End-Of-Week Ethics Inventory, 11/24/19: Really, Really Bad Mood Edition

Worst…Ethics Alarms…Week…Ever!

Or so it seems, anyway. Have people already started ignoring life for Thanksgiving? Or am I being punished for not being able to squeeze enough posts out while driving, flying, typing in crowds and moving in and out of various abodes while trying to work? To make it worse, there was a lot going on that required some time and solitude to research and analyze, and I just didn’t have it. I also managed to make myself sick. Tuesday and Wednesday had the worst non-holiday mid-week traffic of 2019, and Saturday had the lowest number of visits for that day in three years.

Well, as Andy Kinkaid, my late, cynic-philosopher college roommate, a ruined Vietnam veteran,  used to respond several times each day to every argument, disappointment, tragedy, catastrophe, and piece of bad news as he smiled and retreated to his darkened room to get stoned, “Fuck it, right?

1. Apparently there is a copyright battle over the obnoxious catch-phrase “OK, Boomer!,” the viral dismissive insult being hurled at Baby Boomers who dare to question the wisdom, passion, and hive-mind beliefs of Gen. Z-ers and Millenials. It looks like all such efforts to “own” the phrase are doomed, because it has rapidly become so ubiquitous as a put-down so quickly that nobody can prove it originated with them.

Has it occurred to any of the smug little snots brushing aside their elders that this is nothing but a personal ad hominem attack without substance, no more fair or valid, and just as rude and bigoted, as “Shut up, bitch,” “Go home to your mother, Pee-Wee,” or “Get a job, Pedro”? As a Baby Boomer, I think we ought to agree on a standard retort to “OK, Boomer” of equal substance and wit, and I hereby nominate “Keep flailing, Dumb-Ass!”

2. Speaking of Millennials, a New York Times social columnist informs me that they have decreed that on-line the term “OK” or “Okay” is now considered rude, and the proper term is “k-k,” which sound to me like a Klan chapter short of members, or someone with a stutter. Just because you want to create ugly and pointless new conventions to metaphorically mark your cyber-territory doesn’t mean I have to assent.

And no, I never have and never will use LOL or LMAO. They’ll have to shoot me first.

3. Unethical bathrooms. I was on an American Airlines plane model that appeared to be new while flying from Phoenix to D.C., and it was incredibly small. I would estimate that more than 10% of the passengers couldn’t possibly fit in it. The toilet paper was pressing against by shoulder, giving me the choice of dislocating my left arm or somehow reaching all the way across my body with my right. The only way to turn around while standing to use the sink was to plaster both arms to my side, and slowly rotate. As for aspiring Mile High Club members, forget it. An Andersonville prisoner couldn’t squeeze in there with Twiggy. (“WHO?” ask the Millennials…)

Surely the FAA can’t think those things are adequate, necessary or safe.

4. Yet another segue…Senator Mitch McConnell, the Senate Majority Leader who is widely expected to bury whatever impeachment articles the berserk Democrats pass, is married to Trump’s Secretary of Transportation, Elaine Chao. Isn’t that a conflict of interest? I know it pales in comparison to some of the other conflicts we tolerate in Congress, but I still think in a matter as important as impeachment, attention must be paid.

This impeachment might just kill impeachments for all time, especially when paired with the Clinton fiasco. The public should have trust and faith in the process: the House holds a bi-partisan investigation of instances of at least arguably clear examples of serious Presidential misconduct  that don’t require one’s brain imitating a Cirque du Soleil contortionist to conclude meet the “high crimes and misdemeanors” standard. Then, after a House vote that doesn’t expose the effort as a thinly veiled partisan coup, the Senate holds a genuine, fair, transparent trial on the charges, and Senators are allowed to vote their consciences.

Clinton’s impeachment trial was blatantly rigged, because neither party in the Senate wanted any part of it. A second rigged trial risks delegitimizing a necessary Constitutional process, when it isn’t abused.

5. “Survivor”= Bizarro World.  From People:

Survivor: Island of the Idols contestants Elizabeth Beisel and Missy Byrd are apologizing after this week’s highly controversial episode, in which they admitted to exaggerating allegations of “inappropriate touching” from fellow contestant Dan Spilo. In a statement posted on Twitter Thursday, Beisel, 27, apologized to “Survivor viewers, past players, family and friends…After watching the episode, my eyes were opened to a completely different truth, and I received an abundance of information that I was entirely unaware of while playing the game,” she wrote. “I had no idea the severity of the situation.”

Beisel then apologized to contestant Kellee Kim, who was the first person to express concern about Spilo allegedly being too touchy and violating her personal space on the show, even after making multiple requests for him to stop.

“I was sick to my stomach watching the episode and seeing how much pain you were in,” Beisel wrote. “I wholeheartedly apologize to you for using your accusations against Dan for gameplay.”

The Times tries to explain,

Early in Wednesday’s episode, Ms. Kim and Ms. Byrd bonded over what they described as unwanted physical contact by Mr. Spilo, such as his brushing aside Ms. Kim’s hair despite her having asked him to stop touching her, and putting his arm on Ms. Byrd as she tried to sleep. In a confessional, Ms. Kim then tearfully described how she felt upon realizing that other women had similar experiences: “This isn’t just one person, it’s a pattern,” she said.

Ms. Kim said that, despite her genuine discomfort with Mr. Spilo’s actions, she would not let it cloud her judgment. She said,…she could use Mr. Spilo as a “decoy” vote while targeting Ms. Byrd. Meanwhile, Ms. Byrd conspired with Ms. Beisel to play up their discomfort with Mr. Spilo in conversations with others while instead secretly targeting Ms. Kim.

In the end, a majority of the contestants voted to kick Ms. Kim off the island, while the rest cast their votes for Mr. Spilo, who remained. Later, after he was confronted by another female contestant who had heard the accusations, Mr. Spilo sought out Ms. Byrd and Ms. Beisel, who both played down what they had said.

“Dan, the only thing that we can say to that is that if we truly, truly felt that, did we not have the power to vote you out tonight?” Ms. Byrd said.

“I have never felt uncomfortable,” Ms. Beisel said separately, in a confessional.

In a tribal council discussion at the end of the show, Mr. Spilo offered an apology while Ms. Kim, who had already been voted off, sat nearby.

“My personal feeling is if anyone ever felt for a second uncomfortable about anything I’ve ever done, I’m horrified about that and I’m terribly sorry,” he said.

I detest “Survivor.” If the game wasn’t being secretly manipulated by the writers and  producers, it might be an educational exercise in situational ethics and how people interact in a competition where usual ethical standards are suspended. But it is manipulated, so watching it is a waste of time. However, there is no reason why a competition where stealing, lying, betrayal and cheating are all permitted shouldn’t shrug off the women manipulating a sexual harassment scenario. To have any integrity at all, and “anything goes” game must not suddenly decide that some violating some ethical principles is unacceptable after the fact.

On Bizarro World, where they eat the plates and throw away the food, applying Earth ethics makes no sense. A game like “Survivor” can’t jump back and forth between “anything goes” and #MeToo sensitivity without becoming incomprehensible.

6. What’s the appropriate punishment for this? TMZ reports that NBA super-star LeBron James was leaving restaurant in Oklahoma City when fans approached and asked him for autographs. Before borading a waiting SUV, James, class act and role model for young African Americans everywhere who regard him as a hero,  lifted his leg and intentionally farted in their general direction, and did so with sufficient gusto that it was picked by a cell phone camera’s audio from the other side of the parking lot.

Baseball players have been suspended for calling another player a “fag” on the field. Former Red Sox pitcher Steven Wright was suspended for months for being verbally abusive to his wife. On January 15, 2003, NBA star Rasheed Wallace confronted and threatened a referee in the parking lot after the ref had given him a technical foul  during a game….but the player didn’t try to fart on him.

I’d say this is serious misconduct, juvenile as it is, and as arguably the biggest star in pro basketball, James’ should be reprimanded, fined enough to hurt (meaning seven figures) and suspended long enough to burden his team.

He won’t be, of course.  Nowhere is the King’s Pass more powerful than in professional sports.

44 thoughts on “End-Of-Week Ethics Inventory, 11/24/19: Really, Really Bad Mood Edition

  1. This impeachment might just kill impeachments for all time, especially when paired with the Clinton fiasco. The public should have trust and faith in the process: the House holds a bi-partisan investigation of instances of at least arguably clear examples of serious Presidential misconduct that don’t require one’s brain imitating a Cirque du Soleil contortionist to conclude meet the “high crimes and misdemeanors” standard. Then, after a House vote that doesn’t expose the effort as a thinly veiled partisan coup, the Senate holds a genuine, fair, transparent trial on the charges, and Senators are allowed to vote their consciences.

    Clinton’s impeachment trial was blatantly rigged, because neither party in the Senate wanted any part of it. A second rigged trial risks delegitimizing a necessary Constitutional process, when it isn’t abused.

    I advise you dedicate a full post of the impeachment campaigns against Clinton and Trumopm, summarizing all arguments for and against used by people then and now, and a full ethical analysis.

  2. #1 Here is a recent conversation on another blog with one of those boomer haters…

    Boomer Blamer
    By running from “anti-immigrant” into the false position of “anti-illegal” (demographic change drove California blue, and have you seen Virginia lately?) you cede the most important ideological ground while not at all standing against her premise of racism. In fact, you make “racist!” a viable tactic by running from the implication.

    You boomers have destroyed the country because of this kind of spinelessness. Thankfully for your generation, the new Socialism-Friendly Immigrants will gladly vote you the resources you need to retire in comfort.

    Steve Witherspoon
    There is literally nothing in your comment outside () that is fact based; in fact it’s all lies.

    Boomer Blamer
    Ok Boomer

    Steve Witherspoon
    Boomer Blamer = Imbecilic Trolling Snowflake

    Choosing the pseudonym “Boomer Blamer” is signature significant.

    Jack wrote, “As a Baby Boomer, I think we ought to agree on a standard retort to “OK, Boomer” of equal substance and wit, and I hereby nominate “Keep flailing, Dumb-Ass!””

    These “boomer blamers” using such dismissive insults as “OK, Boomer” are showing that their level of intellect is an imbecile, they’re trolling for an emotional reaction and when they are confronted with the harsh truth they scream it’s “hate speech”. I vote labeling them with the truth and nominate using “Imbecilic Trolling Snowflake”.

      • Wasn’t it the boomer generation that said “Don’t trust anyone over thirty”?

        Wasn’t that predominately a phrase used by California hippies in the early 60’s?

        I’m part of the boomer generation and I can honestly say that neither I or anyone I’ve ever known has actually used that phrase in my presence; however, I have heard that phrase used more by the younger generation a lot since 2008 when the USA began it’s open shift towards condoning Socialism and/or totalitarianism.

        • But hold on. Unless I am very wrong it is the Sixties Generation that has put in motion the undermining of the Occidental civilizational world. If we cannot locate in that generation those who should be assigned blame, what are we to do?

          The whole point is to carefully analyze what they did, said, wanted, and undertook to build, and what they swept off the table with imperious, arrogant gestures. Is it not?

          Jack’s ethical philosophy — if I understand it correctly — is grounded on the idea that law is a condensation of ethical values and that the ethical values we now have and live with — those that are regnant — are superior to those of before-times, and are an ‘evolution’ of outmoded values and ethics.

          Those ‘hippies’ and ‘radicals’ of former times turned that philosophy into a weapon of undermining established hierarchies-of-value, and they used the phrase:

          . . . don’t trust nor believe anyone over thirty because they are compromised into a system which we oppose and will take down in favor of another which we will construct . . .

          Is what we all have to live with now. It is morphing into what was always there in it, it’s original and essential declaration.

          For God’s Sake would you please be honest!

    • When you challenge a “Boomer Blamer” type with things like “what are you blaming boomers for” what you get back is a lot of boomers are resisting the social justice trends towards Socialism and/or totalitarianism; so in other words, “we” are basically being blamed for not allowing the USA to be totally brainwashed by progressives and maintaining the United States of America as a free constitutional republic.

      THE HORROR!

      I accept responsibility.

      • When you challenge a “Boomer Blamer” type with things like “what are you blaming boomers for” what you get back is a lot of boomers are resisting the social justice trends towards Socialism and/or totalitarianism; so in other words, “we” are basically being blamed for not allowing the USA to be totally brainwashed by progressives and maintaining the United States of America as a free constitutional republic.

        How curious. So now I better understand what you are perceiving. You are speaking with progressive-types and hyper-progressives who accuse you of ‘slowing down the wheel of change’ and applying brakes?

        So, these Boomer Blamers are saying ‘Don’t stand in the doorway
        Don’t block up the hall’ because the New World is on the threshold of glorious realization.

        Here, here’s the rest of the Declaration:

        For he that gets hurt
        Will be he who has stalled
        The battle that’s outside ragin’
        It’ll soon shake your windows
        And rattle your walls
        For the times they are a-changin’

        Here is what I wish to propose: in order to counter this revolutionary sentiment, and the movement that has been put in motion, it will take a great deal more than simply barking at the Boomer Blamers.

        It requires an ideological reversal of their entire position.

        • …in order to counter this revolutionary sentiment, and the movement that has been put in motion, it will take a great deal more than simply barking at the Boomer Blamers.

          It sounds to me like you’re contradicting yourself in that sentence.

          • No, there is not a contradiction: progressivism is based in a compelling narrative and a compelling ideology. As an ideology it tends to convince. And when it is combined with emotional force (as in 1960s music as just one example) and the rhetorics of the Sixties Radicals, it sweeps people along.

            Merely reverse-shaming a Boomer-Blamer is not enough. The entire construct — the ideological construct, and the emotive force — of their ideology has to be countered with something solid, substantial, true and reasonable.

    • By running from “anti-immigrant” into the false position of “anti-illegal” (demographic change drove California blue, and have you seen Virginia lately?) you cede the most important ideological ground while not at all standing against her premise of racism. In fact, you make “racist!” a viable tactic by running from the implication.

      You boomers have destroyed the country because of this kind of spinelessness. Thankfully for your generation, the new Socialism-Friendly Immigrants will gladly vote you the resources you need to retire in comfort.

      But wait, that is not the opinion of an Imbecilic Trolling Snowflake. Quite the opposite.

      If I understand correctly this person was trying to say that your anti-illegal argument should really be clarified as anti-immigrant, and that by ceding the *real point* for the *false point* you are forced to buckle-under to (someone else in the conversation’s) the accusation of ‘racism’.

      Then, he attempts to shame you by suggesting that you are ‘spineless’ because, by implication, you cannot stand up for your own. And that now, given the inclinations of the New Class, inclined as they seem to be to cede power to government if it panders to them, you are living in the logical consequences of the choices your generation not only made but which you are ideologically wedded and bound to.

      This is of course *largely true* — at least this is what I notice strongly among many who write on this blog. So, what you object to: Is it the use of a disparaging term (which is bad argumentation) or that you are being labeled in this way? That you are being *seen* in this way?

      Do you object that you are seen this way, and that an argument can be presented that this is true? Or simply that someone has put together a definition that you disagree with?

      My view is that people who are substantially in the dark when it comes to *causation* and who also understand the degree of their powerlessness in a world controlled largely by people they never see and mechanisms set in motion independent of their choice, that they are forced to attempt to interpret what is going on, and they do so boldly but imperfectly. If they do not have knowledge, circumspection and self-control they easily fall into conspiratorial fantasy: a real problem.

      But the more important question here is that they are trying to make interpretations that they can act on. They are trying to recover some agency in their world.

  3. 4. Today’s unethical Impeachment scheme: Jennifer Granholm suggested on CNN that the Democrats could vote for articles of impeachment but then sit on them like a “sealed indictment.” They wouldn’t appoint managers and wouldn’t send the articles of impeachment to the Senate. That way, they would avoid a Senate trial, which Trump and the Republicans would otherwise use to make the case that they were not allowed to make in the House.

    • That doesn’t sound one-sided or wildly unethical at all…

      I would love to believe that many normal, every-day Democrats – and I know they exist – would look at these ideas and begin to realize that no one – not from the President down to the kid thinking about shoplifting a Snickers bar from the five-and-dime – wants a system that works like this.

      If this is the style of justice we can anticipate under today’s Democratic Party, I certainly want no part of it.

    • Me, I kind of like “Fuck off, idiot” as a response to “OK boomer.” Pretty much lays it all right out there — no ambiguity, no super-secret recursive mind games, just a good old American, straight-up well-deserved profane retort.

      Or, if we want to be a little less profane and more Euro, we could adopt “Sod off, swampy.”

      Sometimes simple is best.

  4. Clinton’s impeachment trial was blatantly rigged, because neither party in the Senate wanted any part of it. A second rigged trial risks delegitimizing a necessary Constitutional process, when it isn’t abused.

    Perhaps impeachment should be de-legitimized. After all, the Founders were said to be loath to even include the process in the Constitution, and out of four impeachments, three have arguably been a partisan abuse of the process.

    Not a very good track record. Perhaps impeachment is just too difficult to do correctly for the sub-species of human known as “politician.”

  5. 4) The first threats of impeachment and actual impeachments came in the 1860s (Buchanan and Johnson), 70 or so years after the adoption of the Constitution.

    The next threats came 110 years later (Nixon). Pretty rare occurrences.

    The next threats came 25 years later (Clinton).

    And now? 20 years later?

    I don’t think impeachments are going away. I think they are going to increase. I think especially as long as Americans are simultaneously ignorant of the Constitution, ignorant of the process and generally eager to stick it to the other side…botched impeachments will not dissuade a hyper-politicized electorate.

  6. 5. I don’t believe anything that happens on these so-called reality shows. They may not necessarily be scripted, but they are certainly heavily edited and manipulated sufficiently enough to not be reality.

  7. I’m Gen X, or at least, I cusp Millennial and Gen X, but my parents were older and I think that my upbringing, general outlook on life, and trajectory more resemble a Gen X than a millennial. Regardless, I’ve never identified as Millennial, so I don’t really feel like I have any skin in this game, opting instead to stand on the sidelines and watch the two groups shred themselves.

    I think that in this very discrete situation, Boomers need to get over themselves. Millennial as a group have been derided using their generation as a slur almost as long as the generation has had a label. I’m not going to say that either phenomenon is good, but this is a reaction, not an action, much like the classic “boy a punches boy b, boy b punches back, boy a whines incessantly” scenario;

    “Millennials would absolutely be able to afford homes, if only they worked more, and ate less avocado toast!”

    “OK, Boomer.”

    While individual Boomers might not have taken part in the pile on, the pile on was mainstream and unmolested. Worse, Boomers (and take this to mean whomever you want, just consider the point I’m making, and how your response fits in) are breathtakingly thin-skinned and unaware. A couple day’s worth of memes about the generation and the responses to it are delicious.

    Which is a great way to make something go away, right?

    • “Millennials would absolutely be able to afford homes, if only they worked more, and ate less avocado toast!”

      “OK, Boomer.”

      I think you hit the head on the nail with this. I was sick of “OK, Boomer” as soon as a heard it was a thing. Yet, hadn’t considered it was merely a reaction to years of unfair labeling by the by the former.

      The children now love luxury; they have bad manners, contempt for authority; they show disrespect for elders and love chatter in place of exercise….

      OK, Socrates

  8. 1–It appears I’m on the outside looking in; the first time I read OK Boomer was in an 11/14 post to a blog Steve and I frequent, by some creative genius calling themselves Boomer Blamer. Because this commentator was spewing other monumentally misinformed idiocies, I didn’t give it another thought.

    I didn’t realize it was an actual meme until a week later, and only then after reading it on THE one site which features news I trust; The Babylon Bee:

    Man Who Posts ‘OK Boomer’ In Response To Everything To Receive Netflix Comedy Special

    This suggests I’m not attuned to the…um…Memeosphere, something for which I intend to give earnest Thanks in a couple of days!

        • Serious question (if you’ve perused the [IMO] highfreakin’larious site); do you think the Babylon Bee is a Righty site?

          It’s almost like the opposite of our local Phil Hands, who skewers Lefty only infrequently in order to give the weak impression that he’s even-handed.

          • Serious question (if you’ve perused the [IMO] highfreakin’larious site); do you think the Babylon Bee is a Righty site?

            I honestly can’t say, I haven’t visited the site enough to come to any conclusion.

            It’s almost like the opposite of our local Phil Hands, who skewers Lefty only infrequently in order to give the weak impression that he’s even-handed.

            Even though Phil Hands has routine token comedic attacks against card carrying lefties his anti-Republican bias has become pretty clear over the last couple of years, the only thing I don’t know about Hands is his motives, is if his apparent bias just him pandering to the most vocal anti audience out there because it sells?

            • “It’s a righty site like Samantha Bee is a Lefty comic.”

              I have yet to listen to anything by Samantha Bee, but would be surprised to find if she’s tweaked her side, which the Babylon Bee has done, if infrequently.

              As far as the #TheRealBee goes, I say keep_it_up!

              Progressives Try New Strategy To Win The Hearts Of Americans: Interrupting College Football

              New Ultrasound Technology Can Detect Up To 50 Genders

  9. LeBron James is bigger than the NBA and he’s also vicious when it comes to payback. This story will be buried and ignored. Any team or league official or media person who dares to speak to him about this incident, or even comment upon it, will be ending their career. LeBron James plays basketball like a bully and conducts business the same way.

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