Morning Ethics Warm-Up, 7/9/2019: Then They Came For Mr Peanut…

Good Morning!

1. From what cultural hell in America did this conduct ooze out of? A family got in a brawl in the middle of Disneyland, as on looking children screamed. See?


The family was escorted out of the park, and criminal charges are being sought.

This entire family is so devoid of  functioning ethics alarms that it lacked the basic civilized instincts not to a) physically attack each other b) physically attack each other in public c) physically attack each other in a family venue that represents the opposite of what they were doing.

In some kind of record for inappropriate understatement, Disney said that  the company “does not condone this type of behavior.” That’s reassuring.

2. Congratulations to the U.S. Women’s Soccer Team, but its captain is still an asshole. I fully endorse—well, 95%— Washington Post columnist Mark Thiessen, who had this to say about Megan Rapinoe, the team captain who has been grandstanding her hatred for President Trump by refusing to respect the National Anthem abroad. He writes in part,

Rapinoe is not playing for the Trump administration; she is playing for the United States. It’s one thing for a professional athlete to protest the national anthem, but quite another for a member of Team USA to do it. Rapinoe is protesting the Stars and Stripes while wearing the Stars and Stripes. That’s not OK. Representing your country is a privilege, not a right. If she really feels she can’t show respect for the U.S. flag and anthem, then she shouldn’t wear the U.S. jersey. Here’s the worst part: What she’s doing is selfish. Her protest comes at a time when the U.S. women’s team has taken an important stand against gender discrimination. They are suing the U.S. Soccer Federation because, despite being more successful on the field than the men’s team, and bringing in more revenue, they are paid significantly less than the men. They have a point, and the World Cup is a chance to rally the country behind their cause. But instead of unifying Americans behind her team’s admirable fight for gender equity, Rapinoe is dividing Americans with her anthem protests. Untold numbers of Americans who might have been inspired to support the team’s cause have been alienated by its leader.

Thiessen is talking about cognitive dissonance here: he’s pointing out, correctly, that people are less like likely to rally with even a just cause when its advocates are assholes.

My 5% objection is that the women’s team will have a strong claim to equal pay when they prove that they can play soccer as well as the men’s team.

3. More dishonesty on open borders and illegal immigration. Dan Okrent, previously best known as the New York Times ombudsman who admitted that the Times had a liberal bias, has written a book called “The Guarded Gate: Bigotry, Eugenics, and the Law That Kept Two Generations of Jews, Italians and Other European Immigrants Out of America.” Predictably but outrageously, the book reviews in both the Washington Post and the New York Times strain to construct parallels between the effort to discriminate against ethnic groups deemed “inferior” when the U.S. had  virtually open borders and the current effort to enforce existing immigration laws that became essential once the U.S. had passed out its frontier stage.

\Here is the Times, in its review deceptively titled, “The New Wall”:

“The case against these European immigrants was remarkably similar to today’s complaints about those at our gates: They steal jobs from the native-born, they are costly to taxpayers, they don’t respect American values, and they are inclined to be criminals.

Wait…I could swear there is another important factor…one that is key to the immigration problem “complaints” now that wasn’t a factor in 1924. Hmmm…it’s right on the tip of my tongue. What could it be? OH! The primary complaint about illegal immigrants in 2019 is that they are illegal, and breaking the law to come here. In the entire review by Linda Gordon neither the word “illegal” nor its cover-word “undocumented” appear. Her intent is to  tie the eugenic movement and racist nativism to today’s straightforward effort to enforce America’s borders. This is Big Lie #3 in action: Trump is a fascist.

Now here’s the Washington Post, in a review by David A. Hollinger, a professor emeritus at the University of California at Berkeley and the author of “Postethnic America: Beyond Multiculturalism”:

When Congress sharply restricted immigration in 1924, it acted on the basis of ideas about race and heredity known to be false. The story of this triumph of ignorance has been told before, but never more vividly than by Daniel Okrent in a book that appears in another era when well-financed engines of deceit affect immigration policy. “The Guarded Gate: Bigotry, Eugenics, and the Law That Kept Two Generations of Jews, Italians, and Other European Immigrants Out of America” is a rigorously historical work. But readers who follow today’s debates about immigration and who are familiar with tweets from the White House may reflect on how weak the truth can be when powerful interests try to obscure it.

What an ironic and hypocritical last sentence, given that the professor, like the Times reviewer, omits the truth that the the  policy debate in 2019 is about enforcing existing and necessary immigration laws that are not based on ethnicity or prejudice.  Once again, the review doesn’t mention the terms “illegal” or “undocumented.” (To its credit, it doesn’t mention “Islam” or “Muslims” either, perhaps realizing that the temporary restrictions on immigration from certain hotbeds of Islamic terrorism cannot credibly be compared to the racism of the 1920s.)

4. On a lighter note about a serious issue, social media censorship: Luke Taylor at Vice revealed that he had been banned from Twiter for threatening Mr. Peanut, the Planters symbol, in a series of satirical posts. Kira David writes,

First they came for the conservatives and I said nothing. Then they came for the liberals who haven’t purged their social media comments from the last ten years and I said nothing. Then they came for the pretend peanut mascots…and there was no one left to speak for me.

25 thoughts on “Morning Ethics Warm-Up, 7/9/2019: Then They Came For Mr Peanut…

  1. I’ve long thought an avenue of criticism of the open border camp is that the porous border has resulted in a very non-diverse defacto immigration policy. It creates the defacto policy where the race of immigrants are based on land proximity, and nothing more. We have so many people the world over who would add to our melting pot in unique ways but are denied due to ocean barriers. Those less fortunate in Africa, SE Asia and Eastern Europe are denied the opportunity those to our South get.

  2. The US women’s soccer team’s compensation claim misses a key point–they are entertainers, and the value of their services is not set by them, but by the market for their entertainment. The men’s game at this point is vastly more entertaining–by as much as 45 times, given the World Cup revenue difference. The women aren’t providing the same level of production as the men, at least as measured by international contests. Are they providing the same level of entertainment here in the US? Perhaps, but that’s a function of whatever domestic league they can establish. To the extent they rely on international results, they are limited by the international market for their entertainment value.

    • There is also the simple fact that aren’t as good as the men. To settle the issue, have them play 3 matches against the men. If the women win 2 of them, they get equal pay.

  3. “My 5% objection is that the women’s team will have a strong claim to equal pay when they prove that they can play soccer as well as the men’s team”

    I have to disagree here.

    Based on what standard? USWNT plays at the highest standard as evidenced by their numerous victories and titles, including the recent World Cup. While I may have supported other teams and generally thought the behavior on and off the field of a number of the US women, Rapinoe chief among them was not very professional, they are the best team. The display against Thailand was ugly.

    If you mean against men’s teams (or even just measured against the same physical standard or speed, endurance, etc.) then I just can’t support that objection. Are you saying a top ranked female tennis player, who may be number 1 in the world, filling tennis stadiums and entertaining X Millions on TV should basically get $0 for those efforts because she could not crack the top 200-300 ranking of male players?

    Anyway, national team members (men or women) playing US soccer are not solely paid based on how well they play. I’d wager that national team members are paid to represent their country first and win second. They are paid based on lots of factors like getting them to give up other sources of income to play for the national team. They may also get paid based on the number of games they play, some proportion of seat/gate revenue or TV rights revenue. But the standard you mention is not reasonable.

    One could argue that because the men generally make much more playing professionally the men are paid more to play for the national team as they either forego other revenue or put it in jeopardy, risking injury and a shorter pro-career. But you didn’t.

    • Thiessen says:

      They are suing the U.S. Soccer Federation because, despite being more successful on the field than the men’s team, and bringing in more revenue, they are paid significantly less than the men.

      If the women really do bring in more revenue than the men, that is a pretty good argument why they should be paid more money. Does anybody here know whether or not it’s true that they do? I’ve tried to google it, but the articles seem almost determined to avoid giving real numbers

    • On the standard that soccer is a game where there is absolutely no reason to have gender segregated teams. If they want more money, then they should try out for the men’s team. Ame with tennis, golf and basketball.

      Meanwhile, the issue of who gets paid more or less is incredibly complicated

  4. 1. America’s black culture? You haven’t noticed the soft spot among black people (equal opportunity for all- men, women, boys, girls) for wild brawls or attacks that include windmill/hay maker punching, kicking and, most remarkable, the apparently favorite sneaker-clad head stomping? These little contretemps at Disney are child’s play. No kicking or head stomping.

  5. 1. Disney fight

    In some kind of record for inappropriate understatement, Disney said that the company “does not condone this type of behavior.” That’s reassuring.

    The justifiable scorn permeating that comment just dripped all over my desk. Which means it’s just about right.

    2. Megan Rapinoe

    Shut up and soccer. Or whatever. Stop using athletic contests as platforms for your stupid social and political grievances to captive audiences.

    I had no trouble cheering for her as a team member. I have equally little trouble calling her out for being an unethical jerk unworthy of the uniform, not by skill, but by disposition. Representatives of the USA should act better, and if they can’t, shouldn’t be representing the USA.

    And Thiessen is exactly right — where does she get the idea that she’s playing for Trump? And oh, by the way, where does she get off rejecting American symbols because the electorate disagreed with her politics? Would she be supportive if Clinton had been elected and some conservative jerk on the team pulled the same stunt?

    Doubt it.

    If she wants to show women as strong, she’s doing the opposite — showing they are too emotionally weak and overwrought to comport themselves with class. At least in her case. To be fair, Colin Kaepernic’s actions say the same for men, except men are already seen as strong.

    My 5% objection is that the women’s team will have a strong claim to equal pay when they prove that they can play soccer as well as the men’s team.

    My objection is that if they can’t draw a big enough $$$ pool to earn equal pay, they don’t deserve it no matter haw well they play. Try to convince the WNBA owners to pay their stars the same money as LeBron James and other NBA stars. They’ll correctly point out that they are in this for a profit, not social equality.

    3. The endless debate

    The Big Lie again — ignoring the “illegal” part of illegal immigration. “Undocumented” has been dying for quite some time, replaced with… nothing. The goal all along is to convince people that any form of immigration is equally valid.

    4. I can’t believe the Left hasn’t boycotted Planters because of Mr. Peanut yet. He’s obviously a rich, white member of the 1%, and looks like Mr. Monopoly (nee Rich Uncle Pennybags) sans the monocle.

    • 4. Even as a kid, I found Mr. Peanut engaging. This was in the ‘fifties. Funny a peanut from Georgia would look like a Regency or Edwardian Brit, hanging out at his club. “I say, Old Man.” They have to carry that iconic trademark and trade dress as a pretty valuable asset on their books. Investing one’s product with some gravitas. “Bully! Bully!”

      • If they attack Mr. Peanut and insist on Ms. Peanut, I’m going to assume Jimmy Carter will have to have his Him Too moment. Isn’t Planters a growers co-op/marketing venture? Take that, Mr. Jimmy!

  6. The men’s and women’s teams have negotiated agreements for pay, etc. The big discrepancy regards the International World Cup. The winner’s of the men’s World Cup got 400 million and the women got 38 million.

    • Because of the differing value of the TV rights FIFA is able to sell. All over the world. You think the Chinese care about women’s soccer when they can bet on men’s? No. It’s all about TV ads and BETTING ads! It’s like Formula One racing. Bernie Ecclestone owns the right to sell the TV ads (Lord knows why) and then he parcels out the money to the various teams depending on how they do against each other. Is it fair? Is it right? Sorry girls, that’s just how it is!

  7. 1. “From what cultural hell…”
    Back in the days before cell phone video, I witnessed several similar donnybrooks while visiting the Atlanta Zoo and Six Flags Over Georgia. During my last trip to Six Flags, members of two rival gangs were trying to settle “turf” issues in the park. The Cobb County Police were not sympathetic to their efforts. I no longer visit public attractions that actively prohibit concealed carry. News reports indicate that these people at Disneyland were related. Family Feud, indeed!

  8. Well, at least four guys tried to break up the brawl after the woman riding the scooter was hit. Disneyland needs to put into place some kind of rapid response team to deal with this thuggish behavior. The Keystone Cops security force that responded to this event need to be fired for their ineptness.

  9. Regarding Disney, watch the entire video, which is about 10 minutes. It shows the intervention of several people (who aren’t Disney employees) who try to keep things from getting worse. Where the hell are the park security people? Disney is a prime location for a terror attack and a gun-free zone IIRC, and obviously not concerned about having enough staff on hand to take care of relatively minor family feud.

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