Morning Ethics Warm-Up, 9/11/18: As They Read The Names Of The Twin Towers Bombing…

Sad morning….

1. Serena ethics updates An indignant Facebook friend appeals to authority by telling me that  Chris Evert and Billie Jean King are defending Williams, and that they know more about professional tennis than I do. That’s a classic appeal to authority, and a very lame one. What a surprise that female tennis superstars have each others’ back! Chris and Billie Jean sure aren’t ethicists. I’d love to interview them. “So you believe that coaching from the stands, even though forbidden by the rules, should be allowed? Do you think that an unknown player who behaved like Serena did would have been treated any differently? Do you think that anyone would be supporting her if she were penalized? Since the record shows that Ramos does not treat men any differently than he treats women on the court, doesn’t Serena owe him an apology? Can you comprehend why calling a ref, whose reputtaion depends on being regarded as fair and unbiased, a “thief” is worse that calling him a “four-letter word”?

I can play the biased expert witness game too: here’s Martina Navratilova’s op ed, which is comparatively ethically astute and tracks with my post in many respects.

The polls about Mark Knight’s “racist and sexist” cartoon has these results:

85% side with Knight. I’d love to hear the explanation of the one voter who said the cartoon was sexist but not racist.

The reason I made the issue an ethics quiz is because I’m really torn in the issue. Yes, cartoons of blacks employing exaggerated features naturally evoke Jim Crow and minstrel show racist images. But political cartoons exaggerate features, often in unflattering ways. That’s the art form. Does this mean that blacks are immune from ever being portrayed cruelly in a political cartoon? I think that’s what the anti-Knight contingent is arguing.

My view is that double standards are destructive and unethical. By the by, were Jimmy Carter’s lips that big?

2. Nah, the Justice Department and FBI were completely apolitical and never out to undermine Donald Trump! Newly released documents obtained by Congress reveal an “apparent systemic culture of media leaking” among high-level FBI and Justice Department officials, Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) wrote in a letter to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein yesterday. Meadows wrote that a review of the new documents raised “grave concerns” that the officials were leaking unverified material related to ongoing investigations to the press in an effort to damage President Trump early in his presidency.

Two newly revealed text messages exchanged in April 2017 between now-fired FBI agent Peter Strzok and former FBI attorney Lisa Page indicate that this is a fair assessment. Strzok texted Page on April 10, 2017, “I had literally just gone to find this phone to tell you I want to talk to you about media leak strategy with DOJ before you go.”

Media leak strategy?

Two days later, Strzok wrote back ,”Well done, Page,” and told her that two negative articles would soon drop about Page’s “namesake,” referring to Carter Page, Trump’s former campaign adviser. The text messages “should lead a reasonable person to question whether there was a sincere desire to investigate wrongdoing or to place derogatory information in the media to justify a continued probe,” wrote Meadows.

The “resistance,” however, is not reasonable, and the news media will ensure that as few Americans know about these texts as possible. Guess which news source broke this story…come on, guess.

3. Good News! The mainstream news media is positively giddy that a recent poll shows the President’s approval rating down 6 points in a week. After all, they reason that this means their relentless strategy to undermine the President’s support and prime the voting booths for a Democratic take-over of Congress is working. My analysis is that this more incompetent (Hanlon’s Razor says that it isn’t deliberate) misreading of data that isn’t reliable to begin with. If 6% can flip in a week, they can flip back again just as fast. Moreover, with this President, “approval” doesn’t mean what it used to. Who approves of boorishness, boasting, trolling and chaotic management? I have never approved of Trump’s character or methods, and never will, but that doesn’t mean that I will support a coup to remove him, which is how too many Democrats to ignore are framing the Fall elections.

I would have been amazed if the combination of the disgraceful McCain funeral Trump-bashing, the anonymous Times op-ed and the latest Woodard gossip fest following on the heels of the Michael Cohen scandal  didn’t affect the polls, especially since the news media reporting ensured that all of this blotted out substantive news.

4. Because there is no right to hold political protests on the job...The Pacific Northwest burger chain Burgerville, responding to employees wearing pins and buttons reading “Abolish ICE” and “No one is illegal,” has now issued an official policy banning such behavior.

“Some of our employees have been wearing buttons expressing their political views at work. While Burgerville had a long-standing verbal policy prohibiting the wearing of personal buttons, we did not have a written policy about this,” the company said in a statement. “The company is adopting one that represents our long-standing commitment to creating a universally welcoming and inclusive environment for our customers and employees alike. We are instituting an updated uniform policy, and buttons and other messaging – both political and personal – will not be allowed. It is a policy that is common in public-facing businesses and is in alignment with our mission to Serve With Love.”

The new rule will go into effect Thursday, September 13.

Gee, I wonder why the NFL can’t make a policy like that…

5. I’m shocked–shocked!—that a sexist and ludicrous beauty pageant that should have been retired decades ago lost TV ratings after it eliminated its swim-suit competition! OK, I predicted this, along with many others, here, in June. Ratings for the new “woke,” as in jaw-droppingly stupid, Atlantic City pageant dropped 23%, which is even more of a plunge than the opening of the NFL season, now with kneeling Dolphins.  Really, who wouldn’t want to hear fascinating current events commentary like this, from the winner of the interview segment, about the NFL?

Kneeling during the national anthem is absolutely a right that you have…

[Psst! No, it isn’t, absolutely or otherwise.]

…to stand up for what you believe in, and to make the right decision that’s right for you.

[Ethics foul! What’s “right for you” isn’t necessarily right, you idiot—Oswald felt shooting President Kennedy was right for him.]

But it’s also not about kneeling; it is absolutely about police brutality.

[Huh? If it’s not about kneeling, why are the players kneeling? What is meant by police brutality? Proven police brutality? Police brutality against all races and creeds? Is any police action against unarmed African Americans brutality? Is law enforcement inherently brutality? Do you have any idea what the hell you are blathering about?]

International Ms 2018 Lisa Van Orden told the Daily news that this was the first time the televised pageant truly showed how smart the contestants were. I don’t know about the first time claim, but it certainly showed that.




62 thoughts on “Morning Ethics Warm-Up, 9/11/18: As They Read The Names Of The Twin Towers Bombing…

  1. In case you haven’t been following the coverage of the various 9/11 memorials and remembrances of this awful day nearly 2 decades gone now, the Mainstream Media heads and journalists want you to know that Trump is an awful person.

    • I knew that already. Is there anyone who doubts that he’s an awful person? What’s next? Going to tell me Ted Cruz is a sociopath and Bill Clinton is an adulterer?

      Also, just as a personal note, I find it highly distracting when he slurs his words.

      • It is literally irrelevant to anything that Trump is an awful person. There is no prohibition on awful people becoming President, and some awful people have been good and even great Presidents. That drum should have been discarded once mature people got over their disappointment that the other awful person running lost, in part because she was so awful.

        I need to make a list of the most awful people who became President. It would certainly include Jefferson, Jackson, A. Johnson, Cleveland, Wilson, FDR, JFK, and Clinton. And Trump, of course.

        • I don’t think any of the 45 were saints, even Lincoln and Washington. The job isn’t one that a saint would or could be effective in. Dunno if Jefferson qualifies as truly awful, rather than just a hypocrite and man of his times. Johnson was too crippled by Congress to do much. Cleveland? The rest, oh yeah, in spades.

            • Do you think that the EM would have putup with it or would they have mutinied? Or, given the size and effectiveness of the Red Army do you belive that we could have kept eastern Europe from the Soviets? Remember they kept about 75% of the Germany Army busy for the majoirity of the war! And I think a very good case can be made that the economic recivery from the Depression was due to the largest Public Works program that the country ever under took, WWII,

          • * His attempted Supreme Court packing in order to get his social agenda passed, some of which had been judged unconstitutional by the SCOTUS.
            * His internment of Japanese Americans in violation of their civil rights.
            * His deception to convince the American people he was able to run for a fourth term
            * Running for a fourth term as if the country could not survive without him.
            * His failure to give thought into who his running mate would be for that fourth term, all the while knowing he would not survive said term.
            * I’ll just go ahead and toss in meeting with his old girlfriend behind Eleanor’s back up to and including the day he died. Your mileage may vary there.

            • I’ll give you the packing of the Supreme Court and the running for more than 2 terms but I’m not sure any of those things make him an awful person. The internment’s camps were an necessary evil and I assume anyone in that position would have made the same, tough decision.

              • How in the world were the internment camps a necessary evil? They were a racist panic move, and if the Bill of Rights won’t protect citizens against such “necessary evils,” then the nation is a cruel sham. I don’t think this horrible breach of trust disqualifies FDR as a great President—he accomplished too much to be denied. But it does mark him as a cold-hearted, racist SOB.

                • Well, I agree it wasn’t ethical and was in constitutional but there was a war going on and I feel that they made the best decision at the time with the information they had.

                  • There wasn’t a war going on against American citizens.

                    Come on. It was straight-up racism. Nothing close to the scope of this was attempted or would have been attempted against citizens of German and Italian backgrounds, although there was some of that too.

                    • Didn’t some of that happen during the 1st World War. I read someplace that speaking German was outlswed and people went to jail for speaking it.

                    • If that were the case they would have had to arrest most of Central and Hill Country Texas. Although it is possible. I do know that the German army was accused of many “atrocities” that were made up out of whole cloth.

                    • Actually, WWI did not hit the radar so much in Texas. The sparse population and tough living conditions tended to focus the living on living.

                      However, the German suppression DID happen during WWII. Oh, there were no laws, but the propaganda about ‘dirty Nazis’ made folks very careful to whom they spoke german. My father in law was growing up in that era, and he won’t speak german to this day, even though he understands it perfectly. His daughters speak it not at all.

                      Since I learned german courtesy of Uncle Sam, I was vastly amused at community gatherings where the older crowd (70 and up) talked openly (and hilariously) about the younger ones… in ‘tex-deutsch.’ (150 years had somewhat eroded the vocabulary) On the way home I would give all the GOOD gossip to my wife.

              • But the list is “awful people who became President”. Not list of “awful Presidents” or “Presidents who advanced awful policy” or “Presidents who enforce awful policy”. But people who were awful *before* they were President. Listing FDR’s presidential flaws is a wasted effort.

                What were his personal sources of “awfulness” prior to his election?

                  • Was his awfulness readily apparent to the people who voted?

                    I mean, it seems to me that the only reason we ask the question is to gauge whether or not the voting population in a given circumstance cares about the personal conduct of the candidate in question.

                    • Of course not. Especially back in the days of press whitewashing of politician sins. Besides, FDR was a classic sociopath–charming, charismatic, handsome, and a natural actor, who would cut your heart out and never blink.

                • Condemning millions of people to death and misery by turning Eastern Europe into an extended charnelhouse (beyond what the Germans & the Russians subjected them to) to liberate them from the Russian hegemony doesn’t bother you?

                  The only convincing argument I’ve heard for immediately flipping the war against Stalin and squishing communism in Europe right then and there was to engage in a massive production of nuclear bombs while Russia yet lacked the technology and Western Civilization hadn’t yet fully grasped the horrors of employing them….then nuked the ever living snot out of as many Russian military formations as possible and industrial centers as possible.

                  Then swept in.

                  But geez.

                  We can aspire to world police and we do as much world policing as we can. But I don’t know if beating the Russians between 1945-1948 was feasible OR less costly than letting the USSR die on the vine. Maybe it would have actually been less costly, given just how many seeds of instability the Soviets sewed around the globe during the Cold War.

                  But, just like the North Korean equation/gamble…how would we have convinced ourselves that a short term *guaranteed* blood bath would have been better than a long term *very much unanticipated* bloodier bath later on?

        • I think Wilson tops the list, a self-righteous, self-moralizing jerk who rolled back integration in the Federal government, overdeployed the military to try to teach the Western Hemisphere “to elect good men,” got us involved in WWI either too soon or too late, and set the stage for WWII and the costly lead-up.

          • Valk: Trump is a bombastic, inarticulate, jerk who is POTUS. I wouldn’t have him over for dinner. The story on 9/11 is not Donald Trump being an awful person. Your side just isn’t quite sharp enough to realize it.

            But if your ideology continues with its Joe Biden, John Kerry, Cory Booker, Kamala Harris, Liz Warren, Ocasio-Cortez, (all loathsome creatures) democratic socialism, you and your sycophantic media will be grinding your teeth at least another 2 years and maybe 4 or more.

            By the way, I love your Cubs new direction. Go, go, White Sox.

            • We shall see – supposedly the GOP is now afraid of losing the Senate, although so far all those articles are coming from Huffpo, the WaPo, etc.

              • Yes, we shall see. I might be Eeyore, but I really do believe the GOP wants to lose its majorities in both the House and the Senate. Why? Because the GOP is so chock-full of wimpy little Fredos, bitter that TRUMP “stepped over” them. So, the GOP swamp wants TRUMP impeached. Out of the way. No better way to do that than by proxy, to let the D party roll in to power with its oh-so-reliable ends-justifies-the-means ways. How else do cowards and failures “win,” except by proxy? Yeah: they’re so smart, those GOP Gomers…not dumb like everybody says…they’re SMART, and they want RESPECT! (0:51-1:11)

  2. Hey, come on man. Jimmy Carter’s a fucking cracker. A hayseed from the south. He’s a white guy and a racist so of course it’s okay to make fun of him. A peanut farmer? Give me a break.

  3. 1. Selena has lost ANY respect for her accomplishments, in my book. Character matters, and she hasn’t got any. Just another celebrity who believes their own press. (I do feel sorry for her kid: what chance do they have with this narcissistic cretin as a mother?)

    The ‘racist’ button no longer means anything to me, after the last decade’s over use for the term. I suspect a LARGE contingent of the voting public feel the same. (This is bad news for the Democrats, if I am right)

    Does that sting? Wanna fix it? Quit treating common Americans as serfs who need enlightened rulers to order their lives. Quit using your celebrity to push social engineering (Just play tennis, Serena! Shut up and act, Hollywood!) Do what you campaigned on, GOPe!

    2. We have been calling Washington DC ‘the Swamp’ for a reason. Those in power are not held to the same laws as the rest of us. Justice plays favorites depending on the wealth, race, class, and politics of the accused. So no shock that the FBI is in on the soft coup intended to overturn an election. We quit trusting the FBI when they made it a law that lying to a Fed agent was a crime, but they can lie all they wish to entrap us.

    Does that sting? Wanna fix it? WE WANT PRISON TERMS FOR THOSE WHO LEAKED, within the law WE have to obey. The resentment in fly over country over this topic is being missed by almost everyone in the media, and it is dramatic and potentially volcanic.

    Never Talk to Police. Ever.

    3. These same polls have been lying to middle America my entire life. They get the same credit as an accusation of racism: none. We have figured out they were/are trying to manipulate the vote with outright made up numbers. Their methods are rigged. They change algorithms to fit their narrative.

    That sting? Wanna Fix it? Sorry, it may be too late for common Americans to trust the media or polling companies. Cognitive Dissonance dictates that any new pollsters would suffer as badly as current ones.

    4. Good for a company who will stand up for unbiased fair play. I would support them if they were here.

    Progressive boycotts and protests against Burgerville in 3 …2 …1 …

    I hope and pray that the NFL dies on the vine. The sheer arrogance almost unlimited wealth has ingrained in these people is staggering. Greek tragedies were written for less egregious stories. Greek gods slew mortals for just a tithe of this level of presumption. The owners are so far out of touch with their paying fans that they have lost their compass.

    The players union is a prime example of why unions, of any sort, are now bad for society. Please tell me how the country that made you a multimillionaire for playing a game discriminates against you. You make more in ONE GAME than many of your viewers make in a year. Just… bite me.

    Does that sting? Wanna fix it? Sorry, I think you have violated a trust that would take a generation to rebuild. With the damning evidence on concussions, I am betting your days were numbered as a billion dollar industry anyway. You just hastened your fall.

    5. #no reason to watch

    Seriously, how many viewers tuned in to listed to airheaded word salad virtue signalling? At least 23% did not, it seems. Beauty pageants are going the way of maypole dances. And they should. They have always been about objectifying women.

    Does that sting?


    • 3)

      I don’t answer pollsters substantive questions.

      Last poll I got was a random text roughly quoted:

      “Avery, I’m with the Beto O’Rourke campaign. Are you voting in Texas this election? If so may we ask if you are voting for Ted Cruz or Beto O’Rourke?”

      “My name isn’t Avery.
      Don’t contact me again.”

      • Here is a conversation I had verbatim with someone using that same tactic last June:

        “Hi, this is Boris volunteering w/ Beto for Texas. Beto O’Rourke is running a grassroots campaign for Senate with a focus on getting corporations, PACS, and special interests out of Congress and putting democracy back into the hands of people. Can we count on your vote?”

        slick: “Beto a Democrat?”

        Boris: “Yes, Beto is a Democrat.”

        Boris: “Beto O’Rourke is a candidate running for Senate in 2018. He represents Texas in the U.S. House of Representatives. You can read more about him at …..(website removed). ”

        Boris: “Have you considered who you’ll vote for?

        slick: “Sorry, the way Democrats have acted the past 18 months I cannot in good conscience vote for anyone associated with that party. Res ipsa loquitur”

        Boris: “Okay, we’ll mark that down now. Have a great day!”

        slick: “You as well”

        I had gotten at least one more text before this one; I never got another text after engaging this way.

  4. 4.

    “Within twenty-four hours of the swell of right wing outrage, Burgerville corporate capitulated to the demands of internet racists,” the [union] statement said. “Burgerville’s motto is ‘serve with love.’ The union asks who do they serve — white supremacists or its anti-racist workers?”

    We probably go to Burgerville 1-2 times a month & have never seen such buttons. That being said we plan to write a thank you note to the upper management for their decision. But I guess that makes me a brown white supremacist in the unions eyes. Yay!

    What these union folks don’t get is the last thing us poor victims of white supremacy and fascism need is to be bombarded by more reminders of how “the man” harms us while ordering a Anasazi black bean burger with extra mustard and no onions. I mean it hurts my feelings. Luckily Burgerville does supply graphics for crayon coloring, which should help calm my special victim status nerves.

    • Erm, Mrs. Q,

      You actually ordered an “Anasazi black bean burger”? Really? Sounds . . . uh . . . delicious. I tried a black bean burger once. Once. I will never, ever make that mistake again.


      • You know once in a while I get all granola lesbian & eat veggie burgers. Burgerville’s is pretty delicious. But if you ever visit one you must have their Walla Walla sweet onion rings. So good!

        • Mrs. Q,

          I will concede the onion rings – all onion rings are worth the resulting heart burn and attendant burps. I will have to take your word on their Walla Walla sweet onion rings until I go to Seattle. I wonder if I could convince my wife to do a road trip for onion rings. She already thinks I have lost my marbles so I don’t have much to lose.

          However, under no circumstances should one ever eat black bean burgers. No. None. And lest you think me an anti-black-beanist, remember that my long-suffering wife is from Veracruz, where black beans are a staple (and the world is a better place for it). I enjoy – nay LOVE – her black beans in all of their manifestations. She respects the black bean and would think smashing them into faux-burger-patties is a heresy.


  5. Jack: re: citing Mark Meadows to support your positions about the FBI….

    Meadows is known to be unreliable able and to play fast and loose with factoids, selectively piecing together those he likes and ignoring those he doesn’t like, to craft his own version of “the truth” as he sees it. He’s equally ineffective as a leader of the Freedom Caucus.

    • I don’t like Meadows either, Phil, and citing his unreliability is legitimate. Good.

      The issue isn’t what he thinks, however, but what the texts say and who they involve. What is an innocent interpretation of “media link strategy”?

      • Yeah…bout that media leak strategy.

        Dear Leftists, you have 2 options:

        1) Segments of federal law enforcement have gone rogue under your watch and are in active rebellion against Constituted authority in pursuit of your worldview

        2) These segments of the FBI were operating in full concert with your political party….

        ….. in active rebellion against Constituted authority….

        • 3) We, the People, know this, and our tolerance has about run out

          4) We have two options: you clean up you shit, or we clean it up for you, and then take the same route… against you. Good for the goose, good for the gander.

          5) Enough people are tired of your progressive bullshit to make you wish you had never started down the road to socialism. Try us.

    • Meadows is known to be unreliable able and to play fast and loose with factoids, selectively piecing together those he likes and ignoring those he doesn’t like, to craft his own version of “the truth” as he sees it.


      You mean like Elizabeth Warren. Or Dick Durbin. Or Corey Booker. Or Chuck Schumer, Patrick Leahy, Dianne Feinstein… Heck, the entire Democratic membership of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Jerrold Nadler, Luis Gutiérrez, Sheila Jackson Lee, Adam Schiff, Maxine Waters…

      I could go on and on, but these are the ones who jump to mind and many are in both the House and Senate leadership. So who should we believe, exactly? All the people above are also unreliable. In fact, at this point, it’s hard to say that everyone in Congress doesn’t do what you suggest at every available opportunity. So who should we believe?

      Having read about the story, Meadows’ conclusions look like at least a reasonable reading of the text messages provided. It is also possible, even likely, that some of the conclusions may be tenuous or even wrong.

      But there is clearly something going on in the FBI and Justice Department that needs investigating. Even if Meadows’ statement is only half-true, it’s still a big deal. The text messages are not debatable, what the authors meant may be – but I’m not inclined to believe protestations of innocence from that direction at the moment.

  6. Regarding #4 – Burgerville is unionized. (what leftist, whops, I mean left coast business isn’t?) The union is protesting and threatening to take Burgerville to court. I’m presuming it’s a lost cause. The good side to that is we can then point to the failed attempt when we have someone arguing that the first amendment rights of the NFL players are being violated.

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