Sunday Ethics Excursion, 11/17/2019: This Crazy, Unpredictable, Untrustworthy World


1.  So we can’t trust Intel, either. Good to know. Last May, Intel released a patch for a group of security vulnerabilities researchers had found in the company’s computer processors.  Intel implied that all the problems were solved. The official public message from Intel was “everything is fixed,” said Cristiano Giuffrida, a professor of computer science at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam and one of the researchers who first reported the vulnerabilities. “And we knew that was not accurate.”

Indeed, the software patch meant to fix the processor problem addressed only some of the issues the researchers had identified.  A second patch, publicly disclosed by the company last week, finally fixed all of the vulnerabilities Intel had said were fixed in May…six months after the company said that all was well.

2. So they finally bullied the NFL into re-considering Colin Kaepernick. Kaepernick, the mediocre NFL quarterback whose political grandstanding before games made him an albatross for the league and any team foolish enough to employ him, has had woke “fans,” who couldn’t care less about football but who loved his race-bating and police-bashing protests, claiming that he was “blackballed” from pro football for exercising his right of free speech.

This was never true—let a grocery store clerk try that argument when he’s fired for making political demonstrations during store hours—but never mind: Kaepernick was styled as a martyr anyway.  Why the NFL capitulated to bogus complaints and gave the player a showcase for NFL scouts, I cannot fathom. He’s 36, hasn’t played for three years, and wasn’t that good in 2016. If no team signs him, the NFL will be told again that it is racist and oppressive. If a team does sign him, the message will be that enough agitation can force an organization to elevate politics above its legitimate priorities.

3. This is why our politician aren’t civil, collaborative, respectful and ethical: the public doesn’t want them to be.  Senator Chuck Schumer, the Democratic Minority Leader,praised Representative Peter King, the long time Long Island Republican House member who announced his retirement this week, by tweeting  warm words on Twitter.  “I will miss him in Congress & value his friendship,” the effusive message concluded.

For this once-standard professional reaction to a fellow Congress member’s retirement, Schumer was roundly attacked by Democrats and progressives on social media. To his credit, despite more than 10,000 mostly negative replies and even calls for his resignation, Schumer neither apologized for his tribute to a colleague nor took down the tweet.

Representing the new and dysfunctional approach to to republican government was Democratic Representative Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, whose public reaction was, “Good riddance.”

4. From the Business Incompetence file: At what point will Hollywood figure out that making politically correct and “woke “movies that stink but signal the virtue of the makers is an unethical use of investors’ money?

I was embarrassed by the 1976-1981 jiggle-series “Charlie’s Angels”—embarrassed for the actresses dressing like fantasy hookers to catch bad guys, embarrassed at the brainless male viewers such cynical crap was designed to attract, embarrassed for women being cheated and demeaned by a show supposedly showing “strong women excelling at traditional men’s jobs” that showed them doing those jobs in bikinis. I was disgusted by the first two movie knock-offs, which simultaneously pretended to be ridiculing the original source material while still playing the same game.

I’m just amazed by the new reboot. Who wants to see a formula based on cheap heterosexual titillation distorted into some weird hybrid prioritizing diversity—only one of the “girls” is white, and she’s bi-, or something—climate change, and contempt for men?  It turns out in the end that even “Charlie,” the unseen mastermind who assembled the team of ass-kicking babes (he was voiced by John Forsythe in the series) is a babe herself, using a fake male voice. Take THAT, Patriarchy!

5. And from the world of stupid and offensive tweets: In South Africa, a man proposed to his beloved in a KFC restaurant, and she joyfully accepted. Someone captured the moment on video (of course) and posted it to the internet. Well, OK–do your proposal in public in 2019, and I guess you’re asking for it.

Then a South African journalist tweeted this:

(My position is that all public proposals, I don’t care where they are, are unethical and disrespectful, as well as coercive.)

Now the social media furies are after the journalist, and she is in danger of being “cancelled.” Grateful for the publicity, KFC tracked down the couple and wants to reward them. McDonald’s upped the stakes, offering the happy pair an all-expenses paid trip to Cape Town “for an unforgettable VIP experience at Toni Braxton’s “As Long As I Live” Tour.

And so on. Here is an incomplete list of all of the services and products that have been offered to the soon-to-be-married couple.


Sources: New York Times 1, 2


30 thoughts on “Sunday Ethics Excursion, 11/17/2019: This Crazy, Unpredictable, Untrustworthy World

  1. “Representing the new and dysfunctional approach to to republican government was Democratic Representative Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, whose public reaction was, “Good riddance.””

    Well THAT wasn’t Minnesota nice.

  2. Re Charlies Angels. I think the original target market was pre adolescent boys. Recall the Farah Fawcett poster, I don’t recall any of my male late teen peers having that adorn their bedrooms.

    I never watched most of those prime time pseudo detective shows. We had Dirty Harry, Baretta, Charles Bronson and (who loves ya baby) Telly Savalas. CA was idiotic. Late teen and adult males had better objects of desire to address our voyeristic tendencies than Kate Jackson, Farrah Fawcett, or Jacyln Smith. The same people that watched the Love Boat were likely watchers of CA; both shows were contrived relationship shows.

    • That would be fascinating data. How does Baywatch fit in?
      Today’s female crimefighters on TV are attractive, feminine and tough characters on shows like Law and Order SVU, Criminal Minds and Chicago PD. It’s a big improvement.

            • Above: Without Mr. Google; no way.

              Below: I spoke too soon, perhaps taken aback by the horrendous Honey West trailer music I linked; the actual theme song was a tad sultry and, perhaps, beyond a callow youth of 10 or 11. I seem to recall my folks not wanting me to watch it.

              You’re right about 60’s theme music; Get Smart, Gilligan’s Island, Bewitched, The Beverly Hillbillies, I Dream Of Jeannie, and the (IMO) catch all/end all: F Troop!

              • I like all of those, and I’d add the ear-worm that was “Green Acres.” F Troop is an all-time fave.

                Noel had a hit with the gloomy dead girl song, “A Young Girl” (“lying there by the road—DEAD”) and later scored with “The Windmills of Your Mind.”

          • C&G is one of the most blatant example of a composer just setting a series title to music, a common and lazy practice in scoring. Now, the Sixties had great themes: The Man From Uncle” theme is one of the best ever.

        • Yep. Cagney & Lacey was perhaps my favorite non-sports show at the time (of course, to be fair, I almost never watched TV because I was always working). It was the primary thing I recorded on my VCR.

  3. As for CK, I think this is fine. Merit will win out.

    He sued the NFL and I am sure the NFL made every point you brought up.

    CK thinks he was squeezed out. The NFL is calling his bluff. They gave him a forum. If he has the stuff, coaches can sign him (if they want to put up with him).

    It would not surprise me if someone picks him up as a back-up, though I did not see his workout (he claims he has kept up his skills, though there is hardly a replacement for practice).

    The NFL figures: here’s your shot, now leave us alone.


    • Kaepernick doesn’t want to play in the NFL, he wants to keep his martyr shtick going. Evidence for this is his stunt of ditching the NFL tryout yesterday at the last minute and then setting up his own demonstration somewhere else (which, naturally, was attended by almost no one – a fact he’ll no doubt attribute to racism or something). He’s an attention whore, and any team that hires him at this point knows what it’s getting and deserves every single headache he brings them.

      • Yeah, I had not seen that when I wrote my initial comment.

        He created a complete fiasco out of what could have been a good chance to prove his skills.

        He just proved that he was a pain in the ass.

        I tried to stay on the fence with him for a long time because picking a side on this one seemed to be a waste of mental energy for somebody not worth my interest.

        But, he just further sabotaged his own career (and he blamed the NFL for it this weekend, I think).

        While I hate speculating about the mind-sets of other people, he probably does not want to play in the NFL because, if he were signed to a starting position, his whole schtick is on the line. If he signs and flops, he validates the criticism of everyone who said he got cut for being a mediocre talent. Of course, confirmation bias being what it is, all of his supporters will attribute it to a decline in his skills as a result of being black-balled.

        And, if he really wanted to play, he probably could have signed with the Canadian Football League.


        • Yeah, he found a high school “at the last minute.” It sounds like security was already there, almost as if it was pre-planned.


            • Thanks for the Salguero link. The telephone interview exchange was particularly revealing of Kaepernick’s lack of clear thinking, logic and (yes, I’d say, common) knowledge.

              • On the subject of ” lack of clear thinking, logic and (yes, I’d say, common) knowledge,” no small amount engulfs the Left’s knee jerk support for Cuba.

                Not the least of which was useful idiot Emma González (of Parkland H.S. fame) wearing the CUBA patch on her fatigues ensemble.

                Can’t say why, but her slobbering profusely about her Cuban heritage while unable to speak a lick of Spanish seems a little off.

                Anywho, I, and I may not be alone on this, would have LUVED to see her pressed, (heck, even asked politely) why she so cluelessly backs such a repressive regime.

                Salguero would have been just the guy to do it.

  4. On the serious side, I have to give credit to Chuck Schumer who stepped outside his usual partisan approach for once to well wish his Republican colleague in his retirement. Hopefully, FOX will cover this.
    As far as the black couple in South Africa and the KFC marriage proposal, I can’t help but wonder just what is the adult apparatus couch thingy. I wouldn’t think they’d need it on their honeymoon..

  5. I think public proposals can be okay IF it’s a mere formality; you’ve already talked about marriage, she’s just waiting for you to pop the question, and you know she likes spectacle.

    But if there’s any ambiguity about if she’ll say yes, or if she’s a very private person, nope nope nope.

  6. 5. Numerous offers are for booze, two of the offers are for “marriage contracts”, two for “sheep”, one for “adult apparatus couch thingy”, and one for “Hangover solution: 10 cases”. Is there a connection between these things?

  7. 4. The CW’s new Batwoman keeps the form-emphasizing suit, but is lesbian, so…….OK?

    In other Hollywood ethics news, Clint Eastwood is releasing a movie on the (now deceased) Richard Jewel, the heroic, but awkward, security guard who saved numerous people in the Atlanta Olympic park bombing, but was ravaged as a suspect by law-enforcement and the media before the real bomber was identified.

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