1. So you think baseball ethics controversies end with the season? Not at Ethics Alarms!
- Did you know that baseball has its own Colin Kaepernick, sort of? Free-agent catcher Bruce Maxwell can’t find a team, though he was once considered the front-runner to be the Oakland A’s starting catcher. In 2017 Maxwell, who is white, became the first and only major leaguer to kneel during the National Anthem. The buzz coming out of baseball’s winter meetings was that taking a knee was enough to make him persona non-grata among baseball owners.
Of course, the fact that Maxwellwas arrested on a gun charge in 2017 and later pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct, and also played poorly last season in the minor leagues doesn’t help. “This is not a Colin Kaepernick situation,” said an anonymous source at the meetings. “This is if Colin Kaepernick had knelt for the anthem and also been arrested for a gun crime.”
Except that things like gun crimes are not that big a deal in the NFL…
- In a debate with baseball commentator Christopher “Mad Dog” Russo, Hall of Fame manager Tony LaRussa inadvertently gave a lesson in why conflicts of interests are a problem while simultaneously showing that he has no idea what a conflict is. Russo correctly protested that Harold Baines, recently a shock election to the Baseball Hall of Fame by a 16 member committee that included close associates of Baines, was unqualified, and noted that several members of the committee, includiing Baines’ long-time manager LaRussa, had a conflict of interest. LaRussa’s rebuttal: “Do you think the people who know him better than the average expert, fan or even other baseball executives, have actually been teammates with him … when they speak with more knowledge about the type of player he was, I think that speaks more to his credit, not less.”
No, Tony. Those who knew and admired him are biased, and Baines should have been elected or not elected by a panel that knew him no better or less than it knew the other candidates. That Baines’ pals have inside knowledge that he, let’s say, likes puppies, always held the door open for the manager’s mother, once bailed a team mate out of jail and often played despite a sore toe has nothing to do with his qualifications for the Hall. And LaRussa has a law degree! Maybe this explains his ultimate career choice.
2. Why is this kind of bigotry still flourishing? Christian recording artist turned crossover pop star Lauren Daigle is now being harshly criticized for not condemning homosexuals, and her career is threatened as a result. A Christian radio host asked the singer to defend her appearance on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show”—Ellen is gay, you know, so apparently she should be shunned and stoned— and this statement by Daigle provoked righteous outrage:
“I think the second we start drawing lines around which people are able to be approached and which aren’t, we’ve already completely missed the heart of God. … I don’t have all the answers in life, and I’m definitely not gonna act like I do, but the one thing that I know for sure is I can’t choose who I’m supposed to be kind to and who I’m supposed to show love to and who I’m not, because that’s the mission right?”
The Atlantic reports:
When the clip of her interview was posted online, it drew condemnation from conservative Christians. A writer at The Christian Post said Daigle had been tested by God and “failed,” choosing instead to “fraternize” with the devil by not condemning homosexuality. A Townhall columnist argued that Daigle had given into “the temptations that come with fame and influence” and called on Christians to pray for her to change course. Conservative Christian author John Burton claimed Daigle’s ambiguity compromised biblical truth and now “millions are at risk of deception.” Many on Twitter quickly declared that she can no longer be considered a Christian.
The Bible was wrong about homosexuality, but that’s forgivable, since thousands of years ago even the smartest, most ethical and thoughtful people were wrong about a lot of things. Regarding peaceful, friendly, law-abiding, caring, productive members of society as some kind of blight because of who they choose to love is no longer excusable; it’s cruel and ignorant. This kind of hate will accomplish nothing in the long-run but speeding the demise of religion in society, a result that, on balance, will do far more harm than good.
3. On the other hand,this bigotry makes no sense either. A mother who lives close to me writes in part,
Last Tuesday, unbeknownst to me, my son stuffed his beloved Bible into his bookbag. He was planning on using his class’s show-and-tell time to share with his classmates what he was reading…my son is a second-grader in the Arlington County, Va., public school system. “
…What happened?” I queried after finding out about his missionary zeal. “The teacher stopped me from speaking,” my son sadly said, “and went on to the next person. I didn’t get to tell them about Daniel.”
You see, my son had been reading the book of Daniel and wanted to tell his friends about it….The Bible and those who take God’s Word seriously are not allowed a platform in leftist America. My son learned that the hard way last Tuesday. His disappointment is only eclipsed by his confusion as to why his teacher wouldn’t let him finish.
There is nothing in the Constitution that forbids a student from talking about the Bible in school. That is not state establishment of religion by any reasonable standard, nor indoctrination of any kind. Hostility to religion, as in the recent incident where a grade school principal told parents that anything hinting of Christmas was banned, including wearing red with green, is state-supported atheism, and is unconstitutional.
4. PolitiFact’s Lie of the Year. Nah, there’s no mainstream media bias! The reliably unreliable left-biased “fact-check” feature PolitiFact chose as its Lie of the Year the absurd claims by fringe wackos on the internet that the Parkland students crusading for gun control were “crisis actors,” almost the equivalent of the Alex Jones conspiracy theory that the Sandy Hook shooting was a hoax. Like that nonsense, however, the “crisis actor” lie was never accepted or promoted anywhere but the most obscure corners of the web and dark pits in social media. This “Lie of the Year” designation is how partisans try to discredit opponents: pick the most outrageous and indefensible statements from the deranged minority, and falsely present it as representative of the target group.
There have been too many substantive lies to count in 2018, many of them on the front page of the New York Times. Well-known Democratic officials called Brett Kavanaugh a sexual predator. Prominent African Americans, bolstered by the news media, are still sowing racial hate by stating that Mike Brown, Freddie Gray and Eric Garner were murdered.
Personally, I’d pick the lie that all women should be believed when they charge a man with sexual assault or harassment. There are so many to choose from though. How about the lie that U.S. agents using tear gas on the migrant horde throwing rocks and trying to rush the border were doing something that was unique to the Trump administration? For that matter, how about the stream of lies that issued from the Parkland aftermath? Rep. Ted Lieu, among others, kept saying that the shooter had “an assault rifle.” The Parkland kids weren’t actors, but they were allowed and encouraged to spread disinformation like fertilizer. The NRA had “blood on its hands.” Students in school everywhere were in mortal peril. Uber Parkland shill David Hogg kept saying that preventing mass shootings was “simple.” It’s not. Anyone who knows anything knows it’s not “easy.” Is that a lie, or just a stupid thing to believe? Gee, I don’t know, but it’s a lot more publicized and repeated than the stupid claim that Hogg is an actor.