Morning Ethics Warm-Up, 7/10/2019: The All-Star Game, The National Anthem, Quotas, And Secretary Acosta

Good morning!

1. All-Star Game ethics reflections (with a dash of women’s soccer):

  • Competence. Can someone tell me how many different keys MAX wandered into while trying to sing the National Anthem at the MLB All-Star game last night? He was flat, he was sharp, he fluctuated mid-phrase.  My rule is that I don’t care to hear a singer’s self-indulgent riffs at the end of the anthem if he couldn’t sing the real notes accurately earlier. That was awful. I know: it’s a tough song to sing on pitch without accompaniment, but these people are supposed to be professionals, and that was an amateurish, sloppy job.Incredibly, MAX has performed the Star-Spangles Banner at other sporting events.

Somebody tell him.

A saving grace: at least he remembered all the words (more or less) and didn’t kneel.

  • [ Speaking of kneeling: Women’s soccer team captain Megan Rapinoe “explained” her disrespecting the National Anthem (in defiance of her own team’s rules) while representing the nation abroad, telling Anderson Cooper last night (of course Anderson had neither the wit nor integrity to challenge her nonsense,

“I think that protest is not comfortable ever. It’s going to force people to look inward and question everything they thought that they knew….taking care of others, standing up for yourself and other people if they don’t have the ability to do so, is very uniquely American…I don’t think anybody can deny the horrors of racism and Jim Crow and mass incarceration and what’s happening on the southern border and gay rights and women’s rights.”

This is a sub-breed of Authentic Frontier Gibberish, the increasingly common species called the Self-Righteous Virtue-Signaling Authentic Frontier Gibberish, or “Kaepernick-speak,” SRVSAFG for short.. If an athlete hates the country because of its past mistakes more than he or she is proud of the country because of what it stands for, aspires to, and has accomplished, then it is hypocritical to play for a national team. “What’s happening” on the Southern border is an under-funded law enforcement and security agency doing the best it can to handle a flood of deliberate law-breakers who have chosen to endanger their own children. “What’s happening” in gay rights is that they are stronger now than they were during the first term of the previous administration. “What’s happening” in women’s rights is a healthy national debate over whether those rights should include an upon-ended right to end the life of  another human being—none of which has anything to do with soccer.

But I digress–we were talking about an American sport, baseball…

  • Integrity. Fox’s baseball broadcasting is marginally better than ESPN’s but only because Fox doesn’t include a sociopathic steroid cheat like Alex Rodriguez on its broadcast team. However, the devise of having live interviews with the players on the field during the game is offensive and insulting. MLB is foolish to allow it.

2.  Oh for God’s sake...In her review of “Dog Man: The Musical,” New York Times reviewer Laurie Graeber writes, “[M]y only quibble is the same one I have with the novel: All the really interesting characters are male.” Okay, it’s only a quibble, but it’s an offensive and biased quibble, and since her editor–if the Times still uses editors; I see no sign of them of late—didn’t have the sense to slap her down, it’s up to the rest of us. What does she want, EEOC quotas in every story now? Yes, that’s exactly what she wants, and the idea is creatively stultifying. This quibble leads to other similar quibbles, and the next thing you know, a production of “Twelve Angry Men” or “That Championship Season” or “The Fantastiks” will be labelled racist, sexist, homophobic or “ablist” because it does’t perfectly balance its casting with an equal number of men, women, blacks, Asians, Hispanic, gay, transgender, non-binary, “differently-abled” characters. If there aren’t enough characters to get them all in, then eliminate the white males.

Graeber’s “quibble” is based on tribalism and bigotry, and she should not be allowed to get away with it without a fight.

3. Apparently Labor Secretary Acosta is resigning today. GOOD. Ethics Alarms covered the reasons this is necessary and now long-past due in a November 2018 post about the revelations involving Jeffrey Epstein’s unconscionable plea deal. I wrote then..

I do not see how Acosta can remain as Secretary of Labor following these revelations, incomplete as they are. I don’t see how we can trust his judgment, and even if, somehow, he could justify the deal with Epstein on legal, technical or pragmatic grounds, I doubt that the general public would be reassured. He should resign.

Yet it took eight more months and a new set of charges against Epstein for President Trump, or Acosta to accept the obvious and to do the right thing. There’s no excuse for this.

29 thoughts on “Morning Ethics Warm-Up, 7/10/2019: The All-Star Game, The National Anthem, Quotas, And Secretary Acosta

  1. Jack, guess you missed A-Rod on the pre-game with (The Big Hurt) Frank Thomas. Love the All-Star Game, disliked the broadcast. The on-field wiring of players was poorly done and not enlightening.

  2. Ms. Rapinoe is typical of her leftist resistance brethren, claiming to speak for others and/or the common good when they have no idea what other people think outside of a few ignorant elitist athletes and actors who would be broke for lack of a career if they weren’t living here and being protected by the police in this country.

    Ms. Rapinoe is more than likely jockeying for a really big Nike contract.

  3. “Did you just pee in my cornflakes?”

    “Yes! I peed in your cornflakes to protest habitat loss.”

    “What does that have to do with my cornflakes?”

    “Oh, so you support habitat loss?”

    “No, I just don’t see the connection between that and you peeing in my cornflakes.”

    “Typical wildlife hater. I protest habitat loss, and you think it’s all about your cornflakes.

    • Did I detect something smelling faintly of the great John Cleese?

      Some faves:

      “If God did not intend for us to eat animals, then why did he make them out of meat?”

      “Venezuelan beaver cheese”

      “My hovercraft is full of eels.”

      “It’s not pining, it’s passed on! This parrot is no more! It has ceased to be! It’s expired and gone to meet its maker! This is a late parrot! It’s a stiff! Bereft of life, it rests in peace! If you hadn’t nailed it to the perch, it would be pushing up the daisies! It’s rung down the curtain and joined the choir invisible. This is an ex-parrot!”

  4. 1. He was either “stylin'” or bringing back Gregorian Chant. Kind of liked the fireworks for the “rockets red glare.” Sounded like a firing squad. If Mel Brooks had been producing the show, MAX would have been executed, followed by a close up of the Ump shouting “Play Ball!”

    • You have me trying to imagine what the anthem would sound like as a chant in an echoing cathedral. The melody would have to be amended, but not so much as is done by a standard pop-performer, to say nothing of the far more standard substandard pop-performer.

      I wonder how well it would work in Latin…

      • Spanish might work as a chant:

        Oh digamos, ¿puedes ver,
        con la primera luz de la aurora,
        Lo que tan orgullosamente saludamos
        en el último destello del crepúsculo…

  5. On Acosta

    Now did Acosta orchestrate the plea that resulted in him being incarcerated for 13 months or did the state of Florida.

    My understanding is that the Feds let the state prosecute Epstein and they agreed not to prosecute because the state was prosecuting. Did the state prosecuters fail to disclose this to the victims or is this only an issue when Ben Sasse wants to slyly inflict a wound on Trump. It was Sasse that make the request to have the case reopened.

    Are the feds required to prosecute all cases irrespective of whether there is overlapping jurisdiction? Can anyone tell me if the state penalties are more or less than federal penalties upon conviction?
    Are federal faciities more or less desirable from a state prison? It seems to me that being prosecuted for the same crime by both governmental bodies smacks of double jeopardy. I understand that such understanding is no longer valid in the age of Trump but the loss of liberty for the same offense irrespective of the prosecutorial body is what double jeopardy was to prevent.

    Finally, was Acosta the highest ranking official signing off on this decision?

    • Update: It took awhile but now I understand Acosta is being condemned for entering into a plea deal that avoided a trial that our arm chair prosecuters feel was too lenient. Florida was going to let him walk.

      So the lesson here is to prosecute whether you feel you can or not if it involves any male charged with sex with underage girls. What would people say if Acosta had gone after Epstein full bore and lost. Epstein walks and no registration on sex registry.

      If it can be shown that Acosta showed deference to Epstein because he was told to or because he had a relationship or wanted to curry favor then we have a serious problem because Acosta is covering for someone higher up or is part of the swamp himself. Why are we not asking why the deal was approved by his superiors?

      • Except that the evidence was overwhelming, and, as with Jussie Smullett, the deal looked like a rich guy buying his way out of trouble. Furthermore, the victims were never consulted about the deal, which, while not mandatory, is good practice is such cases. Yes, it would have been better to lose the case with a fair trial and a jury to allow the pubic to think that a bunch of superlawyers bullied a prosecutor on behalf of a rich predator.

        • I will defer to your expertise.
          However, does it not seem strange that all the discussion is on Acosta’s role rather than Epstein? Why are we not investigating the Florida DA’s for causing the feds to take up the case? Finally, if the case then was that strong against Epstein why did it take 11 years to see it resurface. Why didn’t the Obama DOJ take up the issue?

          I know little about this case but apparantly it was heavily covered then so every Senator who voted to confirm Acosta had to know or should have known about this case and should have never confirmed him. My perception is that Acosta is simply an easy target to help create more negative coverage of the,administration. I don’t like people picking out targets for scapegoating

  6. On Womens Soccer
    The only legitimate way to remedy the contention that female players are compensated at an unfairly discriminatory value is to eliminate all gender labels and let women compete against the men’s teams and let them all seek to qualify under this new gender neutrality policy with all players paid according to whatever policies FIFA dictates for all players
    Call this the Rapinoe rule. I am sure all the women’s soccer players would loved to show they can compete equally with the male soccer players.

    • Justification
      If women’s soccer players are equally compensated with their male counterparts based on the equal pay for equal work concept then all minor league baseball players must be paid the same as those in the majors because they are performing equal work.

      You cannot argue two different leagues must pay the same simply because of gender differences: Equal pay for equal work must apply to all genders performing such work.

      • I like that, Chris. Good analogy.

        I think Jack’s point of removing all gender requirements from sports is the best way to go. Golf, tennis, soccer, baseball, hockey, track and field, wrestling, boxing, UFC, hell, even American football. If they can beat out a sufficient number of people to play, let ’em at it. That’s equality.

    • If Trump invites the women’s soccer team to the White House and they refuse to come, then he should immediately invite the Dallas boy’s soccer team that beat them in 2017. Whether or not it was an informal scrimmage that the women’s team may or may not have played their best.

  7. Megan who?

    I think I forgot her name one day after the World Cup victory. Didn’t she play that boring game that involves a whole lot of running and not a lot of excitement?

    Anyone screaming about how much recognition they deserve automatically forfeits all recognition they may have actually deserved.

  8. 3. Umm… Nope. He made a rather strong defense of his actions.

    Am I convinced? Let’s just say I am open to hearing more. I was convinced he should resign when I read your first piece, and now, I am less certain that should be the outcome.

    One thing we should all be aware of, and it’s hard, is that virtually all the reporting in almost every story is slanted to attack Trump an anyone associated with him. There are a lot of moving parts to this story. We are going to hear plenty about this over the coming months, and hopefully, the full record of how this plea deal was reached will come out.

    It sucks that we can no longer trust the media to bring us the straight dope, but as I was listening to Acosta’s press conference yesterday, I was struck by how every media member who asked him a question had already decided he ought to be on trial right beside Epstein. Every question was dripping with scorn and loathing.

    This is the world we live in. I’m still thinking right now it’s better for him to resign, but that might change as facts come to light.

    • Re 3: I just covered his excuses in this morning’s post.

      Also, conservative commentators have also been critical of Acosta’s handling of the case. It may be that he was the victim of moral luck, and that it is perception rather than reality that besets him. But when a sweetheart plea deal involves a billionaire sexual predator with celebrity friends and he continues to victimize women, it makes the system look rigged and unjust. Somebody has to pay.

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