Morning Ethics Warm-Up, 10/30/18: Scary Ethics Stories!

Good Morning!

(And HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my brilliant, talented, always challenging, Trump-hating lawyer little sister, Edith Sophia Marshall!)

1 Quiz results: about 90% of responders found the drag Python sketch about a ladies club re-enactment of Pearl Harbor funny. Whew. As for the one voter who said that it was unfunny because it made light of human tragedy and violence, I’m glad you never attended any of the stage comedies I directed.

2. Ending birthright citizenship for illegal immigrant offspring? President Trump told Axios in an interview that he was preparing to issue an executive order to end birthright citizenship for children of immigrants here illegally. “It was always told to me that you needed a constitutional amendment. Guess what? You don’t…You can definitely do it with an Act of Congress. But now they’re saying I can do it just with an executive order.”

I have found no authorities who agree with Trump’s lawyers, if indeed they are telling him that. If they are, I don’t blame him for listening to them: if there was ever a President who was legally clueless, it’s this one. Some conservatives are livid about the suggestion (obviously all illegal  immigration-boosting liberals are as well), noting that this proposal is exactly as unconstitutional as Obama’s immigration-related EOs. I tend to agree with them. Ethically, the birthright rule is an incentive to break the law and anachronistic, since it originated when there were no legal restrictions on immigration nor reasons to have any. if the question gets to the Supreme Court, however, it will pose an integrity test for the conservative justices. Their philosophy is that you can’t just re-write or ignore the Constitution when it gets in the way of desirable policy, and this is a perfect example.

It is also very possible—likely?— that the President was using this trial balloon to energize the anti-illegal immigration base as the “caravan” continued its march.

3. Medical and research fraud. The scary question is whether this is the tip of a proverbial iceberg, and I suspect it is. Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, his former employers,have accused Dr. Piero Anversa and his laboratory of extensive scientific fraud and malpractice. More than 30 research studies produced over more than a decade contain falsified or fabricated data and must be retracted, they say. Last year the hospital paid a $10 million settlement to the federal government after the Department of Justice alleged that Dr. Anversa and two members of his team were responsible for fraudulently obtaining research funding from the National Institutes of Health.

For his part, Dr. Anversa, 80, swears that his research proving that new heart cells could be grown to replace those lost in heart attacks and heart failure is valid and accurate,  and that he was betrayed by a “rogue colleague” who altered data in dozens of papers. Ah, yes, the ol’ “rogue colleague” defense!

But I’m sure—aren’t you?— that all the research data showing that we have just 12 years to take drastic action reverse climate change or the Earth is doomed is unbiased, accurate and reliable.

4. You want to be scared? Read this. New York Magazine asked 12 “young people” why they probably weren’t going to vote next month. The answers were generally articulate, thoughtful, and revealed minds crippled by rationalizations, false assumptions, peer pressure, poor education and indoctrination. Some samples:

  • Samantha, 22, is now disillusioned about democracy because Hillary Clinton lost. “I was so proud to be in this country at this moment, so proud to be voting for Hillary Clinton,” she says.

Anyone who was “proud” to be voting for a cynical, ruthless, dishonest pol like Hillary is the problem with the system, and rejecting the system because your candidate loses shows a less than informed understanding of democracy.

  • Reece, 23, says that she isn’t voting because she can’t be sure that she is fully informed on all of the issues or that she won’t realize later that her views are wrong.

Using that standard, nobody should vote.

  • Tim, 27, says that the registration process and voting itself is just too much of a bother:

“I have ADHD, and it makes it hard for me to do certain tasks where the payoff is far off in the future or abstract. I don’t find it intrinsically motivational. The amount of work logically isn’t that much: Fill out a form, mail it, go to a specific place on a specific day. But those kind of tasks can be hard for me to do if I’m not enthusiastic about it.”

  • Megyn, 29, also feels that voting is just too much of a hassle because she “moves around a lot.”

An unstated theme of the stories is that the non-voters just don’t view participating in their own governance as especially important.

  • Drew, 21, feels that the parties don’t do enough for people like her, and care too much about old people—you know, the ones who mostly pay for the government and what it does:

“We deserve politicians that are willing to do stuff for our future instead of catering to people who will not be here for our future”

  • Aaron, 25:

“…I look at it this way: That report just came out the other day about global warming, talking about how we have 12 years, until 2030, for this radical change unlike the world has ever seen. And The Hill newspaper just put out that article about how the DNC does not plan on making climate change a big part of their platform, even still. I just do not understand why I would vote for a party that doesn’t care about me in any way. They can say, “Sure, we’ll lower student interest rates.” Well, I don’t give a shit about student interest rates if I’m not going to live past 13 more years on this planet….There are people that are exciting. Bernie was exciting, Cynthia [Nixon] was exciting, and Alexandria [Ocasio-Cortez] is exciting. So would I vote in the future? I don’t know. If somebody came along that was exciting like that? Yeah. Probably.”

Ugh. If he really believes that he’ll be dead in 13 years because of climate change and the the blathering of socialists like Ocasio-Cortez is “exciting.”  Thanks for not voting, kid.

5. This is “Big Bang Theory’s final season anyway, but I won’t be watching it again. Chuck Lorre, who has long used “vanity cards” in the credits of his mostly vulgar sitcoms (BBT is easily the best of them) to issue  juvenile political rants, featured this one in the credits of a recent episode:

This is unethical. The partisan political ad dressed up as a joke has nothing to do with the show, and Lorre is abusing the forum and his position to issue personal political attacks that are as much hate as humor. CBS should have stopped this the first time he tried it.

64 thoughts on “Morning Ethics Warm-Up, 10/30/18: Scary Ethics Stories!

  1. Jack: I always thought/felt a potential voter who felt uninformed or grossly under informed should not vote in ignorance or near ignorance. (When I don’t know the candidates or enough about them, I don’t vote in those races.) This seems to be an ethical and self aware choice worth considering. The other responses are, well, garbage and laziness rolled into nonsensical excuses.

      • I guess the other side of it is young-uns voting based on bias or indoctrination, of which there is, no doubt, plenty. Damned if you do and if you don’t.

    • Could be my error, but I always thought the responsibility for being an informed voter was on me. If I need more info than is in the free-in-my-mailbox voter information booklet and that I don’t already have via my usual mostly reliable sources, and it is in any way pertinent to me, I will go looking for more detail. If, however, the reading of that issue or candidate info was impossibly confusing or over my head (it happens!) – I won’t make a mark for that particular item. It never occurred to me that I had to be spoon fed or take it in subliminally using learn-while-you-sleep tapes.

      • The way I see it, is we determine our own level of informed.

        If there are particular policy directions I care about, then those are the ones I must be informed on. If there are policy directions in the national conversation, the outcomes of which I do not care about, I don’t need to be informed about them.

        To be an uninformed voter, one would need to have policies they care about enough to vote on and simultaneously not inform themselves about. I think the voting population does a great job self-sorting.

  2. I’m not certain he’s wrong on birthright citizenship. I saw the issue argued the other way here and then looked into it a little myself. The primary supreme court precedent arguably only covers permanent legal residents. If nothing else, the arguments of John Eastman make it plausible his lawyers really are telling him it’s doable.

    I think it’s mostly just attention seeking on his part, with no intention of actually trying to change it.

    • The Amendment in question was poorly worded and didn’t capture the original intent of the Amendment. So as it sits, as long as we believe in Originalism (and we must otherwise the Constitution has NO meaning), then we have to fix the Amendment.

      And that can only come via another Amendment.

    • Also, the primary precedent was a 5-4 opinion. The majority’s opinion was that although by statute before passage of the amendment was that children born here of foreign citizens were not citizens, the amendment had changed that rule. (Admittedly, they gave good reasons for thinking so, which I won’t try to describe here.) The majority said there was no evidence of an intention to do that in the debates about the amendment, that in the case of Native Americans the debates clearly showed that the amendment was not intended to make them citizens even though they were born here and that Congress had never repealed the statute. Those are not insubstantial arguments. The majority and minority disagreed on the final decision, but I think they both would have agreed that the other side made good points.

      Besides that, here are the exact words of the majority’s holding:

      “A child born in the United States, of parents of Chinese descent, who, at the time of his birth, are subjects of the Emperor of China, but have a permanent domicil and residence in the United States, and are there carrying on business, and are not employed in any diplomatic or official capacity under the Emperor of China, becomes at the time of his birth a citizen of the United States.”

      The court’s holding specifically applies only to children whose parents are permanently domiciled in the United States. Also, it applies only if the parents are “carrying on business,’ and there is certainly at least a reasonable implication that the court meant “carrying on LAWFUL business.” These would be reasonable grounds for a Supreme Court justice today to distinguish the old case and to vote against universal birthright citizenship in circumstances the parents are here illegally (because as illegal aliens, all of their business here is unlawful) or are here only temporarily for the purpose of gaining citizenship for their child. I don’t think a justice who voted that way would be rewriting the Constitution. He could conclude that the old case was wrongly decided for the reasons stated in the minority opinion, or he could conclude that even the majority would have voted the opposite way if they had been confronted with the facts of illegal immigration and birthright tourism.

      • Garbled the sentence: “The majority said there was no evidence of an intention to do that in the debates” should have read, “The minority said…”

  3. 4. These kids seem to find a large “ick” factor in being a citizen. Kind of the way I feel about paying taxes, but it’s not optional.

    • I think these kids matriculated in an education system populated by teachers who generally adhere to the “America is evil” narrative (either as full blown believers or at least as sympathetic with the worldview). Those kids, no doubt, were generally steered towards a skepticism of our republican system.

      Eventually those attitudes will manifest. Looks like they have.

    • And kind of the way I feel about most idiotic opinions that are backed up by “but they were being honest,” either. In fact, that excuse, or “it was an honest mistake” (as opposed to a “dishonest” one?) should be added to ethics Rationalization #19.

  4. 2) “It is also very possible—likely?— that the President was using this trial balloon to energize the anti-illegal immigration base as the “caravan” continued its march.”

    It’s increasingly apparent that the “bully pulpit” has really morphed from the President laying out policy agendas. I don’t think “Trial Balloon” is a good term for it. Though I understand it’s an ok term for what is done here.

    Obama did this all the time, use an executive order that either did nothing, such as his “anti-gun” EOs, or he’d create or threaten to create a clearly unconstitutional EOs, mostly to drive national conversations.

    I think Trump knows perfectly well he’s not going to create this EO. This is to drive a conversation and simultaneously boost mid-term enthusiasm.

    I don’t like the practice one bit. But I’ve also never liked the “Bully Pulpit” or even “legislative agendas” coming from anyone sitting in an Executive’s seat.

  5. 5) Big Bang Theory stopped being funny at the start of season 3 or season 4…whichever season where they flat out stopped trying to have a wide base of jokes and every single punch line or plot line was sexual innuendo, genitalia jokes or seeing how many times they could say the word “coitus”.


    They may have eventually pulled back from that, but I never gave them another viewing.

    Seasons 1 and 2 (and maybe 3 depending on the chronology that I vaguely remember) are still hilarious though.

    • This shows my level of intellect, I’m sure, but I didn’t start watching them until I binged 7 seasons. They’re all the same, nothing’s changed in 12 years, but I still love it. It’s really easy watching after a long day of hate-watching CW’s DC Superhero shows and How to get away with Murder.

        • I think it’s more than that. Hate-watching is watching a show you may have liked at one point, but that has fallen so far that you watch it now just to mock it. Those CW comic book shows are a perfect target for such, starting as they did with promise (if you’re a DC comics fan, anyway), and rapidly devolving into ludicrous self-parody. Or, in the case of Supergirl, starting off from a position of ludicrous self-parody…

        • Pretty much what you said, and less of what Jeff said… at least in my circumstance. It builds up in my queue and I have to watch it to make room on my DVR. I successfully quit a show once… The Walking Dead well before everyone else realized that they were just Hate-Watching it. I think it’s fair to say that anyone watching The Walking Dead is Hate-Watching it based on the sunk cost theory.

  6. RE #2
    I suppose if Constitutional issues were black and white no Supreme Court would be needed.
    If I understand the legal reasoning behind Trumps claim it hinges on the the wording of the 14th amendment which includes “. . . and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States.

    If the writers wanted to make it all persons born or naturalized are citizens why did they need to include the restrictice clause regarding subject to the jurisdiction thereof?

    Remember I am not a legal scholar but I do understand that such restrictive clauses add a compulsory condition to the main clause. If all persons born within the legal boundaries of the United States are citizens the added clause is unnecessary.

    It may not be wholly unconstitutional and simply because we always assumed such does not mean that the current justices would be acting in a partisan manner if they rule in his favor.

    • “All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside.”

      = (for this context)

      “All persons born in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction of the United States are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside.”

      What is a person who is NOT subject to the jurisdiction of the United States?

      If that clarification can be interpreted to included a larger set of people than individuals *commissioned by Foreign governments to conduct official actions* in the United States, then you may have an argument. But I’m not sure how illegal aliens would fall under the definition of “not being subject to the jurisdiction of the US”.

      • Still trying to form my thoughts on this – bear with me.

        Let us imagine you throw a party, on your property. Admittance by invitation only; however, your guests can invite their friends, and those friends can invite other friends, and you agree that they are welcome. I think we can agree that your guests and their guests, and the guest’s guests, everyone that comes into your home following the rules you set out, have made themselves subject to your jurisdiction (as far as party attendance is concerned, at least).

        Now, let us further imagine that I crash your party. Why not? I imagine you’re a good host, and the finger food and free beer is quite alluring. Maybe I wasn’t invited, but introducing myself and wrangling an invitation is hard work! On the other hand, all I have to do is mingle, and duck into another room every time you come in, because if you saw me, well, you’d probably kick me out since I’m not invited. Can we agree that, while I am present and enjoying the benefits, maybe even contributing if I brought a six-pack with me, I am not making myself subject to your jurisdiction, even though I am a party attendee by definition?

        Now, imagine that I invite my own guest to your party. You catch them coming out of the hallway bathroom ten minutes later. “Hey,” you exclaim, “I didn’t invite you!” You proceed to attempt to kick them out, at which point they protest that they were invited by another partygoer! And according to your rules, they are now a welcomed guest and you can’t kick them out! You inform them, patiently, that that’s not how it works – only partygoers who were invited, and by that merit, subject to your jurisdiction, can invite their own guests. Their response is along the lines of “Well, my friend is in your house, eating your food, and even contributed beer! How can you say he’s not a guest, and therefore subject to your jurisdiction?”

        Now, it’s not a perfect analogy, but that’s basically where I’m at – you can’t flaunt the rules by your very presence in this country, and simultaneously claim that you’re subject to the jurisdiction thereof. Remember, our government exists and works (theoretically) by the consent of those governed by it. If you haven’t consented through the proper channels to be one of those governed – more than that, actively refused to follow that process as your very lifestyle – how can you claim to be subject to that jurisdiction, and further entitled to the benefits that brings?

        There’s a lot of grey here, but I’m not sure how much of that is ethical dilemma and how much is my inability to puzzle through it. That’s why I’m at Ethics Alarms.

        • That’s an interesting analogy.

          I don’t think we disagree with jurisdiction. And that’s what I think the Amendment writers meant by jurisdiction. If you are sent officially by another government, you are not under the US jurisdiction and therefore children born to you while in the US on that business are not citizens.

          People who come to this country of their own accord – legally or illegally – by that very act are submitting themselves to our jurisdiction. That being said, laws we craft that apply to them, apply to them – including the 14th Amendment.

          And the “anchor baby” loophole has been revealed over time, thus prompting the need to Amend the Amendment.

          • You and I are of like minds on this. Another example that would have been relevant at the time would have been in disputed lands where the U.S. might have said some portion was their territory but people of a different nation were claiming otherwise and that they were not under the jurisdiction of the U.S. (just a thought.) Or otherwise an occupying force under the banner of another nation.

            • I think your expansion is right. As a nation that hadn’t yet settled it’s mind to stop expanding (though it essentially had), there had to be a mechanism to handle new territories…though I imagine each instance, though governed by a general rule such as the 14th Amendment, would need a specific legislative act to declare persons in gained territories as citizens.

      • Michael, if it can be shown that other nations facilitate mass migrations to the US is that acting in an official capacity?

        If the local PD enlists a non governmental official to obtain evidence that would be inadmissable if obtained by govt then such evidence is deemed inadmissable.

        • I would think a foreign government commissioning actors to enter the nation in violation of its laws can only be considered as an act of war… either low level subterfuge and sabotage or as an open act of aggression.

          Our nation could respond however it wants though.

      • There are two widely divergent readings of “subject to its jurisdiction” propounded by the different sides in the original Supreme Court case. The majority’s view was that all people in the United States are “subject to its jurisdiction” except envoys from foreign governments (because of their diplomatic immunity from our jurisdiction) and members of invading armies (because they have overcome our jurisdiction though military force). The minority’s was that “subject to our jurisdiction” means “not subject to any foreign power.”

        Neither reading is unreasonable on its face. The majority spent much of its opinion showing that in the common law, those words had the first meaning. The minority spent a great deal of its opinion arguing that, regardless of what the words originally meant in the common law, that’s not what the Congress who wrote the amendment intended them to mean.

        • I don’t know, if your summary of the minority opinion is thorough, the implications would be that even mere tourists from foreign lands would not be subject to our jurisdiction…but we know they will be arrested if they commit crimes.

  7. Drew, 21, feels that the parties don’t do enough for people like her, and care too much about old people.

    I understand your snarky response to this, but she is right. Neither party is willing to accept or act on the large future budget deficits and the unsustainable path of growth rates on non-discretionary spending. Instead politicians refuse to acknowledge that either resource utilization efficiency has to dramatically increase or befits have to be cut significantly for my generation (i am 38 currently), increased review, even if you could get it, literally can not cover the projected spending. Dems pander about student loans and other bull shit handouts to already wealthy, in human capital terms, young people and Republicans pay lip service to fiscal responsibility(exhibt 1 was Republican running away from Ryan plan to block grant medicare back to the states), but neither is willing to step up and solve my generations looming government funding crisis.

    However, shame on Drew for not voting her interests, although she would first have to get educated on them, no easy task given the current media/educational environment. The reason my generation will get screwed is that we don’t as a generation understand the problems and are not willing to voice those concerns via the election ballot. Old people vote, and they vote on specific issues, young people don’t.

    • I think the problem even in this argument is that it’s more than just politicians on the ballot. I have bond & tax issues on my ballot. If Drew has a bond issue to fund a school and she’s not voting no on that issue at a minimum, what’s the point of her objection? I get the debt thing, I really do. My school district is asking us for permission to issue bonds (debt) to raise $300M now so they can rebuild 3 schools a decade. It raises our property taxes $30M a year for 20 years ($600M).

      Why not just ask us for $30M a year? Why put this on a credit card to pay back with interest? The could have double the money in a reasonable amount of time if they didn’t issue bonded debt.

  8. Re No. 4:

    With attitudes and beliefs like those, I say to each and everyone of them: “Thank you for your ambivalence and nihilism. Your lack of interest in voting has actually served the country well because your inattention to your own democratic institutions has saved the nation from your foolish decisions. Here’s a Blow Pop. Enjoy.”


  9. “Ethically, the birthright rule is an incentive to break the law and anachronistic, since it originated when there were no legal restrictions on immigration nor reasons to have any.”

    Hmmm. By definition, the entire Constitution is anachronistic, so it is a bit dangerous — not to mention inconsistent — to pick and choose provisions. At the least the 14th Amendment is more modern than the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

    “But I’m sure—aren’t you?— that all the research data showing that we have just 12 years to take drastic action reverse climate change or the Earth is doomed is unbiased, accurate and reliable.”

    Using one unethical scientist as justification for questioning the overwhelming evidence on climate change makes as much sense as questioning whether all Christians are anti-Semites because a Pittsburgh synagogue was attacked.

    • Using one unethical scientist as justification for questioning the overwhelming evidence falsified data and predetermined science on climate change makes as much sense as questioning whether all Christians are anti-Semites because a Pittsburgh synagogue was attacked.”

      Fixed it for ya.

    • No, that’s not right. We are being told that we must trust a scientific establishment that has shown again and again that it is not trustworthy. Add that to the fact that projections are untrustworthy, projections involving chaotic systems are intrinsically untrustworthy, and that no climate change projection yet has proven sufficiently accurate, and you have excellent reasons to be dubious.

      • There is no one “scientific establishment.” I don’t even know what you’re talking about. There are universities, private corporations, private individuals, and government researchers all over the world. They each do their own research.

        • OK, I’ll retract that phrase. How about “scientists”? You know, like those we are told have “consensus” on climate change, or the group that signs petitions about what “scientists” believe in fields that have nothing to do with science? How’s that? The only point is that we regard them like they regard themselves, as having special powers of perception while being immune from non-ethical influences. They cheat and get careless like everyone else, but the consequences when they cheat are worse.

            • An inconvenient truth

              Miami Herald – July 5, 1989 – 2E SCIENCE

              A senior U.N. environmental official says entire nations could be wiped off the face of the Earth by rising sea levels if the global warming trend is not reversed by the year 2000. Coastal flooding and crop failures would create an exodus of “eco-refugees,” threatening political chaos, said Noel Brown, director of the New York office of the United Nations U.N. Environment Program, or UNEP. He said governments have a 10-year window of opportunity to solve the…

              No wonder Chris Morton called climate change Lysenkoism!

              • Climate cultists like Spartan never address this sort of thing.

                If it is science, it does not need the spin, or falsified data, or dire predictions. If they know what they are talking about, they knew this was crap, and should not have said it.

                If they really thought this was true, then they do NOT know what they are talking about, and don’t deserve a seat at the table in the first place.

                So either incompetent or malicious: which is it?

                Either way they deserve no credibility.

    • That may have been true at the time the 14th Amendment was adopted, but it was not when the Supreme Court made its decision on the birthright rule.

      By law — which the Supreme Court acknowledged — this person’s parents, even though legally residing in the U.S. and legally working here — were forbidden to become U.S. citizens. The Supreme Court, in a 6-2 decision, affirmed the common law practice that he was a U.S. citizen by virtue of being born here.

      From my readings, apparently this was the customary practice before the Civil War, except that it did not apply to blacks, which was corrected by the 14th Amendment. The ‘legal jurisdiction’ clause was intended to refer to diplomats who had……..diplomatic immunity from the laws of the United States.

  10. ”all the research data showing that we have just 12 years to take drastic action reverse climate change or the Earth is doomed is unbiased, accurate and reliable.”

    So now it’s 12 years? Sheesh, how many times are they going to move the goal posts?

    How much time do we have? Pick ’em!

    HOURS: Flashback March 2009: ‘We have hours’ to prevent climate disaster — Declares Elizabeth May of Canadian Green Party

    DAYS: Flashback Oct. 2009: UK’s Gordon Brown warns of global warming ‘catastrophe’; Only ’50 days to save world’

    MONTHS: Prince Charles claimed a 96-month tipping point in July 2009

    YEARS: 2009: NASA’s James Hansen Declared Obama Only First Term to Save The Planet! — ‘On Jan. 17, 2009 Hansen declared Obama only ‘has four years to save Earth’ or Flashback Oct .2009: WWF: ‘Five years to save world’

    DECADES: 1982: UN official Mostafa Tolba, executive director of the UN Environment Program (UNEP), warned on May 11, 1982, the ‘world faces an ecological disaster as final as nuclear war within a couple of decades unless governments act now.’

    MILLENIA: Flashback June 2010: 1000 years delay: Green Guru James Lovelock: Climate change may not happen as fast as we thought, and we may have 1,000 years to sort it out’

    Global Warming Tipping Points are like the time/temperature on neon Bank signs; I’d allow more attention if they were all saying the same thing.

  11. Many, many (MANY) thanks for the Vincent Price clip.

    I had the great pleasure of knowing him twice — once when I worked at a theater in New York where he was doing his one-man Oscar Wilde show, Diversions and Delights, and then, about a decade later, when I was in a play with him.

    Price was everything you would expect: warm, funny, accessible, smart, charming. A true gentleman. He is missed; especially at Halloween.

    • Thanks for that reminder, Bob. My only encounter with Vincent Price was following that same one-man show you mention – in Denver, in a year I can’t recall – when I finally found the backstage exit just as he came striding by on his way out to catch a plane, not missing a step to answer the one question I blurted out like a high school kid reporting for a school paper, something like “What d’you think Wilde would say about Anita Bryant?” (the Orange Juice Homophobe, for those of you too young or too straight to remember). The answer came in a flash in that quietly rasping voice that had carried so easily to the back of the second balcony: “A woman of no importance,” he said, firmly, and was gone. At that moment, he was still speaking as though he, Oscar Wilde, was casually touting the title of his new play following its premiere performance in 1893 and knew exactly what he was talking about. Which, of course he, Vincent Price did. And I believed both of them.

  12. Here is some research that is possibly fraudulent, but progressive so it’s OK. A study that claimed that hydraulic fracturing activity resulted in levels of PAH’s exceeding EPA limits was published. This accused the companies of violating EPA limits, so the companies redid the study and found nothing. The researchers retracted the article claiming they “used improper units of the ideal gas constant”. However, their results were not consistent with that claim (they should have been off by a factor of 101 if true). Instead, it turns out the researchers were part of anti-fracking groups and recruited volunteers from anti-fracking groups to do the work.

    Environ. Sci. Technol. 2015, 49 (8), 5203−5210. DOI: 10.1021/es506095e

  13. Honestly, The Big Bang Theory has nothing whatsoever to do with the vanity cards. Chuck Lorre attaches those to every show he produces and probably ever produced, going all the way back to Two and a Half Men and Dharma and Greg (and maybe earlier, but D&G is where *I* first saw it).

    Oh, and this is FAR FAR FAR from the first time he’s made an overtly political advocacy statement in them. During the 2016 election run-up, it was more political than not. At least he does (most of the time) try to tie it up with a joke.

    I just generally apply the Julie Principle and move on.


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