Afternoon Ethics Warm-Up, 8/29/2018: Amazingly, There Are More Important Ethics Developments Than How Long The White House Flag Was At Half-Mast…

Gooooood Morning!

1 It’s not just bias–ignorance also makes you stupid, Part I. On Fox News this morning, they were breathlessly talking about the importance of stopping the publishing of those evil blue-prints of 3-D printable guns. Why, last year, a plastic gun got through TSA security, and it was loaded! And those 3-D printed guns are cheaper than ever! (nobody mentioned that making a 3-D gun that shoots is still incredibly expensive.)

The report was like science fiction, and the woman in a protesting group who said that these guns needed to be stopped NOW! should have had her head wreathed in tin foil. Did Fox discuss the First Amendment issues? No. Did Fox explain that anyone can make their own gun without a 3-D printer? No. Did Fox explain anything relevant to the actual case? Of course not. Did Fox point out that the judge who just issued the injunction admitted that his action abridged speech? No, not that either.

And no, the other news networks weren’t any better.

2. California is ending cash bail. Good. It may backfire, but a statewide experiment somewhere is needed. Bail may be a necessary evil, but the long-time criticism of the system as being biased against the poor has validity, if not a solution. Not every idea Jerry Brown has is bad, just most of them. My guess is that this will be a PR and political disaster, but hey, I don’t live there. The first time a “non-violent” accused criminal kills someone while on his own recognizance, the someone won’t be anyone in my…oops, I forgot, I have a nephew and a niece in California. Well, they’re rabid Democrats and progressives, so they have consented to the risk, I guess.

Amusing reaction: The bail-bondsmen say that they’ll leave the state if this policy stays. Well, of course. Why wouldn’t they leave? What kind of a threat is that?

3. It’s not just bias–ignorance also makes you stupid, Part II A poll says that a majority of the public can’t name a single member of the Supreme Court, despite a large majority believing that the Court’s decisions greatly affect their daily lives. Worse, most of the public thinks the Court is a partisan body, like Congress, because most of the public doesn’t know the difference between the Supreme Court and an ice cream cones, and virtually none of the public has read a single Supreme Court opinion all the way though in their entire lives. No wonder  the Democrat fear-mongering about Judge Kavanaugh is regarded as a smart tactic. Ignorant people are the easiest to con. Conned people warp our democracy.

That’s why it is unethical to be ignorant.

4. First Amendment-protected speech opposing the First Amendment. Is this a great country, or what? In Austin, protesters harassed church members leaving a service,  holding signs saying that their beliefs aren’t welcome  and chanting “Bigots out of Austin Don’t come back!” Here is the statement on the church website that prompted the outrage:


Marriage is a picture of Christ’s relationship with His Bride – the Church. It is defined from the beginning of Scripture as a lifelong covenant between a man and a woman. God designed sexual intimacy for a marriage relationship and does not endorse or condone it in any other context (1 Thess 4:3-5, Gen 2:24, Matt 19:4-5).

This isn’t just sort of like the Westboro Baptist Church protests. It is exactly the same. See if you can get your favorite knee-jerk progressive, or your gay friends, to acknowledge that.

And good luck.

5. Baseball Ethics: Another Hader Gotcha! This time, it is a five-year- old Instagram post by Red Sox slugger J.D. Martinez that some pathetic political correctness troll found. Unlike the old tweets being used to harass Josh Hader and others, Martinez’s post contains no racist or homophobic words or sentiments. It’s even worse–he posted a pro-gun message! It was this meme:

The collective wrath from sportswriters and social justice warriors was immediate. It was fear-mongering!, shouted Deadspin. I’m sorry, but anti-gun zealots who claim pro-gun supporters engage in unethical fear-mongering is too rich to bother discussing. The fact that the Founders included the right to bear arms in its list of core rights is sufficient proof that they regarded the banning of guns by governments to be sinister and dangerous. It’s a fake quote! complained multiple sportswriters. Yup, J.D. is no historian, but the historical validity of the sentiment is beyond rebuttal. “ARRGH! Hitler! I’m offended!” said others. This is more of the Jehovah Paradox, which I just discussed here. Apparently evoking Hitler to slander and libel the President of the United States is acceptable, but evoking Hitler to explicate the tools of totalitarianism and their dangers is taboo. Someone has to write down these rules.

Forced to answer questions about the meme, J.D., to his credit, did not grovel, and didn’t pretend to apologize, saying,

“I didn’t mean any harm by the pic. It was more of a picture showing what my stand was on the Second Amendment. At the time I posted that, the Second Amendment at the time was definitely a hot topic. The point of it wasn’t to offend anybody. As most of you guys know, I’m Cuban-American. Most of my family was run out of Cuba because of a brutal dictator. It’s terrible. It’s one of those things where I’ll never get to meet some of my family members because of it. It’s one of those things where, I was really touched at the time. I saw it and I posted it. I had no intent to offend anyone, but it was mostly just to state a point — a political point at the time that I believe in. I posted it and that’s one thing that, I love my country. I love this country. I stand by the Constitution and the Second Amendment. It’s something that I take pride in and it’s something that I’ll back up. “I’m here to play baseball guys. I’m not a politician. I’m not here to talk about politics. I’m here to help us win. This was something that happened six years ago. In this day and age, it’s something where you really have to be really careful what you talk about. That’s why I don’t talk about politics. I don’t want this distraction.”

Good for him. Now what do you bet that some sportswriters refuse to vote for him as the MVP because he posted that meme years ago?

26 thoughts on “Afternoon Ethics Warm-Up, 8/29/2018: Amazingly, There Are More Important Ethics Developments Than How Long The White House Flag Was At Half-Mast…

  1. Re: J.D. Martinez.

    His statement was about 203 words longer than it needed to be. This is how is response should have read:

    “Oh, you’re offended? That’s nice. Did you understand it? If not, go and do your research. If so, then go and do your research. I have a game tonight and I need to get busy.”


  2. This isn’t just sort of like the Westboro Baptist Church protests. It is exactly the same. See if you can get your favorite knee-jerk progressive, or your gay friends, to acknowledge that.

    Where did you get the idea that there was harassment? I watched the video and this was a peaceful protests.

    Of course, i wonder why they chose to protest there. Did they lose the directions to St. Mary’s Cathedral?

  3. #2. I want to play. I did see the headline the other day, and I did not look it up… lets see how I can do from the top of my head (I might get some spellings wrong):

    Sotamyor (I know I butchered that one)
    Kennedy — just left

    I am missing one, but I am sure it will come to me the second I hit Post.

  4. Now what do you bet that some sportswriters refuse to vote for him as the MVP because he posted that meme years ago?

    Well, that might be the excuse, but the nod should go to Mookie Betts anyway.

  5. I think Mr. Martinez said it just about right. He owned his opinion, gave reason with a parallel to another dictator. And most importantly did not back down. He also attempted to return the topic to more important and timely concerns. (I wonder if he or others who are aware the mob will come for them, have prepared) We need more exemplars like him.

  6. A 3d printed gun with a round in it got through security? How? Source? Wouldn’t a live round show up on a scan due to having some metal in it?

  7. 3. I named five.
    4. I don’t know any gays in my life who would find this acceptable however the LGBT lobby is another entity and doesn’t represent me or the people I know.
    5. Martinez is a hero for his sentiments and I hope he continues to stand his ground. The truth his critics don’t want to face is that when disarmament occurs, bad things happen to those not in power. We know this from disarming blacks and Indigenous folks in this country and yes Jews in Europe. Martinez also made a strikingly sad point:

    In this day and age, it’s something where you really have to be really careful what you talk about.

    Does it have to be this way?

  8. 1. According to Forbes Nov 9, 2017 “TSA Misses 70% Of Fake Weapons But That’s An Improvement.” There was also, again reported by Fox, a woman who went through security and onto the plane with a loaded revolver in her purse. She commented, “It was really scary how easy it was to get a gun past TSA.”

    2. “Well, they’re rapid Democrats and progressives, . . .” Those fast Democrats and progressives are just as bad as the fanatical ones I guess.

    5. “That’s why I don’t talk about politics.” The left has succeeded in preventing another “wrong thinker” from speaking out in the future.

  9. #3 – I got seven, I couldn’t remember Bryers. I’ll have to ask, what has he done that is memorable?

    I don’t think i can say I’ve ever read an entire Supreme Court decision in its entirety. It’s hard not to gloss over some of the vacuous dissenting opinions in decisions.

  10. Regarding the bail issue I was under the impression that every person charged is entititled to reasonable bail. So, if many are charged with various felonies such as having an illegal firearm, rape or murder will their risk assesment keep them locked up? What happens when a disproportionate number of X group are being held without bail? Will the progressives see this as a racist policy of Jerry Brown? This issue was couched in terms of leveling the field with respect to minorities being unfairly held because of their general lack of resources. Conservatives view it as soft on crime and ridicule the policy but I would wager the number of people charged with serious felonies will swell the number of minorities incarcerated when they are not even given the opportunity for bail because they were deemed too risky.

    • I see this a risk the progressives are willing to take.

      Given an opportunity for a progressive state to get eaten by progressives, I choose to stand aside and let them.

      Stocking up on popcorn. Where is Lucky?

      • Lucky is plotting a path to enabling martial law to be declared throughout California. If for nothing else, to give our military some practice and skill-sharpening at…not nation-building, but nation-disintegration interventions.

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