Ah! After a long, long weekend, I feel wefweshed!
1. “The best people,” (cont.): Ugh.
a) From the Wall Street Journal:
“Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao has retained shares in a construction-materials company more than a year after the date she promised to relinquish them.Shares of the company, Vulcan Materials Co. , the country’s largest supplier of the crushed stone, sand and gravel used in road-paving and building, have risen nearly 13% since April 2018, the month in which Ms. Chao said she would be cashed out of the stock, netting her a more than $40,000 gain.”
I have a personal bias against Chao, which I have described before, so I’ll just leave this as a res ipsa loquitur item. Her husband, of course, is GOP Senate leader Mitch McConnell.
b) I would rank Chao as more palatable than this hack, however, who should be fired outright, and kicked on her way out the door.
In an apparent attempt to show that Dr. Ben Carson, HUD Secretary because he is black and was nice to Donald Trump during the GOP debates, is NOT the most unqualified official at his department, HUD regional administrator Lynne Patton defended Carson’s cringingly inept recent performance (“Is there any other kind?” Jack Nicholson’s Colonel Jessup might ask) before Congress by retweeting a message praising Dr. Ben while mocking Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Then she took to Facebook to say that her comment “may be a Hatch violation. It may not be. Either way, I honestly don’t care anymore.”
Nice. A government official who announces publicly that she doesn’t care if she violates the law! Then she responded to criticism of that post with a classy tweet that said, “What part about “I don’t give a shit” don’t you understand? “
“The best people.” You could throw a rock into a crowd and have a good chance of finding better people for government service than Patton. If you are keeping score, the ethics breaches here are all six “Pillars of Character”— Trustworthiness, Responsibility, Fairness, Respect, Caring and Citizenship, distributed among Patton, HUD, and the President. You can’t do much worse.
2. Although maybe this guy would be worse…At a college baseball game in Iowa, a large adult male fought a little boy for a foul ball souvenir in the stands, then celebrated his triumph. What an asshole. For some reason YouTube doesn’t have the clip, limiting my posting options. You can see the episode here.
And here’s blogger Kyle Koster, straining to get clicks with a perverse post titled, “Good for the Iowa Fan Who Took A Foul Ball From a Kid.”
Not only is his argument ethically inert, it’s impossible to tell if he’s serious, making the piece incompetent as well as obnoxious. I’ll flag the rationalizations, and you can refresh your memory on the list.
- “If the Buckeyes kid wanted a foul ball so badly, he should have been quicker.”
36. Victim Blindness, or “They/He/She/ You should have seen it coming.”
- “And let’s not act like the newest public enemy here snatched the ball out of a kid’s hands or anything.”
22. The Comparative Virtue Excuse: “There are worse things.”
- “Sure, it would have been nice if he’d offered his younger competition the ball, but he is not bound to do so.”
4. Marion Barry’s Misdirection, or “If it isn’t illegal, it’s ethical.“
- “But look, I have kids and they literally get what they want all the time. Meanwhile my life is miserable in comparison and snagging a baseball would do wonders to boost the spirit. Afterward, yeah, I’ll give it to a youngster but I will not be denied the specific thrill. I have so little.”
11. (a)”I deserve this!“ or “Just this once!”
My only question: who is the bigger Ethics Dunce, Koster, or the guy who grabbed the ball?
3. Now THIS is an incompetent criminal. Also an incredible boob. Cameron Jeffrey Wilson, 27, tried to tuck his illegal pistol in his front pocket and accidentally shot himself in the testicles and the thigh. Wilson, who has been convicted of 13 felonies, asked his girlfriend, who only dates the best people, to drive him to the hospital, stopping off to leave the gun with a friend, since it’s illegal for a convicted felon to possess a firearm.
During the surgery on his wound at Central Washington Hospital, a balloon of marijuana slipped out of Wilson’s rectum. As required by law, the hospital notified police regarding Wilson’s gunshot wound, so the cops got a warrant to search his car, whereupon they found a bag of methamphetamines as well as the blood-stained jeans from when he had shot himself, evidence that he had possessed the gun that shot him.
The police issued an arrest warrant on suspicion of a second-degree felon in possession of a firearm and unlawful possession of meth. Wilson, a good citizen after all, turned himself in. While he was being strip-searched, a second balloon of marijuana fell out of his ass.
What we have here is someone who is incompetent at his chosen profession.
4. An example of brilliant non-traditional casting! Peter Dinklage, the talented Little Person who was a memorable performer in “Game of Thrones” among his other acting assignments, will be playing the title role in “Cyrano.” a musical adaptation of the famous Rostand play, “Cyrano de Bergerac” the production will be directed by Erica Schmidt, Dinklage’s wife, in New York City’s the New Group theater company’s 2019-2020.
Naturally, the original’s romantic handicap of an alarmingly big nose will be replaced in the adaptation by an extreme lack of height. Yet this shouldn’t change the substance and message of the play at all, and it gives a terrific actor a shot at an iconic role that once would be considered beyond his reach. What a wonderful idea.
5. Some final ethical quotes from Bill Buckner. Today’s Times has two quotes from the late Bill Buckner, whom I wrote about yesterday.
“I don’t think that in society in general that’s the way we should operate. What are you teaching kids? Not to try because if you don’t succeed then you’re going to be buried, so don’t try?”
“There could be somebody in my shoes who would think that life sucks. I chose to look at it that life is great. You can make those choices. Everyone in life has things that don’t go according to plan.”