Morning Ethics Warm-Up, 4/3/2018: Hypocrisy, Exploitation, Fake Definitions And Fake News

Good Morning…

…and believe me, it takes a super-human effort for me to say that right now…

1.  Good. Rep. Esty is not running for re-election. We discussed her hypocrisy in a post two days ago. Now she says, “Too many women have been harmed by harassment in the workplace. In the terrible situation in my office, I could have and should have done better.” This would have been a meaningful and productive statement if she hadn’t previously insisted that she handled the matter correctly and refused to be accountable. She did, however, and mouthing platitudes now should not alter the verdict that she was a cynical and grandstanding #MeToo performer who, when time came to act according to the standards she was demanding of others, failed miserably.

2. Anybody know of an ethical computer protection service? I now have two ghost services torturing me with pop-up ads, slowing down my computer, and generally behaving like a virus because I cancelled them. When I cancel a service I allowed onto my computer, I expect them to say good-bye and leave. I do not recall agreeing in my original contracts that “the undersigned hereby agrees that if for any reason he chooses to end his relationship with ____________, the service will continue to hound him with warnings, special offers, unrequested scans and other harassment until he dies or throws his computer out the window.”

The two companies at issue are AVG and McAfee. I will chew off my foot before I engage either of them again.

3. Big Brother’s way of winning a debate: change the meaning of the terms so you can’t lose.  After the repeated misuses of the term “assault rifle” as a disinformation and fear-mongering tactic by the anti-gun mob were flagged by Second Amendment supporters to the embarrassment of the zealots, Mirriam-Webster rode to the rescue,  changing its online dictionary entry for the term so its ignorant ideological allies could now cite authority:

On March 31, 2018, the following definition was published:

noun: any of various intermediate-range, magazine-fed military rifles (such as the AK-47) that can be set for automatic or semiautomatic fire; also a rifle that resembles a military assault rifle but is designed to allow only semiautomatic fire

Translation: “This is what the term really means, but it also means what ignorant politicians, journalists and activist refer to erroneously as the same thing even though it’s not, because we support them and this will make it easier for them to mislead other without looking dishonest and foolish.”

[UPDATE: There is some question of whether that definition was added before or after Parkland. Reader Steve Langton reports that he read the current version a couple of days after the shooting.]

4. Fake News Alert! Some conservative websites and blogs (here, for example) are claiming that California will start registering illegal immigrants to vote along with its new law allowing some illegals to get drivers licenses. This is true zombie news, as it has been shot dead many times over the last several months. Two points: 1) When a website prints something this dishonest, Ethics Alarms never darkens its cyber-space again. So good-bye, American Thinker, among others. 2) There is a reason why a lot of people would believe this of California. Do I think the state is so estranged from basic U.S. values and principles in its fetishistic worship of illegal aliens that it would give them the vote if it thought it could get away with it? Absolutely.

5. Observations on the latest NFL scandal. After Bailey Davis, the cheerleader the Saints dismissed in January,  filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission claiming unfair treatment. Now the degree to which the NFL teams treat its cheerleaders like submissive eye-candy is coming to light, and it isn’t pretty. From the Times:

“Cheerleaders for the Carolina Panthers, known as the TopCats, must arrive at the stadium on game days at least five hours before kickoff. Body piercings and tattoos must be removed or covered. Water breaks can be taken only when the Panthers are on offense. TopCats must leave the stadium to change into their personal attire. Baltimore Ravens cheerleaders were subject to regular weigh-ins and are expected to “maintain ideal body weight,” according to a handbook from 2009. The Cincinnati Ben-Gals were even more precise in recent years: Cheerleaders had to be within three pounds of their “ideal weight.” Some cheerleaders must pay hundreds of dollars for their uniforms, yet are paid little more than minimum wage. Cheerleaders must sell raffle tickets and calendars and appear at charity events and golf tournaments, yet they receive none of the proceeds. Cheerleader handbooks, seven of which have been reviewed by The New York Times, include personal hygiene tips, like shaving techniques and the proper use of tampons. In some cases, wearing sweatpants in public is forbidden….”

Why did, and do, the women who cheer put up with all of this? Simple, really: 1) they are fungible, as many equally lovely young women will happily take their places to show off their booty on the field and TV, and 2) they really, really want to be cheerleaders, which means they want to be pin-ups, they want to be sex-symbols, they want to perform.


  • Nobody’s holding a gun to their heads. The teams abuse the cheerleaders, and thus the women should refuse to endure the abuse, and quit. If they accept the abuse, the teams are given no incentive to change. Every past cheerleader who allowed herself to be abused has been a willing accessory to the current cheerleaders plight. Why? Because they lust after the opportunity to be lusted after, and to be seen on TV, videos and photographs looking like this…

  • I have thought cheer-leading squads were sexist and demeaning since high school, and no, it had nothing to do with the fact that no cheerleader would even look at me without sneering. I was quite proud of my college to find that it’s cheerleading squad consisted of a geek in a Pilgrim costume who shouted into a megaphone. He also sneered at me, come to think of it.
  • Although watching the NFL’s cheer-tarts debase themselves is far from the worst thing  NFL fans do, it is bad enough.
  • The situation is akin to one I fought over with a particularly well-funded and arrogant community theater in Alexandria, Virginia. Although this theater runs productions for three weeks or more, the equivalent of many area professional theaters, and has a huge subscription base that makes the company a money machine, especially since it is staffed by volunteers, it not only didn’t pay actors, it nickeled and dimed them mercilessly. They had to join the organization, and buy a ticket to attend their own cast party. Actors were not permitted to enter the theater through the main entrance for rehearsals, and had to use a back door. I told the organization’s board that the treatment was unconscionable, and its answer was, “Well, they all still keep coming to audition!”  “In other words,” I said, “because you know you can exploit them, because actors want to act, you do exploit them. You are disgusting.”
  • So are the teams that exploit cheerleaders. Just because people are willing to be mistreated doesn’t justify mistreating them.


Source: The Federalist (#3)

46 thoughts on “Morning Ethics Warm-Up, 4/3/2018: Hypocrisy, Exploitation, Fake Definitions And Fake News

  1. Jack,

    On #2, I’ve always held it as a principle to try to completely reformat my computer every year (though I’ve been slipping on that as work and raising kids have consumed almost all my time). A regularly schedule reformat allows for all registry corruption to be cleared, any vulnerabilities that rogue software has opened up to be closed, and any unwanted programs cleaned up. It also keeps one in the practice of always knowing where files are so they can be backed up, and where installation disks are so that well-liked programs can be reinstalled without hassle.

    On the other hand, I know I’m in the vast minority opinion on that, as well. A reformat can be a daunting task — making sure you know your licensing number for your operating system, organizing all your files and programs, making sure you have sufficient backup storage for everything you want saved, actually going through and reinstalling the operating system, all the programs, and setting up all the custom settings you’d spent years setting up.

    But as for the protection services I usually recommend, I lean towards Symantec and Malwarebytes, using one as a full subscription service, and the other as a backup virus scanner. Spybot Search and Destroy is still a good tool, though it has grown into a fairly large, complicated package over the years. I personally don’t care much for Avast or Kaspersky.

    One question: after cancelling your service, did you uninstall the software? That you’re getting pop-ups still suggests the programs are still on your computer, freaking out because you don’t have an active subscription.

  2. We use BitDefender and it works pretty well. Malwarebytes has several good cleanup tools as well. Although if you’re infected a full reinstall may be necessary.

    Unfortunately if you don’t have the time and knowledge to deal with it yourself you may need to try your luck with a local computer repair shop. Avoid geeksquad though, those guys are just cashiers.

  3. 1. When #MeToo and #TimesUp were silent about the harassment aimed at Dana Loesch, I wrote them off.

    2. I’ve been very happy with Kaspersky for eight years now.

    3. It isn’t just this – it’s Chicago essentially threatening economic sanctions against banks that do not enact certain restrictions on lawful transactions involving the exercise of Second Amendment rights.

    • 1. When #MeToo and #TimesUp were silent about the harassment aimed at Dana Loesch, I wrote them off.

      Are you talking about sexual harassment from one of Loesch’s colleagues, or online harassment against her? Both are terrible, but #MeToo and #TimesUp are about the former; I don’t know why you would think they have anything to do with the latter.

  4. I have to do that, periodically, Ryan. Not for protection or anything. I like to jack around with the OS and manage to screw it up on a regular basis. I will admit it’s harder to do with Win 10.

    As for protection, Norton (Symantec) is about the easiest, but renewals are getting expensive. AVG is okay and used to be free. I haven’t checked lately to see if it still is. My wife used Webroot, but I never understood why.

    • AVG still has a free version, but its pop-ups advertising components you aren’t currently using is pretty irritating. I still use AVG, but out of inertia more than anything else. I do think the most important aspect is to have a backup scanner. Viruses can hide from one scanner or another, but a second usually will pick up anything the first misses.

      My policy on reformatting extended from 6 months to a year as Microsoft has built more robust operating systems. It used to be that installing and uninstalling programs would leave the registry in a mess after a short period of time, but starting with Windows 7, that became much less of a concern.

  5. #3 – Dictionaries lost my respect when they said an alternative definition for “Literally” was “Figuratively”.

    #5 – All NFL Teams treat cheerleaders differently. 32 Teams – 32 Treatments. At this point, I’d be interested to know which team had the best treatment and if that still fell short of reasonable expectations.

    • Tim, if I were a betting man, I’d give you 5-1 odds all 32 teams abuse them, to greater or lessor degrees, falling WAY short of reasonable expectations. Look how they treat their players. Beyond that, it doesn’t really matter much.

    • Jack, I wondered if you picked up on cheerleaders as a subject coincidentally or may have been subliminally influenced by pre-buzz, as it were), over a brand new documentary. Maybe one of those pop-ups? It’s probably headed for TV or a streaming service since it’s a mere 78 minutes long. The review will give you the idea of where those now all too familiar “rules” came from because the Dallas gals were the original guinea pigs.

      Daughters of the Sexual Revolution: The Untold Story of the Dallas Cowboys’ Cheerleaders.

      The same guys who were drooling over them in the 70s (now in their 70s to 100s) now have the yummy parts of the movie to glom onto. Yay, Team!

  6. #3 Mirriam-Webster now includes in their assault rifle “…also; a rifle that resembles a military assault rifle but is designed to allow only semiautomatic fire”

    That’s 100% “the ends justifies the means” bull shit right there! Mirriam-Webster just became outright LIARS! Mirriam-Webster is now a political propaganda tool to brainwash the irrational and the ignorant. Mirriam-Webster is now dead to me.

    This is a great example of what I was talking about this morning when I wrote this, “I think the irrational mentality we are seeing is a cancer, it’s ignorantly being enabled, and it’s going to get much worse.”.

    Did you notice that Mirriam-Webster so damned ignorant that they didn’t even bother to update their other two dictionaries that are linked under their newly revised bull shit definition.

    See assault rifle defined for English-language learners. Which still reads: a gun that can shoot many bullets quickly and that is designed for use by the military.


    See assault rifle defined for kids. Which still reads: any of various especially automatic rifles designed for military use — called also assault weapon.

    • When is Mirriam-Webster going to update this definition…

      Hate speech : speech expressing hatred of a particular group of people • Hate speech is not allowed at school.

      …to include…

      They updated the definition above on 28 Feb 2018 and added “• Hate speech is not allowed at school.” Why stop there? Why not include murder as part of their “definition” now or even anything that snowflakes disagree with?

      Oxford Dictionary primarily defines definition as: A statement of the exact meaning of a word, especially in a dictionary.

      Merriam-Webster Dictionary should change their definition for the word definition to: 1. Whatever the hell we say it means.

      • Marriage n the legal union of husband and wife; the ceremony, civil or religious, by which two people of opposite sex (bold italics mine) become husband and wife.
        -Webster’s Dictionary 1987 Published by P.S.I & Associates, Inc.

        • Merriam Webster now…

          1 a : the state of being united as spouses in a consensual and contractual relationship recognized by law
          1 b : the mutual relation of married persons : wedlock
          1 c : the institution whereby individuals are joined in a marriage
          2 : an act of marrying or the rite by which the married status is effected; especially : the wedding ceremony and attendant festivities or formalities
          3 : an intimate or close union

        • What point are you making here, dragin? That was the generally understood meaning of marriage in our society in 1987; it is not the generally understood meaning now.

  7. #5 What one wouldn’t do to satiate their vanity, even if it comes at the expense of their integrity and dignity. On the bright side, at least the cheerleaders don’t have to worry about the long term effects of CTE. Thought experiment, what if the NFL players code of conduct was as stringent and was enforced with prejudice, then maybe they wouldn’t tolerate all the wife-beating, drunk driving, drug abusing, and other felonious behavior to the same degree they do now, because of The King’s Pass (#11).

  8. As to #2. You have a couple of options, the most effective of which might not be palatable to you.

    Option #1. Fresh install of Windows 10 — There is built in anti-virus (windows defender) which is just as good as anything you will find on the market — which is to say, almost completely ineffective. At this point I would not run any other AV on a windows OS, but I would also not expect it to be very effective. You also need to ensure that you are keeping updates current — which is pretty automatic with newer versions of Windows.

    Option #2. Run Linux. Although this is no longer a magic bullet, I find that I have had little to no trouble along these lines with Linux, but it is not Windows or MacOS, so it might be unpalatable to a normal user. A distribution like Ubuntu is easy to install, you can run a live CD version first to make sure you computer is compatible, scammers have little to no clue what to do with you.

    Frankly, you need to accept that there is absolutely no security available to you anymore. Anyone from a state level actor (CIA/FSB etc) to a script kiddie in a coffee shop can easily gain access to your system. If you are targeted, you are screwed. Other than that, you just need to make your self the least appealing target so that when someone is doing target selection you are not on the list.

    • Minor quibble, Rusty

      Anyone from a state level actor (CIA/FSB etc) to a script kiddie in a coffee shop can easily gain access to your system

      If your computer is not connected to the world 24/7, it is much harder to hack. My personal home PC does not run all day; only when we use it. Hard shut down takes longer to boot up, but WiFi connectivity backed by a hardware firewall makes it much harder.

      If you are targeted, you are screwed.” This is true, and always will be. This applies to you home as well

      Other than that, you just need to make yourself the least appealing target so that when someone is doing target selection you are not on the list.

      Just like making your home look occupied while you are away, having a dog, and so on for your house. If the Chinese Army invades and drives into your neighborhood, you better run. However, limiting Internet access, having good programs looking for the less sophisticated miscreants, never having truly critical information electronically available, and the proper use of passwords all can make you too much trouble for 99% plus of bad guys.

      My password vault is encrypted at the 4096 bit level, and I use a more than 18 character master password. All of my passwords incorporate a code only my wife knows (and not a date or easily guessed number) that is not in the vault at all.

      Every password indicates where the code goes. Break into my vault, still don’t get my passwords. I am still vulnerable to a state actor attack, just makes it more difficult for them. Most script kiddies will just move on.

  9. 4. I hadn’t read about Cali giving illegals driver’s licenses until this post. While I understand they aren’t also registering these individuals to vote at the same time, I am curious to see how they’ll prevent them from using their ID to register to vote. Even if the thought is to mark the license in some way to identify their ineligibility, anyone taking bets on how long it’ll be before someone cries “discrimination”? Or says that it’s wrong to mark their license in such a way because it’ll be easier for ICE to identify them?

    • I can see how this one started. California will now automatically start registering everyone to vote when they get or renew a driver’s license (you have to opt-out if you DON’T want to register). California gives driver’s licenses to illegal aliens. The law is supposed to only register those legally allowed to vote, but you can see the skepticism. Several groups who looked at the plan said they felt it lacked procedures to make sure illegal aliens getting licenses wouldn’t get added to the rolls. Add to that the fact that San Francisco allows illegal aliens to vote in some elections, that California petitioned the federal government to allow illegal aliens to buy health insurance on the state exchange, and that most Democrats think illegal aliens SHOULD be allowed to vote in all elections (Rassmussen Poll), and you have all the ingredients for this story to hit the papers. When a truthful headline could read “New California Law May Register Illegal Aliens to Vote”, you can see the temptation to omit the word ‘May’ (it’s just like the Oxford comma, only taking up space). Just another symptom of slipping journalistic standards?

      • Would you expect otherwise from California? Same state that wants to secede because the rest of the country wants to go in a different direction?

        • The state of California doesn’t want to secede any more than the state of Texas wants to secede. You’re talking about a few nutbars and generalizing to the entire state.

      • Consider switching to Mac as you do forward, it’s nearly a seamless transition for most people. There aren’t nearly the issues with software and virus’ on the MacOS, PC are inherently susceptible because of operating systems, they are better now but still…

        I’m going to replace all my computer devices with Mac. I started with phone, baring computer failures from older computers still on XP and Windows 7 that would accelerate new purchases, next comes the tablet, then the laptop and lastly the desktop. Yes it’s kind of costly but many problems simply vanish. A positive for me is that all the software I use has Mac versions too. I’m done with PC’s after the transition is complete.

        Talk to others about this too.

  10. Regarding #3, I am reminded of the riddle attributed to Abraham Lincoln: “If you call a tail a leg, how many legs has a dog? The answer: four, “because calling a tail a leg doesn’t make it a leg.” Calling a sporting rifle an assault rifle doesn’t make it one, it just makes it clear that the speaker doesn’t know what in the hell he or she is are talking about. So it shall remain, Merriam-Webster to the contrary not withstanding.

  11. 1) About time, and yes she should have taken responsibility right from the get go. This is more her realizing no one buys her idea and excuses she used already

    2) I use Symantec and have had no problems with them.

    3) I don’t know where you got that as a change. I looked up Websters definition just 1-2 days after the Parkland shooting and that’s what it was at that time. The “also” part was always there. Now we might think the definition should be incorrect, but there was no change made to it just to bow to any issues.

    5) I wonder how many others go through the same thing in sports. Like mascots and the like. A few years ago the Miami Marlins had a dance team of overweight men for a couple of years. They called them the “Manatees” (to go with their Mermaids girl team). They would come out and dance between innings sometimes. Apparently they were all volunteers and got paid nothing.

    • Re #3: I believe you, but I also had checked my source that traced the change to post Parkland, and found it backed up. Apparently they all followed the same fake news source. I’ll add a correction.

      I hate that crap.

  12. For software, I’ve been using WebRoot for basic protection, with occasional use of the free version of Malwarebytes to scan my PC. (It will complain that the trial has expired, but the free scan works just find.)

  13. So we’re do these pop-up ads appear?
    In your browsers? I understood from a previous post that you do use ad blockers?

    One suggestion is to regularly remove all history of the browsers

  14. McAfee is garbage. I’m not sure how much is incompetence and how much is devious business practices, but almost none of their software will uninstall cleanly without a fight. They seem to be aware of this, as they publish a separate uninstall tool that will clean up the mess their own software creates:

    This is, of course, ridiculous, and I steer all of my clients (I’m a small business IT consultant) away from any and all McAfee products.

    BitDefender and MalwareBytes are good choices.

    • McAfee is garbage, yes. And watch out (those who wish to download or update Adobe Flash) because you have to UNcheck two boxes to NOT activate McAfee … as a sneaky little camp follower.

    • Yes, who else will have the courage to stand up to the scourge to our nation that is *checks notes* traumatized teenagers?

      There are plenty of other sites you can go to satiate your need for up-to-the-minute David Hogg coverage. They’re all just dumpsterfires as big as the American Thinker.

  15. I was curious so I looked…

    Oxford Living Dictionary
    Assault Rifle: A lightweight rifle developed from the sub-machine gun, which may be set to fire automatically or semi-automatically.

    Cambridge Dictionary
    Assault Rifle: (the definition does not exist in this dictionary)

    Google Search
    Assault Rifle: a rapid-fire, magazine-fed automatic rifle designed for infantry use.

    Assault Rifle: An assault rifle is a selective-fire rifle that uses an intermediate cartridge and a detachable magazine.

    The Free Dictionary
    Assault Rifle: A rifle that has a detachable magazine and is capable of both automatic and semiautomatic fire, designed for individual use in combat.
    Assault Rifle: 1. a military rifle capable of both automatic and semiautomatic fire, utilizing an intermediate-power cartridge. 2. a nonmilitary weapon modeled on the military assault rifle, usually modified to allow only semiautomatic fire.

    Assault Rifle: any of various intermediate-range, magazine-fed military rifles (such as the AK-47) that can be set for automatic or semiautomatic fire; also : a rifle that resembles a military assault rifle but is designed to allow only semiautomatic fire.

      • Seeing the last two – can’t we just make the argument that assault rifles aren’t bad because they aren’t “Military Assault Rifles”? Seems like a game of whack-a-mole where there will always be the difference of a rifle capable of select fire and a rifle that is not capable.

        In all honesty, this kind of reminds me of the French Cheese situation. How certain types of cheeses can’t be called by their traditional name because they weren’t made in the region in France where they originated, so cheese makers in Wisconsin had to start putting “-style” after the cheese name. e.g. Brie-style; Mozarella-style; etc etc.

        Although, that’s not exactly the same situation since the cheeses are nearly indistinguishable for their intended purpose – whereas the civilian semi-auto is not the same as military select-fire.

        • Ugh. I can’t stand Geography based “style” protectionism. It’s a set of ingredients and preparation process that make the style…not the location…there’s nothing magical about the air. Unless someone can prove that there is something *chemically* special about the water of a specific location or the soil then I’m not buying any arguments that specific locales have cartel-like control over a product’s name.

    • I’m really interested to see how the definition of assault rifle and hate speech has morphed over the years, so…

      Please go to that place where you store all your old college and high school books, pull out the dictionary, get the date of the version and share the definitions here.

      Webster’s Universal College 1997
      Assault rifle: 1. an automatic rifle firing high-powered ammunition that has features of a submachine gun. 2. a nonmilitary weapon modeled on an assault rifle.

      Hate Speech: (was not defined in this dictionary)

      • Two dictionaries on my desk: Merriam-Webster’s NEW Dictionary, 1989 Edition AND Webster’s Dictionary 1987 by P.S.I & Assoctates, Inc. Neither has ‘assault rifle’ or ‘hate speech’ included in their definitions.

  16. I weigh myself every morning to determine where I am compared to my recommended weight given my height as shown on the chart posted on my cardiologist’s wall. Frankly, I don’t see a thing wrong with enforced weight requirements for show ponies. What else are they there for other than to look really good? But of course they should otherwise be treated fairly and with respect as one would any other employee.

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