Saturday Ethics Smorgasbord, 6/8/2019: Yes, Double Standards Are Really Bugging Me Today


1. I’ve been trying to find away to fit Reps. Ocasio-Cortez. Tlaib and Omar into a parody of Abraham, Martin and John. “AOC, Omar and Tlaib” almost works... An investigation by Minnesota’s Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board into Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) has determined  she violated campaign finance laws dating back to when she served a single term in the State House of Representatives from 2016-2018. The report also reveals that Omar filed joint tax returns in 2014 and 2015 with Ahmed Hirsi, even though she was married to Ahmed Nur Said Elmi from 2009-2017.


Let me know if you hear about this from any mainstream media outlet.

2. Individually, there are a lot of wonderful, funny, brilliant and admirable theater people. As a group, however, it is a cowardly, biased, intellectually lazy herd with the political sophistication of third graders.

I wrote on Facebook about the Ethics Alarms post on D.C.’s Studio Theater cancelling a production that reveals the text messages between the “FBI Lovebirds” who dished about how the Deep State would sabotage Donald Trump. The majority of my more than 400 Facebook friends are involved in theater. None of them commented on the issue. The apparent reasons are apathy, hypocrisy, or fear of being labelled a “Trump supporter” because they don’t applaud active censorship of the truth when it is inconvenient to the plots of “the resistance.” I don’t care which it is: the response is disgraceful…and typical.

Hollywood writer Christian Toto contacted 14 theaters across the country to ask their response to Studio’s actions. None of them responded. Among the fourteen were New Neighborhood and Slightly Altered States,  theatrical groups which took part in the  dramatic readings of the Mueller Report (the attending of which is a reliable indication of late stage Trump Derangement–I presume the theaters will follow up with readings of the phone book). Christian Toto writes,

“Imagine if unseen forces threatened violence against that Mueller Report reading, an event framed as critical of President Trump. Does anyone think those same 14 theatre groups would have remained silent?”

Should I ask my Facebook friends?

3.  The “Do Something” lawsuitTwenty one Oregon teenagers filed a lawsuit  in 2015  arguing that the failure of government leaders to combat climate change violates their constitutional right to a clean environment. It was delayed  while the Supreme Court considered an emergency request from the Obama administration to kill it. Last year, the court refused to grant the Trump administration’s plea to stop the case before trial, and sent it back to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit.

The Trump administration’s lawyers, like the Obama administration’s lawyers earlier, are  that  “there is no fundamental constitutional right to a ‘stable climate system.’ ”

Wow. You really have to argue that?

The suit  is an attempted end-around democratic processes. It never should have proceeded this far, and the courts that allowed it to do so are allowing themselves to be used as tools of an attempted interest group dictatorship.

4. I’m unimpressed. Alan Turing, regarded as the inventor of the modern computer and artificial intelligence, whose work was instrumental in allowing the the Allies to break the Nazi   Enigma Code , never received the honor of an obituary in the New York Times. The reason was that Turing was gay, and was ostracized by the British government while the extent of his contributions to science and the victory over Germany in WWII had not been revealed to the public.  He died, a suicide, in 1954.

Subsequently, Turning’s immense importance was eventually publicized in articles, books, TV shows and movies, including the Academy Award nominated “The Imitation Game.” So finally the Times generously provided, 65 years late, an obituary this week.

It’s not a remedy to a wrong; obituaries are news. We know Turing’s dead. The Times is just engaging in more virtue signalling. Turing was gay and on the autistic spectrum—isn’t the Times terrific to give him such a send-off?

Maybe the Times, once it comes to its senses and realizes that pimping for one political party and actively working to undermine a President by slanting its reporting will publish fair and objective news stories about the Mueller report and the unethical conduct of Democrats during the last three years—in 2082.

That will make everything all right. Retroactively, of course.

In related news, the New York Police Department apologized yesterday for its brutal handling of the Stonewall riots, 50 years ago.

5. And here’s a story that unites so many themes today!  A group called Super Happy Fun America has chosen  LGBTQ Pride Month, that’s this month, in case your’re not up to speed, o organize a “straight pride” parade in Boston August, in the manner of Boston’s “LGTB Pride” parade, which either has happened or will.  (I don’t keep track of parades.) Apparently this effort is being criticized. Here’s a poll:

6. I always applaud creativity:


  • I have been persuaded that reusable cloth bags are unsanitary, use more energy in cleaning than plastic bags, and are generally “woke” environmental nonsense.
  • I would revel in carrying the bags pictured, which are obviously intended as humorous. The device doesn’t accomplish what it purports to.
  • I strongly suspect that the market  knows the  words on the bag won’t work, and that it is a publicity stunt exploiting environmental concerns rather than addressing them. This would be dishonest and unethical.
  • If the market were serious, it would force shoppers to carry bags with such logos as..

Keep Women naked, pregnant , and in the kitchen

Make Men responsible: castrate them all.

The Third Reich will rise!

            and, of course,…

Make America Great Again

34 thoughts on “Saturday Ethics Smorgasbord, 6/8/2019: Yes, Double Standards Are Really Bugging Me Today

  1. In the mid-90’s, I studied philosophy in Grad School.
    We studied Turing Machines in one of our logic classes.
    I had no idea that Alan Turing was gay.
    I am not sure how I got an A in that class, and I am baffled that my Turing Machine program worked without that piece of knowledge.

    You have two #4s.

    I hate plastic bags. Primarily because I get too many of them and I have no dog to pick up after.

    I have 4 cardboard boxes a local store sells for a buck or two that I have used for YEARS (a couple are on the verge of falling apart). My firm also markets from time to time with canvas bags. Love them too.

    Mostly, I am glad not to take home 20 plastic bags when 2 cardboard boxes will do. Don’t like the clutter and waste.

    Secondary benefit: sure, the planet.


    • Jut
      I prefer paper bags. The kraft paper can be used for crabfeasts, covering schoolbooks, paint masking and a host of many other uses. I wonder how many of the kids suing have ever covered their schoolbooks using old grocery bags.

    • A. The two 4s: that’s because it was a tie.
      B. Not knowing Turning was gay is like not knowing Paul Winchell was the voice of Tigger AND the inventor of a widely used artificial heart valve, or the the leader of the Fred Waring Chorale invented the blender. Turing was important in two very different categories. Three, really: he may have won the war, he was a pioneer in artificial intelligence, AND he is one of the worst examples of an accomplished human being who made spectacular contributions to the culture being abused and ostracized by society, the law and government purely because of his sexual orientation. All three should be known and understood by as many people as possible. For many historical figures, Leonardo, James Buchanan, Alexander the Great, Barbara Stanwyck…being gay was a footnote and insignificant. For others, like Oscar Wilde, Tennessee Wiliams and Turing, it was a massive faactor in their careers and lives.

      • “Not knowing Turning was gay is like not knowing Paul Winchell was the voice of Tigger AND the inventor of a widely used artificial heart valve, or the the leader of the Fred Waring Chorale invented the blender. ”

        So it’s completely legitimate and understandable then?

  2. Hey, Jack:

    Two things –

    1. Where’s the part about the Democrat Anti-Semite? Did I miss it?

    2. I like how you read my mind and described in great detail my non-response to the Studio Theater thing. Amazing! I didn’t know I thought all those things.

    Sent from my iPhone


    • Bad logic. The fact that any one individual didn’t respond is meaningless. The fact that about 280 didn’t, when the same group will leap to cheer when someone wished the the President is a criminal and should be imprisoned and executed? That’s statistically and ethically significant.

      And Omar is an anti-Semite, supporting anti-Semitic groups like Hamas, and spreading fake Middle East history, classic antiSemite dogwhistles and anti-Israel slander. Frankly, I don’t comprehend how any Democrat with integrity can enable the party’s hypocritical and cowardly refusal to sanction Omar, just as the GOP belatedly sanctioned Steve King. It vividly demonstrates how completely the party has abandoned its principles to cater to the worst elements of the all-important base. The biggest increase in hate crimes has been against Jews and synogogues, and the Democrats are giving the green light by pretending Omar isn’t the sinister agent she is.

  3. The teens should actually be suing the BRIC countries because they are not required to reduce emissions. The other issue is that the teens are culpable as well unless they lived without electricity or any fossil fuels.

    All kidding aside why was this even considered? It tells me we have some idiots on the bench.

  4. 1. Pioneer Press, Star Tribune, Washington Examiner, Fox News? Okay, not the mainstreamiest of the mainstream. But, really, there is nothing to see here and no need for the more-main mainstream to jump on this.
    Omar’s campaign said her returns ARE in full compliance with the law. The IRS (and presumably Minnesota) allows for amended returns to fix filing status, among other things, so what those old tax returns might have shown is irrelevant. The tax code is complicated. Good faith errors are common.
    Further, Omar has said that her marriages and divorce were in her “faith tradition.” Not the first person to experience a conflict between religious practice and civil law, nor will she be the last.
    Okay, we can move along now, right?

    • What’s complicated about what person you’re married to? What’s her “faith tradition” have to do with her marital status? I thought she did some faux marriages to get some guys into the country?

      • The complication would not be who, but what constitutes a marriage. The IRS acknowledges ‘common law’ marriages. No idea what else might constitute a marriage in the eyes of the IRS, or whether a religious ceremony alone would be sufficient. (I was married in a Catholic ceremony, and that was good enough for the Church, but we took the additional step of making sure it was legal in the State of New York.) She says she married husband A, divorced him and married husband B, divorced him, and re-married husband A, all in the ‘faith tradition,’ so maybe not officially sanctioned by Minnesota. Some allege husband B is her brother. Difficult to prove or disprove, but, if there is solid evidence, that is significant.
        Still, for me, her blatant anti-Semitism and her anti-Americanism are much more troubling than whether she was married and to whom.

        • I think her likely playing games with “marriages” is of a piece with a very subversive, Anti-American attitude and agenda. The perfect Justice Democrat sock puppet. In my book, she’s pretty darned contemptuous of any number of U.S. cultural norms. Again, diversity is not inherently good.

    • Nope. That is absolute hogwash, or better said, male bovine excrement. When you file a tax return you are declaring it is a declaration under penalty of perjury. Filing amended returns can fix errors in filing.

      There is no such thing as a “faith tradition” divorce. A marriage is solely dissolved through a court of competent jurisdiction. Omar should know this – if she doesn’t she has novbusiness in government. You live and abide by the laws if the state and country where you live. Giving her a pass on these issues is moral and ethical cowardice.

  5. I knew Turing cracked the Enigma machine but for the life of me I cannot understand the fascination with the sexuality of another unless there was some underlying romantic interest . His historical achievements do not require an examination of his sexual preferences. It is irrelevant.

    Regarding gay pride parades: We don’t need them any more than we need straight pride parades. The problem as I see it is that such events allow a highly visible group to portray participants in the most extreme and outrageous manner. This creates an unfavorable image among some who then attribute the behavior to all. The characters Mr. Slave and Mr. Garrison on Southpark exemplifies and reinforces among many that gay persons are sexual oddities at best.

    The gay persons with whom I associate are professionals that unless you knew them you would not know they prefer same sex partners. They don’t hide in the closet. They are definitely out.

    I dont want to see passionate displays of affection in public by hetero or non cis couples. That should be reserved for the bedroom not in the restaurant, bar, movie theater,or other public place.

    • Chris said : “I knew Turing cracked the Enigma machine but for the life of me I cannot understand the fascination with the sexuality of another unless there was some underlying romantic interest . His historical achievements do not require an examination of his sexual preferences. It is irrelevant.”

      I thought you knew…Turing got his information to crack the Enigma from having a brief fling with Hitler. Which is, of course, totally fabricated and BS, but WHAT IF IT WAS TRUE?

      • I still don’t need to know and do not care. Only results matter provided they were gained ethically.

    • These days Chris Pride celebrations are dominated by Transgender people & their corporate sponsors for plastic surgery & affirmation doctors. Gays are now considered “cis-scum” and oppressors. We’re not as welcome unless we identify as “queer.”

      Check out the last few years where in places like San Francisco, Toronto, London, etc. dyke marches wouldn’t allow lesbians to participate unless they confessed that any man who identifies as a lesbian is magically an actual lesbian.

      Most gays I know don’t go to these celebrations and don’t care. And a little secret…really these things are for sexually curious straights and straights who want to win woke points by proxy.

      • Mrs Q

        I must confess my comment was based on what I saw during early pride parades. There could have been a ratio of 10 non-outrageous marchers to 1 outlandish fetishist with his partner on a leash and all you remember is the oddity.

        None of the gay persons I know participate and some joke about it. I have always assumed the jokes were to avoid being associated with the people dressed in drag. I have two nephews who are gay; one is a straight laced numbers guy and the other is active in the drag scene. Guess which one would belong to the Log Cabin Republicans?

        I do appreciate you updating me on the makeup of the participants.

    • I don’t recall where I saw this, but it’s pretty good:

      1959: Everybody cares who you have sex with.

      1999: Nobody cares who you have sex with.

      2019: Everybody must be forced to care who you have sex with!

  6. 6. Is interesting… One of my previous employers asked me to prepare a presentation on the financial and social ramifications of using cloth or paper bags.

    Cloth bags, while biodegradable, are still made from cloth. They are about 200 times more expensive to produce, in part because so much more goes into their production, and you would have to use a cloth bag about 50 times before it became environmentally neutral to paper bags.

    The difference is that people are willing to pay for cloth bags, where the average plastic bag costs between one and two cents. So my report basically amounted to: Using cloth bags is fake environmentalism, but if we can sell cloth bags, we turn what was an expense into a revenue stream.

    • But plastic bags are a blight upon the countryside and our highways and byways. I’ve had the same cotton shopping bags for probably ten or fifteen years.

    • ”Using cloth bags is fake environmentalism, but if we can sell cloth bags, we turn what was an expense into a revenue stream.”

      While I realize the difficulty in quantifying a mostly subjective level of sanctimonious smuggery, shouldn’t the…um…externality of users’ skyrocketing Gosh I’m Nice/Look At Me/I’m Dialed In endorphins be factored in?

    • I don’t recall where I read it, but I vaguely recall reading somewhere that wind turbines to generate electricity cost MORE energy to produce (from obtaining raw materials, to manufacturing, to transport, to construction, and maintenance) than they will ever produce and put into the grid.

  7. I’ve used a canvas bag for the past eight years and plan to have it forever, i.e., until I fall apart.

    I know people who collect things who would buy two of each of the proposed “insult” bags: one to preserve in museum-level packaging of some kind, the other to flaunt at the local Safeway.

  8. My situation is somewhat different, having a used book bookstore. Double bagged paper grocery bags are so much better for carrying books around than plastic bags that it’s not even a contest. We also have a lot of canvas bags, but personally I think the paper bags work best. On the other hand, a canvas bag works just fine for carrying a few packages to the post office.

    Fortunately our local grocery store has an endless supply of paper bags, as they do wear out over time — it’s always lots of fun when the handle tears off and your bag of books spills all over the floor. On the other hand, I have no problem (and do) with keeping a couple of canvas bags in my car and trying to remember to take them into the store when I shop for groceries. On the gripping hand, the store that bag shamed me for not doing so — that’d be the last time I darkened their door.

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