Let’s play “Who’s the Most Unethical?” Today’s contestants…
1. About that missed call. In last weekend’s NFL play-off game won by the Rams over the Saints, the refs missed blatant pass interference that all agree should have been called, but wasn’t. Most also agree that the officiating botch probably cost New Orleans a title the team deserved to win, as well as a trip to the Super Bowl. Some fans are even suing the league, demanding that the game be replayed from the moment of the infraction. Of course, in the age of TV replays, there was no excuse for any of this. An official watching the game on video in a booth somewhere had to know there was interference, as did everyone watching the game in bars and living rooms around the nation. NFL rules, however, don’t permit reversals of calls on that particular kind of play, at least until Locking the Barn Door After The Horse Has Gone, NFL-style, kicks in after the season, and the rule is changed.
I’m always thrilled to see pro football embarrassed, especially when it has significance for baseball. All season long, in discussions among broadcasters, ex-players and sportswriters about whether Major League Baseball should computerize ball and strike calls as they easily can, I kept hearing the fatuous argument that human error was “part of the game.” The point is ridiculous, and thank you, NFL, for graphically illustrating why. In a sports competition, the team that has played the best and deserves to win after all the vicissitudes of the game—the bad bounces and lucky breaks—have taken their toll should triumph, and fans of the game should be able to trust that it will. For the wrong team to win because a non-player makes an error of omission or commission that is obvious to everyone cannot be tolerated by a sports organization with any respect for its sport or its followers. Allowing a championship to be wrongly decided because of an official’s error isn’t charming, it’s horrible. If it can be prevented, and it can, then it is unethical not to.
2. Ministry of Propaganda. Reason reports that Obama’s Department of Energy designed a mascot costume to warn children about the dangers of environmental catastrophe, as it created a character called “The Green Reaper.” Documents show that the Green Reaper…
…designed in 2012, was intended to be used in “community outreach presentations to local elementary school children.” Writes Ann Althouse (on Facebook)
Wow! It was designed to scare children! I remember being scared through my entire childhood by the threat of nuclear bombs. And for thousands of years people have scared children about Hell. The fact that you’re sure a threat is real doesn’t justify scaring children. I laughed at this mascot at first, but it really shows how evil people are toward children.
It also shows—again— how many techniques of totalitarian regimes the Democratic Party feel comfortable employing. Ann writes on her own blog,
“I am inferring that the Department of Energy wanted to enlist children in amping up political pressure on adults and to shape future adults at an undefended emotional level.”
Correct. The Green Reaper doesn’t scare me, but the public’s acceptance of a party that governs this way “for the greater good” does.
3. Signature Significance for the Bad Guys. Once again, I am awash with longing for the reliable knee-jerk apologists for the Left that exited Ethics Alarms last year, yelping like wounded hounds. One of their habits was defending the Southern Poverty Law Center, the hate group that operates by labeling groups on the Right as hateful, and that makes money by doing so. The SPLC long ago passed into the category of advocacy groups that proved Eric Hoffer correct when he wrote (in the short version), “‘Every great cause begins as a movement, becomes a business, and eventually degenerates into a racket. ” Oh how I’d love to read Chris, Charles, et al as they tried to spin this, from SPLC’s “Teaching Tolerance” project:
Reading Sandmann’s and Phillips’ accounts side-by-side, it may seem easy to recognize the power imbalances at play in the confrontation. As a white, non-Latinx teenage boy with a private school education and access to a PR firm, Sandmann holds far more structural power than Phillips, even if he is only 16. For many who read about the event, that power granted Sandmann more access to the benefit of the doubt and a presumption of good intentions….We should know that being the victim of racism is more harmful than being accused of racism, but we’re talking more about how this most recent story has affected Sandmann than how it’s affected Phillips. …Too often, a “both sides” story becomes a conflict between what someone experienced and what the other person intended for them to experience. Even if we take Sandmann’s statement at face value, we’re left with a situation in which a Native man felt mocked and threatened and a young man doesn’t see a reason to apologize because he was trying to remain calm and diffuse the situation. This sort of framing misses the point.
There’s a lot more, but I’m nauseous already. What we have here is Big Lie propaganda crossed with denial and bigotry. We now know that Phillips is a serial liar. We know that he provoked the confrontation, and had it videoed for his own political agenda. We know he was neither mocked nor threatened by the students, and that he was harassing Sandmann.
And now we know that to the Southern Poverty Law Center, “Teaching Tolerance” means falsely vilifying children because they are white and targeted for abuse by minority activists.
4. The ends justify the means. Twice last night, I saw a TV commercial for a charity featuring various celebrities saying that “One dollar will provide ten meals for hungry children.” That’s a lie, or if you prefer, deceit. One measly dollar may help “provide” ten meals, but even if the “meals” consisted of a cracker, simply distributing the meals costs a lot more than a dollar. Such campaigns rely on the naiveté and ignorance of nice, gullible people, in exactly the same way that scams do. They should not be permitted on the air, but you know, it’s for a good cause.
5. And now, your poll…