It’s ethical dilemma time for a Red Sox fan. I have an opportunity to get two excellent seats for Sunday’s game in Baltimore. It will be about 99 degrees, and the seats are without any protection from old Sol. Loyalty and dedication demand that I go and support the Sox, whom I have not watched in person for two years. Survival and common sense—non-ethical considerations—argue that this would be nuts.
As Jack Benny said when a robber stuck a gun in his ribs and said, “Your money or your life!,”
1. Funny! Revealing! But still wrong. Campus Reform utilizes a James O’Keefe- inspired wag named Cabot Phillips whose signature stunt is to get college students to reveal their ignorance and unthinking social justice warrior ways. He typically does this by lying to them, as when he gives them quotes from Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton and tells them that the speaker was Donald Trump. Outrage and hilarity ensues.
This time, he traveled to the University of Miami and presented students with a fake petition demanding that the college remove its famed mascot and team name, “Hurricanes,” because the name might be offensive and hurtful to students who’ve been “negatively impacted by hurricanes throughout their lives.” Sure enough, many of the students he spoke with agreed withe the premise. Phillips then posted the video of the students making fools of themselves.
Human beings are wired to trust other human beings, and these stunts take advantage of that. Trust is essential to a healthy and cohesive society, and any exploitation of trust, be it for political purposes, financial gain or amusement, damages society.
It’s not worth it. In this case, the same point could be made by asking, “Would you a support an effort to ban the “Hurricanes” nickname as being potentially hurtful to the victims of tropical storms?”
2. “Spinquark” A helpful reader sent me a link to this website, which purports to expose “big tech companies that don’t respect your privacy..that aren’t transparent and consistent in their algorithms and policies or who use their platforms as a type of privatized online government, a government without recourse or representation.”
It has a lot of alarming assertions on its home page. Here is the opening salvo:
How is it that Facebook, who refuses to dox any of the violent Antifa terrorists that use its platform, are happy to give up the personal details of the Facebook user who anonymously uploaded a slowed video of Nancy Pelosi, within minutes, to some rando journalist on the phone? (How do you even call Facebook?)
The problem with this is that the rhetoric is indistinguishable from the typical InfoWars or Cenk Uyger conspiracy theory rant. Don’t ask “what if”: tell me, and cite reliable, non-partisan, verifiable sources. That’s a pretty scary paragraph, and heaven knows I am ready to believe it, since I write an ethics blog that has been banned from Facebook for emphatically questioning the assumptions and official mania of the social media Borg. However, a message can be undermined by the messenger. This is an important area for credible journalism, and the writing and presentation on Spinquark is designed for the choir, not the skeptic.
One of the most damaging forms of incompetence is to unwittingly sabotage an important idea or truth by inept communication of it.
3. Now THAT’s an unethical delivery woman! Chris Payton of York County ordered food from Dickey’s Barbecue using DoorDash, one of several food delivery services that send drivers to pick up orders from restaurants and deliver it to your door. Chris says he opened up the box after receiving it from the DoorDash employee and discovered that half of his food had been eaten: a third of the ribs he had ordered were missing and he observed what looked like bite marks.
Payton assumes the DoorDash delivery driver is the culprit, saying, “I guess she just pulls over to the side of the road and just decides to have herself a little snack before she delivers.”
When contacted by the news media, Dickey’s Barbecue confirmed Payton’s story by noting they have had similar incidents with the same DoorDash driver.
Wait: she’s done this before and she still has a job?
4. Trump’s double-down tweets: Regarding the distorted outrage over Trump’s “go back to where you came from” (then after you’ve cleaned up the messes there, come back and show us how you did it) tweets, and especially the House Democrats seeking t formally condemn the President’s “racist” comments, POTUS tweets,
“The Democrat Congresswomen have been spewing some of the most vile, hateful, and disgusting things ever said by a politician in the House or Senate, & yet they get a free pass and a big embrace from the Democrat Party. Horrible anti-Israel, anti-USA, pro-terrorist & public[ly] shouting of the F-word, among many other terrible things, and the petrified Dems run for the hills. Why isn’t the House voting to rebuke the filthy and hate laced things they have said? Because they are the Radical Left, and the Democrats are afraid to take them on. Sad!”
Not that I would ever expect President Trump to recognize the crucial difference between a defense and rationalizations, but this tweet series is based on several of the latter on the list, including, Ethics Estoppel, or “They’re Just as Bad,” Sicilian Ethics, or “They had it coming,” The “Tit for Tat” Excuse, The Comparative Virtue Excuse: “There are worse things,” The Scooby Doo Deflection, or “I should have gotten away with it!,” The Golden Rule Mutation, or “Do unto others according to how you feel about what they did unto you” and John Lyly’s Rationalization, Or “All’s fair in love and war.”
None of these excuse his self-immolation tweets.Nonetheless, regarding the Democrats selective outrage, he is absolutely correct.