Morning Ethics Warm-Up, 12/21/2018: Getting The Tree Lights On In One Day Victory Lap Edition, Featuring Sports, Movies, Jerks And “Bambi”

Happy Holidays!

Seven hours, one serious needle wound, and 1300 lights later, victory! I’ll finish the decorations when I get back home, IF I get back home…

1. Itinerary…I’m heading to New Jersey via train to hook up with the brilliant Mike Messer, what we call “the talent,” in an encore rendition of the musical legal ethics seminar, “Ethics Rock Extreme,” lyrics by yours truly, musical stylings by Mike, on the guitar. Then it’s back to D.C. by air on Saturday, if I’m lucky. If I’m not lucky, I’ll be taking the New Jersey bar exam in the Spring…

I have no idea how or whether I’ll be able to keep Ethics Alarms on track once I board the train this afternoon. I’m not going to launch a second Open Forum in leas than a week, so please keep working on the current one here, now at 130 entries and counting. I will be reviewing those on the road, and I’m sure there will be some Comments of the Day to post, eventually.

2. In case I am trapped in New Jersey…Let me alert everyone that Peter Jackson’s apparently terrific (based on the reviews) WWI documentary “They Shall Not Grow Old” will be playing in theaters on December 27, and after that, who knows? The American public’s ignorance about that war, perhaps the greatest human catastrophe in modern history, is a failure of education, perspective and culture. If you have kids, take them. Here is the trailer:

3. Speaking of cultural literacy and movies, TCM is offering a limited engagement in theaters for “The Wizard of Oz,” on January 27, 29, and 30.

Is there another film that so many people purport to know and love so well without actually having seen it as it was intended to be seen? When I finally saw the movie in a theater—no breaks or commercials, big screen—I was shocked at how different and, obviously, better, the experience was. It’s an artistic masterpiece and sui generis: we will never see its like again, nor talents like Judy, Ray and Burt, among others.

4. America’s sport! If intentionally signing a player released for domestic abuse wasn’t enough, now the Washington Redskins have had to suspend safety Montae Nicholson after TMZ released a video of him beating up someone, leading to his arrest. Be proud, Washingtonians, NFL fans, everyone who enjoys cheering for young men to suffer crippling head injuries in entertaining ways! Says Washington’s NBC sports affiliate, “The optics aren’t great.” Ya think? Ethics Alarms readers who are up on their rationalizations will recognize #19A, The Insidious Confession, or “It wasn’t the best choice” at work.

5. Is there anything dumber than a “woke” football fan? I wonder. There are really still people out there who don’t understand why Colin Kaepernick isn’t on a NFL team, and think that he has a case for “collusion” (last I heard, the Nike role model was suing the NFL). Kaepernick caused a massive PR disaster for the game, high-jacked his workplace for his own agenda (which he did NOT have a “right” to d) the league and his team with a half-baked, incomprehensible expressed National Anthem protest, he wasn’t that hot anyway, ruling out “The King’s Pass,” and people still argue that it required a conspiracy for NFL teams to decide “Who needs this headache?”

The Oakland Raiders signed Nathan Peterman as a  practice squad quarterback this week. He had been cut by the Buffalo Bills earlier this year. Somehow this proved to Kaepernick’s fans that Colin had been illegally blackballed, despite the fact that 1) he hasn’t suited up or trained in two years and 2) what I just said.

6. “You keep using that word “character”…I don’t think it means what you think it means.’ NBC Sports baseball blogger Bill Baer actually made the following argument in print: Baseball’s Hall of Fame has a character requirement for admission. Sportswriters have refused to vote for steroid cheats like Barry Bonds on that basis, but apparently are voting for former Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling. How can that be? Schilling is a Trump supporter, has made disparaging comments about illegal immigrants, and posted nasty memes about Hillary Clinton. “Why aren’t the writers applying the character clause to Curt Schilling?” Baer asks. Wow, good point. The guy only jeopardized his career by going out to pitch, and win, two crucial post-season games for the Boston Red Sox to break their 8 decade long World Series championship drought, but he’s also a Republican, religious, and conservative and dares to express all three perspectives in public!

Baer and his colleague Craig Calcaterra are on record as believing that using illegal and banned PEDs to set tainted records and distort games and seasons shouldn’t be held against players as deficits of character and sportsmanship. With a little luck and this logic taking hold, baseball will be like football before you know it.

7. Having been the victim of this unethical technique, I am obligated to flag it. If someone has ever seen or experienced this from anyone other than a doctrinaire, arrogant leftist, please let me know. The tactic: rant at some citing a long string of dubious arguments, bad facts and false characterizations, then turn your back on them and walk away without listening to a response.

This is what Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D., Ill.) did to Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen at a Judiciary Committee hearing yesterday, piling one dishonest pro-illegal immigrants, open-borders talking point after another to condemn administration policies, even stooping to the per se idiotic comparison with Joseph and Mary as “migrants.” Then, when Nielsen started to respond to his charges, he left the hearing.

An ethical Congressional party should sanction a member for doing that.

8. Cruel and Unusual Punishment. In sentencing a serial poacher who was part or a ring that illegally slaughtered hundreds of deer,  Missouri county Judge Robert E. Greene  ordered that while David Berry Jr., 29, serves his prison sentence, he must repeatedly watch the 1942 Disney animated movie”Bambi.”

“At least one time per month, that Defendant is to view the Walt Disney movie Bambi, with the first viewing being on or before December 23, 2018, and at least such viewing each month thereafter during the Defendants incarceration in the Lawrence County Jail,” Greene ordered.

This kind of silly sentencing grandstanding makes a mockery of the justice system, and should be halted by judicial ethics panels.


14 thoughts on “Morning Ethics Warm-Up, 12/21/2018: Getting The Tree Lights On In One Day Victory Lap Edition, Featuring Sports, Movies, Jerks And “Bambi”

  1. RE 7: Yes. I have… from antivaccinationists and the “alternative medicine” crowd. I’ve also received accounts of similar behavior from young Earth creationists and anti-agricultural science activists.

  2. 6. This year’s Hall of Fame voting is pretty interesting. A man named Ryan Thibodaux scours the internet every year for articles in which sportswriters unveil their Hall of Fame ballots. He then puts all of that information into spreadsheet form:!11134&ithint=file,xlsx&app=Excel&authkey=!ACeqm-knNxexBw8

    The key measure of year-to’year progress is “pickups,” that record when a sportswriter votes for a player’s induction after not doing so the previous year. See line 24 of the spreadsheet.

    A little less than 20% of the expected ballots have been revealed. Returning players with steroids issues – Bonds, Clemens, Ramirez, Sheffield, and Sosa – are recording almost no pickups. As a group, their vote is entirely stalled:

    Bonds 1 pickup
    Clemens 1
    Ramirez -3
    Sheffield 2
    Sosa -1

    Andy Pettitte, new to the ballot with his own steroid issues, is doing poorly, too, with only about 11% of the vote.

    In contrast, three players – Fred McGriff, Mike Mussina, and Larry Walker – have each recorded more than ten pickups so far.

    • This is all good news.

      Anyone who would vote for Manny is beyond redemption: He should have been ineligible even without two PED busts. Ditto Bonds, Sosa and Sheffield. I feel a bit for Rocket, as the evidence against him is murkier. I mainly oppose him as a slippery slope. McGriff and Walker are beneficiaries of the insane Baines election—it will be hard to keep them out now. Mussina drives me crazy: he isn’t close to Schilling, and is a weaker candidate than Luis Tiant, who is still out. He was never, for one second, regarded as the best, second best, third, 4th or 5th best starter in his league.

  3. 8. I read the article about this. I am not sure the judge’s reasoning behind it. Was he hoping the emotional parts would somehow make this man fell remorse? Based on what I read this man and his brother and father boasted about all the deer they killed, would just take the heads of a lot of them, used illegal hunting methods like blinding lights and roadside hunting, along with hunting out of season.

    I don’t feel like this is a man who is going to be saddened by Bambi’s mother being shot by a hunter or the animals losing their homes from the forest fire started by humans. I think he’ll enjoy it.

  4. An ethical Congressional party…

    Okay, Jack, a riddle for you:

    You have Santa, the easter bunny, an honest politician, and an ethical Congressional party all sitting around the table. There is a $100 bill sitting on the table. The lights go out for 10 seconds, and then come back on. The money is missing. Who took it?

    Santa, of course. The others are just figments of your imagination

  5. “perhaps the greatest human catastrophe in modern history”

    Yes, ‘war’ is an absolute abomination. And yet we keep doing it! Typically (as per WW1) the ‘old men’ pout and bluster, and having failed at their politics, then murder or perhaps ‘sacrifice’ their and other young men who die miserably without comprehending fully what or who they are fighting for.

    And then to escalate the abomination, ‘we’ the survivors and non combatants create ‘heroes’ out of ‘old men’, those leaders who failed at their politics and turned so carelessly to the bloodbath of military conflict!!

    I wish we could more readily recognise the sheer evil of it all, and see the appalling manipulation.

    Thank God I haven’t had to fight. I’ve been amazingly fortunate. I admit however to being scared for my grandsons, and that I have no clear answers. I will though watch the Peter Jackson, and do my level best to get my family to see it too.

  6. Anyone who wants a crash course in WWI would be well served to listen to Dan Carlin’s Hardcore History podcasts on the topic. He did a six-part series on the war, called “Blueprint For Armageddon”, that totes up at something like 25 hours total.

    That war was such a massive event, with repercussions that keep echoing down the years for 100 years (and counting), that those 25 hours of coverage still seems woefully inadequate. I highly recommend it. Carlin paints a picture of a war whose brutality is only eclipsed by its utter pointlessness.

    The entire series is available for free, at least for now:

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