and ask “is it really fair to punish 2017 Kevin Spacey for what happened 30 years ago?” The fact that other, more recent accusers have since surfaced kinda blows that out of the water… But I think in the absence of evidence of a continuing pattern of behavior, it’s still a good question to ask.

    Let’s be clear: We’re ruining lives… As Barry said on Twitter as the Rapp/Spacey accusation hit progressive Twitter “I wouldn’t be upset if he never worked again”. And some people might say that these people deserve it, and maybe some of them do… But what if we’re wrong? There are so many people out for blood, out for vengeance, that this cannot possibly be called justice. Too many people take it upon themselves to be judge and jury at the first whiff of scandal, even if the facts of the case aren’t known, even if the facts of the case aren’t even illegal. I can’t make heads or tails out of these cases, there are too many, it’s all so muddy and dramatic, and polarized… The facts don’t matter, proof doesn’t matter, listen and believe, accuse and punish… I’m not in favor of rape, sexual assault or harassment… but this is crazy, and I want off the train.

  3. 3- Many upper echelon D-1 teams have the opportunity to participate in overseas competition every four years.

    My UW Badgers (GO BUCKY) just returned from NZ & Down Under and they all emphasized the wonderful experiences of traveling someplace they’d never been and playing against international, and sometimes professional, competition; a real growing/bonding thing.

    These UCLAds shit all over that, what a trio of effin’ morons!! Have they never seen “Midnight Express?” Does anyone think that a given foreign government, especially the up-n-comer PRC, wouldn’t LUV the likely justified attention of sticking to the U.S.

    In all fairness to Ball, his imbecility may be genetic. Anyone that’s wasted a
    slack-jawed couple of seconds observing his epically clueless, hopelessly addlepated Father LaVar knows what I’m talking about.

    http://goingfor2.com/why-i-hate-lavar-ball/

    Plus the sunglasses more than likely knock-offs; idiots!!!

  4. dragin_dragon

    Just an FYI…today isn’t Veteran’s Day, tomorrow is.

    • Looked it up: “Observation of Veterans day, November 10.”

      “With Veterans Day, always on November 11, falling on a Saturday this year, many government agencies and court systems are observing the holiday on Friday, November 10.”

      I hate that kind of confusion. I’ll fix the title.

  5. John Billingsley

    #1 I’m with you. The 11th month, 11th day, and 11th hour have a special significance. If banks and the government want to take today off, fine but that doesn’t make it Veteran Day. I had relatives who served in the Great War and until the end of their days it was always called Armistice Day. It along with Memorial Day, of course always referred to as Decoration Day, were important days in the family when I was growing up.

  6. ‘If a holiday is observed on a certain date, then in my terms, that is the holiday. No wonder the country is fatally confused all the time.”

    It’s not confused. It just wants its dad gum day off. Why on earth should we ruin a perfectly good Saturday we could spend doing something else by focusing it on Veterans?

  7. luckyesteeyoreman

    3 and 7. That’s some of the funniest stuff I have read all day. That, and Tex’s sarcasm at 4:46 pm.

    So today’s Lesson from the Left is: be shameless; be like Joe.

    • luckyesteeyoreman

      Annnnd 4. You just KNOW that those three UCLA jocks are going to be held up as examples of “how Americans (including African-Americans) really are,” to a billion or more residents of China. Wanna see some real, live racism? Just watch the Chicoms.

  8. Neil Dorr

    Jack:

    “This is literally historical airbrushing in the world of entertainment. Is it going to be the new standard for Hollywood? Great actors who are discovered to be lousy human beings will be CGIed out of existence and the cultural memory, diminishing the art but signalling Hollywood’s yummy goodness? Charlie Chaplin liked underaged girls: is this going to be the fate of his films? Will Tony Randall be digitally inserted into all those Doris Day movies with Gig Young, who murdered his young bride before killing himself? Will they finally take “Nordberg” out of the three “Naked Guns” movies, since he was played by O.J. Simpson?

    Scott was lucky: he moved just in time. Expense issues aside, I would have done what he did. Regardless of how well Spacey may have acted his role, his presence after all the awful stories and publicity would have been a massive distraction for the audience, and substantively harmed the movie.”

    So, was it ethical or not?

    • I think it’s ethical before the film is released—see, when I say that I’d do it, it means it’s ethical. Taking Dustin Hoffman out of “All the President’s Men” now (he’s been accused too) would be wrong.

  9. Andrew Wakeling

    I hope Scott Ridley’s decision was purely on the economics: higher ticket sales with Plummer more than offsetting reshooting costs. No ethical issues there, just money. Sounds a very hard case to make (crazy to me) but it is his job to make such judgements and I hope the financiers hold him accountable. I hope also he has costed in the risks of a big claim for damages from Stacey. If however he has taken it on himself to judge and punish Stacey, then I view him as morally sick. I’d hope no decent actor would ever want to work with him again.

    • That’s an interesting reaction, Andrew, and I think a valid one. One could make an argument that having Spacey in the film would increase interest and box office. Hollywood is setting up an impossible standard with this case:there are many Kevin Spacey;s out there.

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