Morning Ethics Warm-Up, 3/29/18: Baseball Opening Day Edition, Plus Earlobes, Insults, And Tampons…

Good Morning, And Play Ball!

1. To Tony C.  This is always a happy day for me, but I want to mute my joy a bit by dedicating this baseball season to the late Tony Conigliaro. Since my teens, he has been my constant inspiration to live every day to its fullest, because no matter how bright and promising the future seems at any moment, everything can change in the blink of an eye, or an errant pitch from Fate right into your face.

That’s what happened to Tony C. on a cruel August night in 1967. He was playing right field and batting clean-up for his home town baseball team, in a season that would see them win a miracle pennant. He was young, handsome and incredibly talented. He had become the youngest player ever to hit a hundred home runs,  and was in his fourth big league season at the tender age of 22.Then everything changed. Tony’s existence was swept up and placed on a new and dark road that ended with a fluke heart attack and stroke at the age of 37, and a lingering twilight half-death in brain damage until he mercifully passed away eight long years later.

All we can do now is remember a beautiful young man and a brilliant athlete who gave his home town many thrilling moments to savor in the brief time allotted to him, who had everything, and then lost it without reason, warning or justice…and also remember that every day should be lived right, and well, with the determination to be the best we can be, because we may never have a chance to be any better.

Yes, this baseball season is dedicated to you, Tony.

For me, I guess they all are.

2. No, this isn’t The Onion. This is a real tweet from the Democratic Party, authored by Congresswoman Grace Meng:

She continues

“Women deserve equal access to our economy, not punishment for their gender. That’s why I’ve been working with my fellow women to fight for more access to tampons, pads, and the full range of menstrual products since 2015. …I’ve introduced legislation to make these products more affordable — because leveling the playing field and stopping period-shaming give women, especially low-income women, a better chance to succeed in our economy…What else would give women a better chance to succeed? Electing more women to fight these fights with me — because we need leaders who understand the experiences of those they represent. ..Head to and commit to vote in 2018 and beyond, because women can’t wait for economic fairness any longer.”

I hope I don’t have to explain what is wrong with this, and I eagerly anticipate being able to parry any brain-melted partisan who reads something like this and says, “Hey, what a good idea!” Yet obviously millions of people are in thrall to this kind of slippery slope progressivism: if a gender, or a race, or a nationality or any other tribe has a unique need or problem, then all of society must help pay for it, or life is unjust. Was a virus released into the water system of certain major cities.? What else can account for such abdications of personal responsibility being accepted as fair and reasonable?

Hey! Why doesn’t the government pay for my electric razor?

3. Coming soon on the BLM website...Alton Sterling’s death is prominently cited by anti-cop activists and Black Lives Matter racists who insist that the police are hunting black men. I’m sure yesterday’s developments will find a way into activating that “base” for Democrats. Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry announced that he was declining to prosecute two Baton Rouge police officers in the July 2016 shooting death sterling.  The decision is consistent with the U.S. Justice Department’s decision last May against bringing federal charges.

The evidence is that the two officers had been told Sterling had a gun, and could not control Sterling after he refused to follow their commands, including, “Don’t fuchking move or I’ll shoot you in your fucking head.” That seems remarkably clear to me, but not to Sterling, perhaps because he had several drugs in his system, including meth. The officers weren’t able to take Sterling into custody. They tried a Taser, twice. One officer was able to wrestle Sterling onto the ground, then drew his gun, saying “If you move, I swear to God.” The same officer later exclaimed, “He’s got a gun!” and “He’s going for the gun!” and fired three times. Even then Sterling tried to get up, and the officer fired three more times. Sterling did, in fact, have a gun.

The state report is here.

For this, expect Sterling’s family, which has sued, to collect millions of dollars in a settlement, just to keep the peace. Also expect Sterling’s name to joint Mike Brown and the rest as examples of innocent black men gunned down because of their race.

4. Thank you. Shut up. CNN has an article up about “six unusual signs that may indicate heart disease.” It reminded me of an incident a decade ago, when a passenger behind me on as I exited an airplane announced to me and the world that I had telltale creases in my earlobes that meant I was going to die of a heart attack, and that I should get me to a doctor pronto. I told him to mind his own earlobes, and he was indignant. I was well aware of the alleged earlobe-crease link, which, CNN tells us, is still not understood. In my case, I knew my ears had exactly the same creases as those of my father, who was in his late 80’s at the time, and died at the ripe old age of 89, in his sleep. Pop medicine and amateur diagnosis should be self-focused, if at all. Pointing out creased ears to raise mortal fears  among strangers is in the same category as telling random people to eat less meat and start jogging.

5. Made for each other.  Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) commented on Facebook on a photo of Emma Gonzalez, the second most obnoxious of the Parkland students demanding that we “do something” about guns. In the photo, Gonzalez is wearing a green jacket emblazoned with a Cuban flag patch. King wrote, “This is how you look when you claim Cuban heritage yet don’t speak Spanish and ignore the fact that your ancestors fled the island when the dictatorship turned Cuba into a prison camp after removing all weapons from its citizens.”

 An activist group called the Democratic Coalition says it has called the post to the attention of the House Office of Congressional Ethics. “Members of Congress must be held to a higher ethical and moral standard,” according to the group. “We believe that this post was unethical.”

I wonder why they believe that. King is a documented bomb-thrower and intemperate fool, but this is so far from his most offensive statement, or the most offensive statement being routinely issued by members of the House on both sides of the aisle, that the claim that he should be singled out for discipline is ridiculous. As with President Trump, King and other members of Congress should be above getting into social media spats with citizens, even when those citizens have insulted members of Congress, like Gonzalez and her cohorts have. Yes, it’s undignified and irresponsible, but being undignified and irresponsible just isn’t punished in the House or the Senate. That’s not why the group thinks King is “immoral” anyway. These child warriors are human shields for the anti-gun mob. It’s supposed to be bad form to treat them like any other public policy activists: that’s why they are being bankrolled and trotted out to call the NRA and legislators names.

In this case, moreover, King is right, for once. Wearing a Cuban flag while calling for gun confiscation—which is essentially where Gonzalez’s ignorant nostrums take us–makes her look like what she is, an ignorant, arrogant, misguided young woman who lacks historical perspective and the intellectual rigor to be as vocal as she is while grandstanding on the national stage.


Source (#2): Instapundit



41 thoughts on “Morning Ethics Warm-Up, 3/29/18: Baseball Opening Day Edition, Plus Earlobes, Insults, And Tampons…

  1. 2) Does the Democrat Party watch all the old Twilight Zone episodes about dystopian futures and then decide that the key premise of the hypothetical dystopia would make a good plank in the party platform?

    • All except the one where Peter Falk played a Castro wannabe who kept seeing enemies in a magic mirror and it drove him to ruthlessly murder all of his opponents and many of his supporters.

  2. #1. Unfortunately Fate never caught up to Jack Hamilton. It would have been poetic justice if an angry fan had broken his arm in a fight or if he’d had his shoulder destroyed in a car accident.

  3. “I’ve introduced legislation to make these products more affordable — because leveling the playing field and stopping period-shaming…”

    Wait. Level the playing field compared to what? More affordable compared to what?

    Why doesn’t the government just make tampons themselves? They can keep them in the old government cheese warehouses.

    • If the government made tampons, they’d cost $43 each and be exactly 20% as absorbent as a Tampax. They would also make the tampon, applicator, and packaging in three different factories a thousand miles apart, and assemble them in a fourth location.

    • “stopping period-shaming…”

      Is anyone else sick to death of “XXXX-shaming”? The worst offender, of course, was The Bachelor’s “glam-shaming,” which is of course completely worthy of any and all shame thrown at it.

      This specific example is obviously much more inane than most–no one is shaming women by requiring that they buy with their own money products that men don’t happen to have to use.

      However, it has more substantive iterations–single mom-shaming, slut-shaming, abortion-shaming, body-shaming, etc. This phenomenom has been discussed at length on this blog already, but it’s another unfortunate outcropping of the left’s desire to speak out for society’s downtrodden.

      Shame has a valid and important place in society. It acts as a buffer between things that are serious enough to warrant legal action and things that are legal but are perceived as an overall societal negative. Yes, like anything, it can be abused, but the relatively recent reflex of those on the left is to reject shame as anything but harmful. This, I believe, has even worse ramifications than the abuse of shaming.

      The meteoric rise in single motherhood is, I believe, partially a result of this trend. I think it goes even further than that. I’m sure many would disagree, but common decency is disappearing because of this trend. The way we speak in front of others, the way we dress in public, the way we take care of our own bodies, is becoming more relaxed as shaming is shunned. Self control is a muscle, and the less we exercise it, the more society will fall apart at the seams.

      Yes, living in a society with high expectations can be very difficult. Think “Pleasantville.” I’m not claiming to know how to find the perfect balance, but I believe the pendulum has swung way too far the other direction, and I don’t think there’s any going back.

  4. #2: “period shaming” is hyperbole. But ‘leaking’ of any bodily fluid that can’t be prevented is very embarrassing. It can do lethal damage for a job. Most women learn to overcompensate as a teen, but some don’t have a regular schedule to help prepare. (I was in the latter group and didn’t always have money in HS for the more expensive vending machines)

    That extra expense WAS an issue, and unavoidable. It wasn’t something you could ignore and would go away like my brother’s caveman hair style. Razors are an apples and oranges comparison. Some unlucky women have extra issues, and you cannot work a shift or seek better work if you don’t have pads, etc. Despite that, I don’t think this requires legal involvement to make such an ongoing expense covered like a disability. It’s not.

    I’m not sure what could or should help women for whom that is a real issue, maybe a targeted charity, like those that help woman with professional interviewing behavior and loaned wardrobe. Maybe at a food bank, made from donations. Maybe social lobbying for lines of basic and cheaper product lines lacking some perks. The less expensive razor lines of late shows that people are very aware of overpriced necessities, and reward new players. But that doesn’t require a law or inefficient federal action.

  5. #3 – I’m sure some would doubt the risk that a face down suspect can have on an officer. Both of these cases started when the suspect was on the ground and face down. In the first, the officer went to handcuff the guy and he rolled over, and shot the officer, killing him. In the second, one officer was on the guy’s back fighting to control the suspect’s hands. The suspect broke a hand free, and pulled a gun and shot the parter.

    Both of these cases happened around the same time as the Alton Sterling shooting.

      • Even though I was and am a tigers fan, always loved Dewey. He always looked like he came straight from the boardroom, put on a uniform, and took the field.

      • “Happened at least once before, Dwight Evans against Jack Morris.”

        All right, go ahead and put it in the shoulder-shrug-and-so-what pile!
        Let’s just wait till next year, then, and see if George Springer will hit a homer to lead off his team’s first game for the THIRD straight year!

  6. More often than not, when I got lucky to go to an O’s game at Memorial Stadium, the opposition was the Red Sox. Because, the best seats we could afford were bleachers we often sat in right field so we were mere feet away from both Frank Robinson and Boston’s Tony Conigliaro.

    I always had a great respect for that team. I wish I could go back to those days when players played for the love of the game and the communities they played for an not the highest bidder. The days of Conigliaro, Yastremski, Powell, and both Robinsons seem to be only a memory.

  7. #1: some of us feel the same way about Kirby Puckett. He had a longer career, with some great moments, and it ended with one pitch.

    But, what made him so great is that he loved to play the game and understood how lucky he was to get paid to play a game. A player’s player, if you will.


    • TCM had a spate of old baseball movies on for opening day. One, starring Ronald Reagan and Doris Day, portrayed the career of Grover Cleveland Alexander, possibly the greatest pitcher of all time. Talk about loving the game.

      • Agree on Alexander. Almost all of those TCM movies were terrible, especially The Babe Ruth Story.Poor Babe: first he gets played by William Bendix, who was a clown, and then by an actor who was 100 pounds fatter than he was, John Goodman. Joe Don Baker was perfect in “The Natural.” I would have loved to have seen him play the real Babe.

          • I got a copy of “The Natural” as a birthday present in ’52. Didn’t understand some of it then but that was okay, because my dad read it later and explained what “ambiguous” meant. I didn’t keep up with much baseball knowledge after 1959 when I left New York, having grown up with the “subway series”, so I had to go look up Tony C.’s story.

            It was indeed an extended tragedy …. to the point that the obituaries for Jack Hamilton, the pitcher responsible, are full of the details of Tony’s life instead, saying virtually nothing about the man who died in February 2018, 41 years after hurling the “errant inside” fastball. This is the ESPN version:

        • Off Topic: what are the ‘best’ baseball movies, Jack?

          This could be a great post, with breakdowns into ‘most ethical,’ ‘most accurate,’ most successful’ and so on.

          ‘The Natural’ is on my list, but I like ‘Field of Dreams’ even though baseball is only a plot device.

          ‘Bull Durham’ is no great theater, but has comedic chops, especially the parts where they take about baseball platitudes you tell reporters.

          ‘Major League’ was funny, even if the later sequels were less so. It had some good baseball drama incorporated as well as real pall players in cameo rolls.

          ‘The Slugger’s Wife’ is a little known gem, with a LOT of inside baseball (and hot singers dancing)

          • “Bull Durham” might not be the best, but it’s my favorite.
            I can’t leave “The Sandlot” out of a tie with BD.

            “The Pride of the Yankees” rates high with me, too.
            That’s because I, yours truly, am now the “luckyest man…”

          • As for unethical baseball movies, ‘It Happens Every Spring” would be a nominee. Even though I got great entertainment value in my youth from watching.

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