Are you hungry for some ethics???
1. Good! Julian Assange was arrested yesterday after Ecuador withdrew its protection of him, which has gone on for six years. His defense will apparently be that he’s a journalist, and published true information. It’s still illegal to publish classified documents, and I doubt this will stand up, but even if he is legally cleared, the ethics verdict is easy. His objective was to cause chaos, and he knowingly got people killed. He facilitated a flat-out traitor with poor, sad, dumb, confused Bradley, now Chelsea, Manning. Even the good Wikileaks did by exposing the corruption and rot in the DNC and Hillary Clinton’s orbit doesn’t begin to mitigate his status as an ethics villain. (See: The Ruddigore Fallacy)
2. Stop making me defend Rep. Omar! Republicans and conservative media are having a meltdown (we’ll get to the Left’s meltdown in a bit) because loose cannon Democratic Congresswoman Rep. Ilhan Omar (D., Minn.) referred to the 9/ll terrorist murders occurring because “some people did something.” This is exactly the kind of “gotcha!” President Trump has been attacked with repeatedly, almost daily, because he uses words with the care and precision of an infant playing with matches. The trick is to choose the most negative intention and meaning imaginable—and sometimes not imaginable without dishonest spin—and then to launch that damning meaning into the public discourse. It stinks, and the method stinks whether the speaker is the President or a rogue, anti-Semite Democrat. An example of the smear used against Trump was some news media and my Facebook Trump-Deranged friends claiming that this, in a tweet complaining about Saturday Night Live, was a serious call for a federal investigation:
…Should Federal Election Commission and/or FCC look into this? There must be Collusion with the Democrats and, of course, Russia!
Bias makes you stupid.
Omar was speaking to CAIR, and didn’t have the sense, the wit, the guts, or the facility with the language to describe the Muslim terrorists of 9/11 to a pro-Muslim group. It came out badly. Stipulated. But conservatives in the business of condemning contrived offenses pushed by the mainstream media because Trump tweets and talks as if words and meanings don’t matter should model better behavior, not imitate it.
3. I know you want to ignore this story because it involves baseball, but it’s not a baseball ethics story, but a management competence ethics lesson that happens to be occurring in a baseball context...We already discussed the plight of Orioles ex-slugger Chris Davis, now in the throes of an epic, record shattering batting slump while having three more years after this one in which he is guarantees $23 million per season—this after being the worst player in the major leagues in 2018, and costing his team more than two games. My conclusion was that Davis is at the point where a player of integrity has a duty to retire, since he can no longer earn his contract with valuable service. Now Richard Thaler, the Nobel Prize-winning economist at the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business, has weighed in from a different angle, explaining why the Orioles stubborn insistence on playing Davis is irrational and incompetent. Thaler, argues that the Orioles’s refusal to bench Davis is a classic example of the “sunk cost fallacy” one of the an economic mistakes he explains in his book “Misbehaving: The Making of Behavioral Economics.”
“[T]he correct decision is to ignore any cost that has already been paid and evaluate the situation strictly on its own merit..The mistake people make is thinking that somehow using this player…s getting some of that money back. It’s not. It’s just making you feel a little better about a purchase that turned out to be not a very good one…[M]anagement may think that — suppose they just cut him — that they’re going to look like idiots. Of course, what’s true is playing him makes them look like bigger idiots.”
He told the Times that the Orioles should cut Davis and replace him with a minor leaguer, as even a so-called replacement (or near average) player would represent a significant improvement. “They could win, let’s say two or three more games this year at a cost of half a million,” he said, using the MLB minimum salary. “That would be the cheapest two or three wins you could possibly buy. That would be like adding a star.”
What is amazing is that with all the accounts of how teams a have accepted the value of high-level statistical analysis in making both on-field and off-field management decisions, they would still be making such a gross and proven logical blunder.
4. I continue to believe that the Washington Post will end up winning the Nicholas Sandmann defamation suit, but their lawyers are going to have to do better than this.From the Post’s motion to dismiss:
“The inflammatory rhetoric of the Complaint and the nonstop public promotion of the suit by Plaintiff’s counsel suggest one motive: to strike a blow against the Post’s allegedly ‘biased agenda against President Donald J. Trump.’ There is no fact alleged, however, to suggest that the Post’s coverage was motivated by an anti-Trump bias—and the prominent, front-page coverage given to Plaintiff’s version of events and the investigative findings in his favor belie any such motive. Politics has nothing to do with this case, and law warrants its dismissal….The pro-Trump Internet has, for years, worked to create a media environment that is designed to destroy the traditional news media and replace it….Indeed, the Post’s overall coverage — including the articles that the Complaint fails to mention — was not only accurate; it was ultimately favorable to him.”
Let’s ignore for now about the risible claims that the Post’s obvious anti-Trump bias didn’t make the paper an easy mark for partisans selling the narrative that an arrogant bunch of racist teen harassed a Native American veteran who was peacefully beating his drum. Saying that the ultimate Post coverage was “favorable”—after the Post’s careless and false accounts had resulted in celebrities encouraging violence against Sandmann, an innocent kid, and him being branded as a racist coast to coast.
5. About that Democratic and news media—but I repeat myself– meltdown...CNN: “Barr says spying on Trump campaign ‘did occur,’ but provides no evidence”
The evidence has been in plain sight for a long, long time. Democrats and their agents are making semantic distinctions to avoid the cruel and inconvenient truth. AG Barr said in yesterday’s congressional hearing,
“I think spying on a political campaign is a big deal.I think spying did occur.”
Of course it occurred, based on what the average person thinks spying is. The redacted FISA warrant and the three additional renewals of the warrant, authorized secretly tracking the actions, meetings and conversations of Carter Page , a fringe contact of the Trump campaign. These warrants are all public. The warrants sought authority to listen in on Carter Page’s communications. What would you call it? If someone secretly tracked your private communications, would you say that that person was spying on you? I would. So would Nancy Pelosi. The warrant granted the government authority to examine, surreptitiously, both Page’s future communications and his past communications when he was a volunteer in the Trump campaign, and conferred the authority to obtain the communications of anyone with whom Page communicated, including others in the campaign. Meanwhile, Carter Page was never accused of any illegal activity whatsoever.
Seriously, is “WHAT? How dare Barr accuse the Obama administration of spying on the Trump campaign!” an honest and responsible response to what Barr said, or is it squarely in the “protesting too much” category?