Morning Ethics Warm-Up, 6/10/19: On Chaos, Pots, Bigotry, Hate Speech And Proving the Obvious.


And hang in there, David.

1. Ethics and Mortality.  My first harsh experience with the random cruelty of life came in 1967, when Red Sox slugger Tony Conigliaro, young, handsome, dating Hollywood starlets, playing for his hometown team and already a local idol while looking like a cinch to have a glorious Hall of Fame career, was hit in the face by an errant fastball thrown by Angels pitcher Jack Hamilton. That moment violently changed the course of Tony C’s  life, which ended with him in a semi-conscious state at the age of 45 after suffering a catastrophic heart attack seven years earlier that left him brain-damaged and disabled. I get choked up every time I think about Tony, but his tragedy taught me hard lessons. Don’t be smug; don’t get cocky. Do all the good you can and make the most of your life as quickly as you can, because random disaster can strike at any time.

I’m not sure that I needed to have that lesson refreshed, especially since it was also a cornerstone of my father’s philosophy that included refusing to worry about what he could not control. Nevertheless, last night came the news that David Ortiz, Red Sox Nation’s beloved “Big Papi,” had been shot in the back in his home town of Santo Domingo.  The assailant was apparently a motorcycle-riding thief (whom bystanders mobbed and held for the police—don’t you love it when that happens?). So far the news on David is promising, but the bullet pierced his stomach and damaged his liver, gall bladder and colon.

Prior to the attack, it would have been difficult to imagine anyone with a better life than Ortiz. He was still young, rich, with a thriving and stable family, recognized everywhere, and universally admired and loved as a symbol of unity and community. Ortiz’s biggest problem, he said in an interview last year, was deciding among the many attractive options  open to him in baseball, business, philanthropy, broadcasting and entertainment.

Well, he’s got bigger problems now.

I just saw an internet poll in which only 54% of the responders knew who David Ortiz is. I wonder how many know about Tony Conigliaro.

I’m depressed now.

2. When trying to defeat Kettle, running Pot may not be the ideal choice. One of the most common mantras of the Trump Deranged is that the President lies so much. One would think, would one not, that this theme would make it incumbent upon those trying to defeat the incumbent to keep their own public lies, hypocrisies and misrepresentations to a minimum. This, apparently, they cannot do.

For a while there the New York Times appeared to have chosen Senator Kamala Harris as its favored candidate for the Democratic Party’s nomination, but the paper shows signs of  concluding, as any objective observer should by now, that she is a loser. Harris also does not have a friendly relationship with facts, as a recent Times “factcheck” of her recent statements on the stump demonstrated.

They didn’t find that any recent contentious substantive statement by Harris were true. They did find that three statements were “misleading” and one was an “exaggeration” (when the Times purported to list all of Trump’s mendacities, fudges, fantasies, exaggerations and misleading statements were referred to as “lies”), but this one they didn’t bother to spin: Harris had tweeted,

“Members of our military have already given so much. Raiding money from their pensions to fund the President’s wasteful vanity project is outrageous. Our service members deserve better.”

This is false, sayeth the Times:

“To build his border wall without the approval of Congress, Mr. Trump will draw from an account for military construction projects, a Treasury Department forfeiture fund and a Pentagon drug interdiction program. He has not announced plans to “raid” military pensions.”

To be fair, most of the Democratic field has been lying at a prodigious rate.

3.  Shut up, RBG. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s  remarks at a judges conference in New York last week included praise for rookie Justice Kavanaugh for hiring only women for his team of law clerks.  “Justice Kavanaugh made history by bringing on board an all-female law clerk crew. Thanks to his selections, the Court has this Term, for the first time ever, more women than men serving as law clerks,” she said.

Wow, that’s excellent progress, since we all know that men are toxic, rape-prone, violent,  sex-obsessed blights on humanity, as, in fact, Kavanaugh was accused of being at his confirmation by Justice Ginsburg’s fervent supporters. Kavanaugh’s hiring choices appear to have been grandstanding and pandering to the admirers of RBG who called him a sexual predator.  Ginsburg’s comments are bigoted. Why is having women rather than men as clerks intrinsically  wonderful?

4. Again: Progressives neither understand nor support the First Amendment. At last week’ s California Democratic Party Convention, Resolution 19-05.94 read as follows…

WHEREAS, Protecting First Amendment rights is critical, but is also limited to exclude hate speech using the concept that offending statements first should be viewed through the lens of the party experiencing the hate, and that Jews, LatinX, African-American, Asian Pacific Islander, Muslims, Disabilities and LGBTI communities can be targets of oppression and hate speech for a variety of reasons.

It is fair to say that we have been sufficiently warned that progressives believe that only they are qualified to define “hate speech,” which includes, for example , “Make America Great Again” and “The Triumph of the Will,” as well as, to generalize, any speech they find inconvenient.  Such an exception in the First Amendment would permit the Left to muzzle dissent and opposition using the iron boot of the law…which is exactly what they seem to want to do.

Serious question: How can anyone in their right mind trust these people?

5. Just musing here...but is it ethical to spend scarce research funds to prove what is, or should be, obvious? I know, I know: lots of conventional wisdom is wrong, so many things that “everybody knows” turn out to be false when researchers look closely. Still—does the fact that dog-owners get more exercise than those without dogs really need independent confirmation? If I don’t take my Jack Russell Terrier, Rugby, out for a good 45 minute walk, he will do everything short of pulling a gun on me to exact his revenge. (My previous Jack, Dickens, did pull a gun on me once. I’m not kidding.)

Another recent study revealed the shocking conclusion that people who are attractive and conventionally good-looking have an automatic advantage in all aspects of social interaction over those who are not attractive or disfigured. Is there anyone on Earth who doesn’t know that? Beautiful people know it, and rely on it. Ugly people know it because they experience the bias every day.


32 thoughts on “Morning Ethics Warm-Up, 6/10/19: On Chaos, Pots, Bigotry, Hate Speech And Proving the Obvious.

  1. #1 I do hope for a quick recovery of Big Papi. On the morbid bright side, we won’t have to read op-eds about the backwardness of American gun laws, on the morbid bad side, neither shall we read op-eds about the backwardness of Dominican gun laws.
    Now I know about the namesake of the Boston metro area sports bar Tony C’s. Thank you!

    #5 Beautiful people have privilege over their average peers, more news at 11!
    Now you have to tell the story with your previous dog Dickens. It sounds quite intriguing,

    • Dickens, unlike his successor, was creative, perverse and diabolical. Very social and loving (but not as universally accepting of all like Rugby is), he also had the gift of discerning the meaning, or at least the impact, of certain human objects and tools. He stole the remote control of the TV to get our attention. He opened my wife’s pocket book, took out her wallet, unzipped it, and ran down stairs with a mouth full of money to entice us to chase him.

      He got his greatest reaction from us, however, when he invaded my theatrical props box and appeared with a starter pistol in his mouth, wagging his tail but with that scary look in his eye that was his alone.

          • Mischievous or downright diabolical? Hilarious. Can’t really tell with dogs and cats, can we?

            1. I wish I were as sanguine about Big Papi’s prognosis as so many others, particularly those who are economically dependent upon him, are. Ruptured colon really bad news, for obvious reasons.

            • “Mischievous or downright diabolical? Hilarious. Can’t really tell with dogs and cats, can we?”

              With dogs, it can be difficult to discern, especially the terriers. Cats are much simpler. With them, the answer 100% of the time is “downright diabolical”. Cats are capable of simple mischief only as a distraction for a much more sinister plot, like an assassination or coup. If your cat is being amusingly mischievous, watch your back…

  2. 2. Lying Democrats

    Since apparently hypocrisy has no meaning as long as said hypocrisy is directed at defeating Trump, or putting him or his family into prison, I don’t know why we should be surprised.

    I’m incapable even of being disappointed anymore. TDS is 100% fatal to discourse, honesty, and reason.

    3. RBG

    Why is having women rather than men as clerks intrinsically wonderful?

    Non- white men = good. Women =/= white men, so there you go. Besides, RBG thinks that, but for bigotry, all law clerks would be women.

    It’s okay to be bigoted if you are bigoted against the right people, you know.

    4 Free Speech and the Left

    Serious question: How can anyone in their right mind trust these people?

    I’ll answer your question with a question: What does it mean, these days, to be in your “right mind?” I think that TDS qualifies as insanity, and since virtually everyone in the Democratic Party’s leadership is afflicted with varying degrees of TDS, it would seem that the answer to your question is this:

    There are no Democrats in California in positions of power who are in their right mind.

  3. 3: I guess at least we know she hasn’t died yet. At the risk of sounding ageist, every day that extra from Jurassic Park stays on the bench is another day she publicly embarrasses herself. I understand why she’s doing it: She hopes that someone else wins in 2020 and she can be replaced by a progressive.

    There are two problems with that; Democrats have to take the Senate, and what happens if Trump wins. The latter looking more and more likely every day. Jeff from 2018 would never have believed that sentence possible. One way or the other, what’s the plan? They mbalm her, glue her to a chair and play “Weekend at Bernie’s” for four years?

  4. 4: “LatinX” has to be the stupidest etymological conception from the left yet. They can’t call something “Latino” or “Latinas” because those have gendered connotations. The obvious, “Latines”, just wasn’t hip or edgy enough to fill the bill, so they came up with LatinX (Which I have always pronounced La-tinks).

  5. “Insane” is a legal term and, thus, is not a diagnosis. I would note that they are probably delusional or hallucinating, perhaps both. However, to make a differential diagnosis, I’d have to evaluate them individually.

  6. The CA Democratic Convention produced 195 pages of crazy, including resolutions to boycott states with anti-abortion laws, to abolish ICE, to rename the Dixie School District (4 schools in CA’s Marin County named after an historic one-room schoolhouse in San Rafael), to “use power and inherent contempt to investigate Trump,” to call for the federal government to coordinate national mobilization to end fossil fuel use, to boycott the Hotel Bel-Air and the Beverly Hills Hotel because they are owned indirectly by the Sultan of Brunei and homosexuality is punishable by death in Brunei (the laws also impose death for adultery and extramarital sex, but the sultan has put the death penalty on ice), to call on India to stop violating Pakistan’s territorial integrity, to boycott any candidates who accept money from anyone in the fossil fuel industry, to abolish nuclear weapons, to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the Cuban Revolution against American imperialism, to encourage US House member from CA to join Rep. Tlaib on a trip to Palestine (oh yeah, never mind the resolution against anti-semitism that blames Trump), to adopt a guaranteed basic income nationally, to abolish forced labor as a criminal punishment, to change the standard for police use of deadly force from “reasonable” to “necessary,” to denounce the “doctrine of discovery” whereby European nations colonized non-European countries like America, to oppose a citizenship question on the census short form, etc.

    • Honestly I only got through 60-some pages of it, and then there were a raft of Green New Deal resolutions, so I gave up.

    • The crazy is truly strong with the CDP. I particularly like resolutions that;
      1. Call on the legislature to boycott states who disagree with the CDB’s resolutions;
      2. Demand the removal of the word “Dixie” from everything;
      3. Insist that Congress find Trump “colluded” with a foreign power(s) despite the Mueller report;
      4. Refuse to endorse anyone who disagrees with certain items, like the Green New Deal;

      Just to name a few.

    • By the way, here are the resolutions actually adopted by the CDP convention:

      Click to access Resolutions-Committee-Report-Measure.pdf

      It’s heartening the “hate speech exception” resolution wasn’t adopted, but these were:

      1) Party boycott of Terranea Resort because it has opposed a ballot initiative that would require panic buttons for hotel housekeepers and many women have alleged that they’ve been sexually harassed there.

      2) Oppose a citizenship question on the US Census.

      3) Encourage a boycott of states with anti-abortion statutes.

      4) Change the standard for use of deadly force by police from “reasonable” to “necessary.”

      5) Advocate that Kaiser Permanente reduce the case loads of its mental health workers and end outsourcing of mental health services (i.e., supporting for a labor union).

      6) Demand a California Green New Deal with hiring preferences for formerly incarcerated and other socially or economically disadvantaged people.

      7) Call on the University of California system to meet the demands of labor unions.

      8) Support additional rent control and tenants’ rights measures.

      9) End federal cannabis prohibition.

      10) End all affiliation between publically-funded hospitals and religiously-affiliated hospitals and healthcare organizations.

      11) Support the establishment of regular reassessment of commercial and industrial properties which would otherwise not be subject to such reassessment under Prop 13.

      12) Endorse the proposed NO BAN Act, which would repeal the president’s so-called “Muslim ban,” amend the Immigration and Nationality Act to prohibit discrimination based on religion, and limit executive authority to act on such matters.

      13) Train party staff on implicit bias and sexual harassment, and to “exercise shared power through equity in committee assignments reflective of the chair votes.”

      14) Moratorium on the expansion of charter school (a sop to the teachers’ union).

  7. Re the female law clerk situation: I dunno, might be smart of Kavanaugh. If RGB and other progressives call his hiring of female law clerks a good thing, rather than voicing concern, they must have forgotten all about the “sexual predator” thing. almost like admitting someone made the whole thing up, no?

    • It may just be that Kavanaugh’s female law clerks were the most qualified available to him, and Ginsburg has developed a friendship with him (she was famously close to Scalia, after all), and is defending him by appealing to the biases of his enemies. But l I could also see this being a strategic move on Kavanaugh’s part to appeal to Ginsburg’s bias, with the result that his enemies’ greatest hero on the Supreme Court is his institutional ally even if they have opposing judicial philosophies.

      • If I recall, there was a televised interview during the Kavanaugh antics in which she made a critical comment toward its use of low-brow character assassination. She didn’t say much (she seemed to even have trouble speaking) but the message was clear enough for me to remember now. The trouble with a “progressive” party is that it’s older members must necessarily be left behind. I suspect she still thinks a lot of things her party would be horrified to hear.

  8. 4. Once we (including some on the right, unfortunately) acquiesced to the idea of “hate” (thought) crime as something that could be punished by the government, we opened the door for this sort of thing. We’ve seen that many on the left are no longer actually liberal, so it’s no surprise that even their once-favored First Amendment is now in danger.

  9. The assailant was apparently a motorcycle-riding thief (whom bystanders mobbed and held for the police—don’t you love it when that happens?).

    I’ve long thought the phrase ‘mob justice’ should be reserved for those few times when a mob behaves justly. There are some just acts that can only be accomplished through collective outrage, and they should be made distinct from the more common use of the phrase.

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