Morning Ethics Warm-Up, 7/2/2019: Monkeys, Howlies, Nikes, And The Great Tag Hoax

Gooooood Morning!

1. Talk about a newspaper column that is exactly the opposite of the truth! The Times had an essay in its “Review” section this Sunday with a title that gave me a shock: Want to Be Less Racist? Move to Hawaii”

The headline would have been more accurate if it read, “Want to live in the only state with lawful and open racial discrimination? Move to Hawaii!” Hawaii gives special benefits to residents with full or partial Native Hawaiian ancestry. There is a special  Hawaiian registry program which verifies an individual’s Native Hawaiian ancestry, so the favored race can receive such goodies that are unavailable to other racial groups as buying land for a home at only $1 a year,  low-interest loans, and admission for their children to the elite Kamehameha Schools.

Anecdotally, I can also state that the only time in my life that I felt I was the target of racial epithets was in college, when the Hawaiian contingent frequently derided me and my white room mates as “howlies,” a disparaging Island term reserved for anyone who is not a native Hawaiian. I will always remember my 6’5″ roommate Dave ending the practice by saying to the two main offenders, “If I ever hear that word from any of you again, I promise that I will shove you, Howie, directly up Reggie’s ass, head first.  Are we clear on that?”

Dave never bluffed, and seldom joked. That was the last time we were called “howlies.”

2. Nike is not just scum, but cowardly, sniveling scum. Nike Inc. cancelled a U.S.A.-themed sneaker featuring the Betsy Ross American flag because Head NFL Kneeler Colin Kaepernick, a Nike endorser, told company officials that he and others felt that the  historic flag is an offensive symbol because of its connection to an era of slavery.

The Air Max 1 USA had been designed for release in celebration of the July Fourth holiday, and scheduled to go on sale this week. The heel of the shoe featured a U.S. flag with 13 white stars in a circle, the original flag created during the American Revolution and known as the Betsy Ross flag.

Wow! How racist can you get!

After shipping the shoes to retailers, Nike asked for them to be returned. “Nike has chosen not to release the Air Max 1 Quick Strike Fourth of July as it featured the old version of the American flag,” a Nike spokeswoman said.

Everyone else is free to do what they want, but I wouldn’t have a Nike product in my home.

3. Regarding the previous posthere is an article that argues that Portland’s selective protection of  some forms of speech over others based on content is a violation of the First Amendment.

4. Monkey Ethics. It’s a small thing, indeed a small furry thing, but Hollywood has been trying to undermine the public’s basic  understanding of monkey evolution and biology for decades, and there’s no excuse for it. I learned in grade school that Old World monkeys, in Africa and Asia, are tail-less, while New World monkeys, in Central and South America, have prehensile tails, a definite upgrade. So why, in the Dustin Hoffman thriller “Outbreak,”are we repeatedly told that the  tail-possessing Capuchin monkey that causes a hemorrhagic fever outbreak in the U.S. was captured in Africa? For that matter, why is the same South American species hanging around Indiana Jones in “Raiders of the Lost Ark” when Indy is in Egypt?

The reason appears to be that Capuchin monkeys are cute and much, much easier to train that any African type. Thus its OK to make audiences ignorant.

5. Superb concise summary of the 2016 Post Election Ethics Train Wreck from Victor David Hanson:

“We are now in the fourth year of an anti-Trump mania, and about reaching the point of caricature. The Left should have learned something after the failed celebrity appeal to undermine the Electoral College, the initial articles of impeachment, the empty invocations of the Logan Act, the Emoluments Clause, and the 25th Amendment, the 22-month, $35 million Mueller investigation deflation, the periodic silly ‘bombshell’ announcements of perennially wrong and comical Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), the pathetic palace coup attempt of Andrew McCabe, the assassination chic from the likes of Madonna, Snoop Dogg, or Kathy Griffin, or the deification of the slimy prophet Michael Avenatti. Not at all.”

6. And now for something completely stupid. Today on our local Northern Virginia cable channel, the chattering heads were in intense debate over the tale of a wife who was frustrated with her failure to lose weight until her loving husband surreptitiously replaced a Size 10 tag on one of her garments with a Size 6. She was thrilled—this is called confirmation bias—and though her husband only intended for the switcheroo to be a one-time thing, he repeated the hoax more than once.

Now she has realized what he was doing—she found some old clothes she couldn’t fit into with missing tags, and the jig was up—-and is furious. “Is that fair?,” viewers were asked this morning. After all, the husband deceived her out of love!

The scenario reminded me of “Mean Girls,” when Cady (Lindsay Lohan) sabotages the high school’s Queen Bee Regina by tricking her into eating “Swedish nutrition bars” as a diet snack, when the bar were really high caloric meal substitutes that  make her gain weight.

Post script: “Mean Girls” was 15 years ago, and Lindsay Lohan was  a teen, gorgeous, and had the brightest future imaginable.  Now she’s an ex-patriot, trafficking in reality shows and desperation. She marked her 33rd birthday with a nude selfie. Sic transit gloria.

25 thoughts on “Morning Ethics Warm-Up, 7/2/2019: Monkeys, Howlies, Nikes, And The Great Tag Hoax

  1. Lindsay Lohan: Beautiful, young, child actresses turning into sex zombies always make me wonder whether they were molested when they were beautiful, young child actresses. God didn’t make honky tonk angels. What a perilous career path.

  2. On Nike
    The Governor of AZ feels the same way. He just rescinded the state’s economic development funding for Nike. I would bet that will cost them a minimum of 250K and even more if they have to go back to the site selection drawing board.

    • Was that the time that antifa surrounded their headquarters and basically trapped them all inside? I wonder if the Portland antifa geeks realize that they’re just flying monkeys for the mayor, acting as the sort of jackboots that he wishes he could turn the police into.

      • It wasn’t specifically antifa, but I’m sure the cast of characters overlap no doubt.
        The first event was someone managed to obtain the home addresses of the Portland ICE employees and doxed them all. There were numerous instances of families being harassed, including threats and vandalism.
        Then there was a large protest where the ICE office was surrounded. Protestors were intimidating and beat on the cars of some of the employees were stuck by the protestors when they left. 911 was called and the Portland Police refused to respond, stating they were staying “neutral” ignoring the plight of the employees. The owner of the building managed to get the employees out by duping the protesters into thinking that he was helping other tenants of the building to come out. This lasted weeks while PPB stood by doing nothing. The let the camp devolve into a nasty, human waste and trash filled mess. The federal protective service setup a fence down the middle of the street and arrested anyone obstructing entry while the protest continued. Eventually pressure from the other nearby businesses got the city to act and they cleaned out the camp.
        The latest is the lawyer who represents the ICE employee union has been subject to attacks, with 100’s of thousands in vandalism damage to the property they rent.

  3. 5. I know Victor Davis Hanson has a somewhat checkered reputation in these parts but I find him invariably eloquent, elegant and accurate to the point of being virtually oracular, which is apt for a Greek Classicist. He’s also admirable in that he perseveres.

  4. Jack, Jack, Jack… don’t you see that casting a Capuchin monkey in an African monkey role is another example of non-traditional casting, and choosing whichever will make for a more successful film is the right way to go! 😉

    More seriously, sheer pragmatism seems like an adequate reason to me.

  5. 1. Howlies

    I lived in Hawai’i six months prior to separating service in the Navy. I heard the “howlie” thing a lot. I didn’t care, and still don’t — not a snowflake. Sticks and stones.

    You want to make racist comments about me? Go ahead. I don’t care, it says everything I need to know about you. I refuse to even acknowledge it.

    2. Nike

    So now, Colin Kaepernick gets to dictate Nike’s commercial philosophy? Awesome. It’s so predictably Leftist, it’s a freaking stereotype.

    I would only add a warning for Nike: “Get woke, go broke.” But who knows, maybe your stockholders will get rich selling only to minorities and “woke” Leftists. Because I’m sure not buying your products. Then again, I wouldn’t anyway, I like others better.

    3. First amendment

    Hmm. Doesn’t quite resonate for me. Interesting theory, though.

    4. Monkey ethics

    It’s nefarious and deliberate. Hanlon’s razor does not apply.

    5. That’s awesome.

    6. I have no words.

      • Jack or any one else tell me how people evolved on those volcanic islands such that they are native peoples

        I was always taught that the Hawaiin people were Polynesian that travelled in canoes from other South Pacific islands that had been colonized earlier by tribes leaving mainland Asia. Why are they called native Hawaiians when we don’t call the original settlers from Europe who struck out on boats to colonize that really big island in the west native Americans? Does native mean first to move in? If so how do we define the boundaries of what constitutes ownwership or limits if first inhabitation?

        • Simple, Chris. If you’re brown, black, red or yellow, you can be a Native-something. If you’re white, the ONLY place you can be ‘Native’ to is Northern Europe. Cases in point, the only real native Americans are the horse, camel and rhinoceros. Note that all three left early in their evolutionary life. And, yes, I already know that there were other species that evolved here. These three came immediately to mind..

  6. Those shoes look great! I might have bought them if I weren’t so averse to Nike’s endorsement deals. Now, I definitely won’t…or any other Nike product. Too bad.

  7. Daughter had to find a new workout clothing brand when Nike jumped the shark last year.

    She did not protest: she was thankful I did not burn her outfits as was popular at the time.

  8. The only Nike product I buy is Chelsea FC gear because they are the sole provider for the squad. I will not buy any other.

  9. Isn’t Nike the one that made the “Exploding Shoe” that sidelined an NBA player? How are they still in business?

  10. I posted about the Nike thing on my Facebook. I pointed out that I personally think the objection to the flag on the shoes was silly, BUT that I was looking forward to hearing some people try to talk their way into why a shoe SHOULD have a flag on it when §176 (i) and (j) of the Flag Code specifically prohibits the flag being embroidered on clothing or used on athletic equipment.

    A former college classmate blocked me for this.

    I don’t think he got past the first sentence.

    It’s never the posts on Facebook that I THINK get me into hot water that actually DO.

    • The Flag Code is now virtually a dead letter, especially the clothing, design and advertising provisions. They are sitting ducks for overturning on a First Amendment basis, so they are now closer to guidelines than laws.

  11. I’m going to assume rabid sneaker collectors are going to bid up the price of those shoes into the stratosphere. They’ll be the sneaker equivalent of stamps that were printed upside down or improperly minted coins. There are a limited number of the shoes, they will not be put into circulation and they have a story associated with them. They will be a wash for Nike and a boon for dealers in the secondary market, once they get there. Which should take about twenty-four hours.

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