1. Weekend Update: I am going to make a habit of flagging what I consider important issues from the weekends on Monday, since from late Friday to the end of Sunday these days, Ethics Alarms is populated by just a handful of stalwarts and tumbleweeds rolling down the deserted information super-highway. This time, I point your attention to…this.
2. Today’s baseball ethics note: Yesterday, the falling New York Mets lost their second straight game while getting less than three hits (that’s bad, for those sad members of you who don’t follow baseball) in part because their recently acquired superstar, Robbie Cano, didn’t run hard to first base to try to avoid hitting into a double play. This, in turn, has placed the continued employment of Mets second year manager, Mickey Callaway, in jeopardy, as loafing players on losing teams always will. This is the Star Syndrome (or Rationalization #11, the King’s Pass) in operation: if Cano gets to do what lesser players would be fined, benched or released for doing, then the double standard threatens team unity and respect for the manager.
Cano’s excuse was that he thought there were two outs when there was really only one, because the scoreboard was wrong. A player is supposed to know the number of outs without having to check the scoreboard, but now photo evidence seems to show that the stadium scoreboard was correct, and showed only one out.
3. On the matter of life competence: Bravo to “Social Q’s” advice columnist Phillip Gallanes for the exactly right response to “Katy.” who wrote,
“My brother gave my 24-year-old son a gift certificate for a suit at a men’s shop. It didn’t specify an amount; it just said “one suit.” The salesman had my son try on several and helped him pick one. After it was pinned for alteration, my son went to the register and was asked to sign a receipt. He saw that the suit cost four times the amount of the certificate! He was embarrassed, so he signed the receipt and left. Now he’s received a bill for the remainder. I can afford to pay it. But should I mention this to my brother or the store owner? This feels like a con job to me”.
Gallanes answered in part,
Funny, this seems like a man-child problem to me. …Twenty-four is not 10!…I totally sympathize with your son’s embarrassment in that moment. It’s awful to be surprised at the register. But to just sign the bill and walk out? No! Part of being an adult is applying the brakes before transactions go off the rails. Next time, make sure he knows to say: “Whoa! Let’s find a suit in my price range, please.”
4. Civil rights protections should be legally mandated for LGBTQ Americans, BUT...as long as they signal that they will use such a law to infringe on other Americans’ legitimate liberty, such a law will never be passed. The House, by a vote of 236-173, passed sweeping legislation last week that would prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. The Times report says that the bill will die in the Senate, and then shows why with statements like,
Since taking office, President Trump’s administration has enacted a sweeping deconstruction of policies and rules intended to protect gay and transgender individuals. In 2017, the Justice Department sided with a cake shop owner who refused to make a wedding cake for a same-sex couple, filing legal briefs arguing that a landmark 1964 civil rights law did not ban discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. Jeff Sessions, then the attorney general, also rescinded guidance for schools that was intended to protect transgender students in bathrooms and locker rooms.
Nah, there’s no mainstream media bias! Those are examples of “sweeping deconstruction”? A baker who had stated up front that he would sell any kind of cake to a same-sex couple, but not a “gay wedding cake,” which was arguably an artistic product, in a protest upheld by the Supreme Court? The administration’s decision that merely identifying as a particular gender despite the biological markers of the other gender should not give free access to the imagined gender’s locker rooms and bathrooms? These may be debatable, but are hardly examples of pernicious discrimination. The legislation, which amends the Civil Rights Act of 1964, would almost certainly require that competitors who were born male could compete in women’s sports, to name one current and obvious problem House Democrats chose to ignore.
Like so much the House Democrats are doing these days, the bill appears to be more pre-election grandstanding than serious law-making.
5. And on the Yellow Brick Road...”Rocketman,” the new biopic about Elton John, features actor Taron Egerton in the lead role. He is straight, Elton, as we all know, isn’t. Naturally, the LGBTQ Mafia is up in arms, because, you know, gay rights. They would love such casting to be illegal. Sir Elton, 72, has no patience for this, and has called the criticism “bullshit,” which, in truth, it is. He is also looking out for gay actors, though the critics are too dim to comprehend why. A strict rule declaring that actors and actresses could only play characters who match their own sexual orientation would be a bonanza for the straight minority that make up the male acting pool. Most characters in films are and will remain, heterosexual, not bi-, not gay, not trans. Most professional actors and models–I would estimate 60-70%, maybe more–are gay.
The “Rocketman” can do the math, even if the critics can’t.