Hello, August! Ethics Warm-Up: A Cheating Ex-Marine, An Athlete Who Cheats By Being Naturally Superior, The Cheating Media, And More

As if anyone needs “warm-ups” in August…

1. Here’s how you know a political candidate is an untrustworthy weasel: he places the official United States Marine Corps emblem on his campaign material. That would be Rep. Duncan Hunter, a Republican who has represented a conservative district near San Diego since 2009. This month, Hunter received a letter from the Marine Corps —that also had the official Marine emblem on it, but legitimately, unlike Duncan’s mailers—telling him he did not have permission to use the symbol and demanding that he stop immediately. The letter suggested that Mr. Hunter use an approved “Marine Veteran” emblem instead.

The man’s a long-time member of Congress, and he doesn’t know the basic fact that using any organization’s official emblem, logo or letterhead for an unrelated communication dishonestly suggests that that a communication has been endorsed by the organization? This isn’t an accident. This is misappropriation and intentional deception.

Or stupidity, of course. Any of the three ought to disqualify Hunter for Congress.

2. Nah, there’s no mainstream media bias! Part I. I no longer am going to be nice when someone tells me that liberal mainstream media bias is a myth, or that they aren’t routine purveyors  of “fake news.”

On Monday, as President Trump signed the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund extension, he mentioned being at Ground Zero after the 9/11 terror attacks, saying, “I was down there [at Ground Zero] also, but I’m not considering myself a first responder, but I was down there. I spent a lot of time down there with you.”  Immediately, members the media elite already working over-time to help Democrats defeat him accused the President of lying.

Kyle Griffin, a producer at MSNBC,  claimed there was no evidence Trump was ever at Ground Zero after 9/11. Then CNN’s Chris Cillizza, a progressive hack since his days at the Washington Post, described the statement as the President being “Walter Mitty,” the James Thurber character who imagined himself doing things he couldn’t and didn’t. “Business Insider”ran the headline, “Trump said he was ‘down there’ at Ground Zero after the 9/11 attacks, but there’s no evidence he was ever closer than a few blocks away.” The New York Times  cited a retired NYFD deputy chief who said Trump was never at Ground Zero, because, apparently, he sees all and knows all.

It didn’t take long for someone to track down an NBC video of Trump being interviewed at Ground Zero soon after the attacks, whereupon social media’s anti-Trump hoard shifted gears and claimed that the President had said he was literally in among the rescuers at the disaster site. Yet the video is slam-dunk proof that he was closer than “a few blocks away,” and by any reasonable interpretation, was “at Ground Zero.”

This is a disease.

Interestingly, nobody at MSNBC, CNN or the Times bothered to point out in 2016 that  Hillary Clinton,  did lie about her whereabouts  on 9/11. The conservative Washington Times noted it, however.

3.  Nah, there’s no mainstream media bias! Part II.

Glenn Kessler, the Washington Post’s occasionally fair factchecker, purported to check the claims of Bernie Sanders and Kamala Harris in their dueling versions of Medicare-For-All. He found factual inconsistencies and misrepresentations in both, but rather than hand out his trademark one, two, three or four “Pinocchios” designating how badly their rhetoric lined up with reality, Kessler concluded, “Readers have to view these proposals mostly as political messaging statements.”

When has Kessler ever given a pass to factually inaccurate statements by politicians, including candidates, by shrugging them off as “mostly as political messaging statements,” code for “no big deal, everybody does it”? Never. Not once before. How odd that the first time involves ignoring Democratic Presidential candidate  assertions that something is true when in fact they have no idea whether it is true or not. That itself is Pinocchio-worthy. [Pointer: Althouse]

4. Caster Semenya update. A recent Swiss ruling has now banned champion runner Semenya from international races between 400 meters and a mile until her case is resolved  by Switzerland’s highest court. The problem is that as an intersex woman, she naturally has testosterone levels that give her an advantage in women’s track events.

Meanwhile, biological men transitioning into womanhood are allowed to dominate women’s sports competitions in the U.S. This makes no sense at all.

The court said that Semenya’s intersex condition, known as 46XYDSD, “has a direct impact on performance in sport, which could never be achieved by other women.” The unique physical characteristics of many, many other elite athletes can be said to have bestowed the exact same kinds of advantages. The only question should be: Are these her real, natural abilities? If so, it is unethical to punish her for being born superior.

5. Can we agree that posting “video challenges” that are likely to persuade silly, stupid people into hurting themselves is unethical? Fitness entrepreneur and YouTube star Cassey Ho issues a YouTube challenge to do 1,000 squats, and he’s not the only one.

Recently, two Chinese teenagers narrowly escaped death after doing that many squats. Such a challenge is like daring the mentally-challenged to jump off a roof.

YouTube should ban such videos. Ethically, its an easy call.

6. Thanks to all who participated in yesterday’s Open Forum, which is still active.

7 thoughts on “Hello, August! Ethics Warm-Up: A Cheating Ex-Marine, An Athlete Who Cheats By Being Naturally Superior, The Cheating Media, And More

  1. On No. 5: Hmmmm……

    Not sure. 1,000 squats? Isn’t that sort of on par with killing yourself by holding your breath (a feat only Diogenes (and, perhaps, Jack) could accomplish)?

    I have no fear that: 1) I will ever be tempted to engage in 1,000 squats; or 2) my body would put up with such foolishness. Whether my hamstrings, glutes, or quadriceps, one of them will bring me back to my senses. Worst case scenario, my femurs register their contempt.

    You die from 1,000 squats, you are unsound in body and mind.


    • This is why my fitness regimen is strictly limited to only pilates. Specifically, “Pontius Pilates”, in that I have completely washed my hands of any exercise…

  2. Re #2, my liberal friends are talking about, not that Trump lied about where he was, but how in this quote, he equated himself with first responders. He claimed to be equal to those first responding heroes by calling himself a first responder. My head hurts, so I might not be thinking clearly, but what part of “I’m not considering myself a first responder” means “I was a first responder”? No seriously, that is the part of the quote they keep using to say that he’s claiming he was a first responder.

    I agree with you, it IS a disease. I keep thinking that there must be an agreement between Trump and the Democrats that Trump will suddenly become their champion next cycle due to the fact that they keep running his re-election campaign. Either that, or the democratic party’s donkey just truly means that they are all asses.

  3. #1. This is Hunter’s third appearance in Ethics Alarms, so far as I can tell. The first time was for taking down a piece of art work offensive to police (and a lot of others) that had been hung by a Democrat in the U.S. Capitol Building. The next was for his indictment which alleged conspiracy, wire fraud, and illegal use of campaign funds. His wife pleaded guilty to corruption and named him as a co-conspirator. He allegedly used campaign funds for personal expenses and also to pay for a series of romantic liaisons with congressional aides and lobbyists. His case still is pending.

    So, what’s one more unethical act, this time using the Marine Corps emblem to promote his candidacy?

    Well, what makes this worse is the fact that Hunter served on active duty with the Marine Corps for some four years, and he still is an officer in the USMC reserves, a Major. (As an aside, while it is legal for members of Congress to serve in the reserves, I believe it should be prohibited across the board. They are simultaneously members of the legislative and executive branches, an obvious conflict.)

    As noted in the EA post just under a month ago, any self-respecting individual with even a little bit of integrity would have resigned already. And, as noted in the warm-up, a member of Congress certainly should be aware of restrictions on use of trademarks. That is even more true for a military officer when it comes to military items. He almost certainly has been made aware of the prohibition on service members participating in political activity in uniform and of the restrictions on uses of military items.

    So, to me, it seems that Hunter is acting stupidly, not out of stupidity, but out of a sense of entitled arrogance.

    • I vote for an entitled sense of arrogance, a malady from which most, if not all, of the Elites (‘swamp dwellers’) who run our nation suffer.

      Their contempt for the laws they burden the serfs (that would be us) with shows this to be true.

      Notice Comey was caught, no, admitted (and bragged), to leaking classified information, and will not be prosecuted.

  4. It’s also unethical to call those “squats.” Right out of the gate, she’s only going half depth. Life’s too short to watch the whole thing.

  5. 1. I can see someone being confused about the Marine Veteran emblem. It is nearly identical to the Marine Corps emblem. I can’t see why using one over the other would be of any benefit at all, since their similarity is so strong. I am skeptical that one would provide the imprimatur of an endorsement and the other would not.

    It could’ve been an honest mistake.

    On the other hand, Hunter is under indictment for 60 counts of various federal crimes, so giving him the benefit of the doubt on anything seems unwise at the moment, at least.

    2. My question is, can it be called “bias” accurately anymore? When does “bias” become outright partisan shilling? “Bias” implies a lean to one side or another.

    This wasn’t a lean, it was an all-in comic-book style leap with a freaking vapor trail.

    3. Kessler

    When has Kessler ever given a pass to factually inaccurate statements by politicians, including candidates, by shrugging them off as “mostly as political messaging statements,” code for “no big deal, everybody does it”? Never.

    This may be actual bias at work, or more accurately, cognitive dissonance. He just can’t bear to give the damning Pinocchio to his favorite candidates, so his dissonance causes him to invent something new to avoid doing so.

    4. Caster Semenya

    Meanwhile, biological men transitioning into womanhood are allowed to dominate women’s sports competitions in the U.S. This makes no sense at all.

    It’s interesting that Women favor allowing male transgenders into women’s sports by 3 points over men, which doesn’t seem like much until you see the disapproval numbers — 60% men, 47% women.

    But one bit of analysis caught my eye:

    The greatest sympathy for the transgender claims came from younger, lower-income, female, Democrat respondents.

    This classification describes the majority of female athletes participating in these sports. If true, class of people the participants in run/jump and strength sports comes from are the most responsible for transgender participation.

    So maybe we shouldn’t be complaining. If the athletes want to compete against “transitioning” men, that’s on them.

    5. Yes.

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