Monday Ethics Left-Overs, 11/25/2019: Dog Dissonance, Chick-Fil-A’s Surrender, Yang, And Yar

Happy Holidays!

1 Trivial Ethics. In an old episode of “Law and Order: Criminal Intent,” the nautical termword “yar” came up. This was a Jeff Goldblum episode, and he remarked, in the odd, ironic, strangely reflective manner that is Jeff’s trademark, “Yar! Katherine Hepburn used that word in “The Philadelphia Story,” right? Yar? Who did she say that too?” His partner replied, with great certitude, “Jimmy Stewart.”

WRONG. Tracy Lord (Katherine) has two “yar” discussions, one with her fiance, played by John Howard, and another with ex-husband Cary Grant, who built boats. These scriptwriters are in show business, dammit. “The Philadelphia Story” is a classic. Nobody working on the TV show knew the right answer? Nobody bothered to check? This is how America’s collective minds get clogged with ignorance.

2. Now I can begin my personal boycott of Chick-Fil-A. Last week Chick-fil-A announced that next year it is officially cutting ties with the Salvation Army and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA), the charitable organizations that have sparked protests and boycotts against the chicken restaurant chain because they, and the chain’s CEO, Dan Kathy, are known to oppose same-sex marriage on religious grounds.

According to the chain, in 2018, its foundation donated $115,000 to the Salvation Army and $1.65 million to FCA. This is a big blow to both organizations.

“We made multiyear commitments to both organizations, and we fulfilled those obligations in 2018. Moving forward you will see that the Chick-fil-A Foundation will support the three specific initiatives of homelessness, hunger and education,” a representative said.

Translation: They capitulated to viewpoint bullying, and now others will feel empowered to use totalitarian methods to extort other organizations and businesses.

This issue was deftly covered in a major thread in last week’s Open Forum:

adimagejim: It has already come up in class among students how Chick-Fil-A is stopping its funding of anti-LGBTQ groups. Does anyone know if the groups it is funding are actually anti-LGBTQ or just espousing values with which the LGBTQ community disagrees and vise versa? In my mind, funding an organization actively promoting an anti-LGBTQ human rights agenda under the Constitution is unethical. On the other hand, if they are funding organizations which simply find their values in conflict with LGBTQ and are willing to defend themselves against those seeking to diminish them without promoting anti-anything policies, this appears ethical.

Michelle K: Chick-fil-a funded groups with religious affiliations, like the Christian Athletes. I don’t believe the intent was ever to be anti-LGBTQ, but rather to support groups aligned with the founder’s religious views. I think it’s important to note that they aren’t ending their beliefs, they met the financial commitments they made, and are switching their giving to veterans, homelessness, and children’s causes.
Steve-O-in-NJ:  The takeaway from the situation is already that harassment and bullying pay off, often quite well. It doesn’t even really matter what charities they donate to, Chick-Fil-A’s leadership doesn’t toe the line on gay marriage so it must be destroyed. We will start seeing articles about how Chick-Fil-A’s actions are just token responses and that they now have to come out in favor of gay marriage in order to keep the furies off of their backs.

johnburger2013:  Anything less than a full embrace, acceptance, adoption, promotion, and explicit advocacy of LGBTADNAUSEUM rights is deemed anti-(repeatthatalphabetstring) and must be destroyed. Chick donated to the Salvation Army. The SALVATION ARMY! The horror.

Opal: The biggest spin is the pulling back support from the Salvation Army. I’ve read hysterical responses from the Chick-Fil-A supporters who are “never going to eat there again.” From rational sources I’ve read that this has been a plan to consolidate their giving rather than tossing money at a wide variety of charities. It’s important to remember that Chick-Fil-A is a chicken restaurant owned by Christians. Not a Christian company that happens to serve chicken.

rusty rebar: My understanding was Salvation Army (so, keep in mind, anyone who puts a coin in one of those red kettle campaigns around Christmas is “a garbage person” and they have no right to live in our society. Lets just skip the part where the Salvation Army provides more support to the LGBT community than any other charity worldwide. There was Fellowship of Christian Athletes — they had some wording in their membership pledge about homosexual activity and marriage being between a man and a woman.

Good job, Jim, Michelle, Steve-O, John, Opal and Rusty. But count me as one of those “hysterics” who will not be patronizing Chick-Fil-A. I don’t care about who they give money to or what its CEO believes. I do care about maintaining a culture where people and businesses aren’t coerced into adopting the beliefs and causes of others. Opal: do you really think that Chick-Fil-A would have made this move had it not been publicly excoriated by grandstanding elected officials and militant activists? If so, I have a rubber chicken to sell you.

3. Yang cries “racism.” The maverick Democratic Presidential hopeful tweeted,

No, this isn’t racism, Andrew. It’s the news media wielding power that they shouldn’t be wielding, acting on their own biases regarding who is a “real” contender and who isn’t. I would advise calling out the moderators on it on live TV, if you get another chance. Read them the comparison of the time Elizabeth Warren has been permitted to speak compared to you over the course of the debates. Since you’re going to lose anyway, you might as well go down fighting by calling the news media on its outrageous bias, incompetence and abuse of its power. Whining over Twitter isn’t going to do any good.

4. Jim Treacher clearly understands the cognitive dissonance scale….and the depths of Trump Derangement. The witty (and cynical) conservative pundit writes,

If you hate Donald Trump so much that you think every single thing he does is wrong, but you’re also a dog-lover, today is a very, very bad day. What you’re about to see is going to cause such excruciating cognitive dissonance that I almost feel guilty for laughing at you….Trump praised the hero dog who hunted down the terrorist, so that means dogs are bad now and terrorists are good. You can’t like dogs anymore. In any dispute between a Trump dog and a terrorist, you have to root for the terrorist or else you love Trump. If you still like dogs after today, you have to wear a MAGA hat all the time. Sorry, those are the rules.

Here’s Conan:


28 thoughts on “Monday Ethics Left-Overs, 11/25/2019: Dog Dissonance, Chick-Fil-A’s Surrender, Yang, And Yar

  1. 2. My wife can’t eat at Chick-fil-a anyways (some of them use peanut oil and she has severe allergies), so any boycott from us wouldn’t matter. What we are doing is donating extra to the Salvation Army this year. Maybe we will donate to FCA as well.

  2. On point 2. How many of those opposed to the bullying tactics of the cancel culture provided a visible and full throated support of CFA and its philanthropic choices? Why do we not call these out these people for trying to harm the Salvation Army.

    I get it we must stand up to the bastards or they will feel empowered to bully more into submission. The problem is that we should mean more than just the firm. Unfortunately, what we really mean is they need to stand up to the bullies; while we stand back and watch.

    Why is it we are willing to proactively withhold purchasing from the victim that capitulates but not willing to send a note of support to management or simply buy one extra sandwhich and tell them why you bought that extra one. Keep in mind any additional boycott simply adds to the firm’s distress over these political issues and regular people (employees) will bear the brunt of reductions in sales. Like point voting in politics, managers of enterprises evaluate which course of action will benefit the firm the most or harm it in the least. We must give the managers a reason to believe that not capitulating is the more profitable strategy.

    The other day I made the comment ” we have a mob?” In reference to the post about how the incident at the Harvard Yale game wasn’t a protest but a mob. I don’t recall exactly to whom I was responding but my comment reflected the idea we lament the actions of the left but do not do anything in the way of pushback that the left sees as real opposition.

    Before we all run out and boycott CFA for capitulating we should examine how we may have contributed to that decision by doing little or nothing.

    • I think public support of CFA for their resistance to pressure to abandon what they consider Christian values was fairly evident and was widely reported in various anecdotal examples of customers’ actions and statements. It seems they chose to discount that support. Perhaps everyone giving a few extra dollars to the Salvation Army army this year should include a comment along the lines that it’s money not being spent at CFA, Maybe word would leak back, and it could be a two birds with one stone sort of deal.

      • Fair point on CFA . To be honest I was actually speaking in generalities in that these calls for boycotts are more often than not met with cries of “aint it awful” and then we go about our lives leaving the object of the boycott to fend off the attacks.

        Now, the best argument against boycotting CFA is that we should allow them to choose what philanthropic efforts they wish to fund. None of us know that this decision was influenced by calls of boycotts. In fact, the link given suggests that boycotts were unsuccessful so why would they assume this one would hurt them. It is possible and quite probable that the foundation’s philanthropic direction was changed long before the latest call by for a boycott.

  3. I have seen The Philadelphia Story at least twice but not more recently than the last 20 years. If someone had said Jimmy Stewart, I would have thought, “yeah, I think he was in that.” (He was). But, seeing that that conversation was had TWICE, with OTHER actors in that movie, that line looks like it could be an intentional joke. Granted, that would be a pretty obscure intentional joke, but the format itself is not. Can’t think of a good example right now, but Homer Simpson must have something similar, yet more obviously dumb.


    • An obscure movie trivia “joke” in Law and Order, that laugh riot?
      Homer does use that format: “You picked the elephant instead of $10,000? But with $10,000 we would be millionaires! And money can buy anything…like LOVE!”

      • Don’t remember that one.

        What was rattling around in the back of my head was a grave-spinning joke.

        I think it was in the episode where they played the Star Wars theme song and transitioned into a Christmas Song and Homer said, “They’re butchering the classics; John Williams must be spinning in his grave,” despite John William’s not being dead.

        Not terribly obscure, but still similar to the obviously wrong line in Law and Order.

        But, that is what is so odd. If I were to come up with some line about YAR, I would probably have to watch The Philadelphia Story again.

        Otherwise, it would go like this:

        Jeff Goldblum: YAR? I remember when Katherine Hepburn discussed that with Cary Grant.

        Me: in Bringing Up Baby?

        Jeff Goldblum: Uh, huh, no…not that one, that…that would have been quite, but no, the other one—

        Me: Shut up! Cary Grant was not in The African Queen.

        Jeff Goldblum: Well, not literally in, or maybe not even figuratively, but—

        Me: SHUT UP!

        I agree. I doubt they are that clever, but how could they even come up with the reference, just to get it wrong?


  4. I was under the impression that Chick-Fil-A was doing fine in spite of the progressive hate. In fact I recall reading that when the boycott was first proposed, they got MORE business. So has that changed?

      • Supposedly Chick-Fil-A is trying to expand into more liberal areas of the nation. If that’s the case, I’m not sure it was so much about bullying as it was about selling out. If that was the case, though, they probably didn’t do such great business planning – I don’t think the decision to expand was made THAT recently. The fact is that no one likes a sell-out and no one likes a turncoat, so those who supported someone who later lets them down are unlikely to do so again. Another fact is that anyone who capitulates to bullying sends the message that they can be successfully bullied and opens the door to further bullying.

        THAT message has been around since the UK and France sold Czechoslovakia out at Munich, thinking they’d purchased “peace for our time.” 6 months later Hitler seized what was left of Czechoslovakia after Munich. 6 months after that he invaded Poland, and Britain and France responded, but by then it was too late. Meantime the US shrugged as the Japanese took over Manchuria and so forth. You know the rest. Yes, five years later it boomeranged and the Nazis and Japanese militarists were pretty much wiped out, but at what cost?

        Granted, in this case we’re talking culture, not genocide, but just how much more bullying from the left is the right going to tolerate before things really get ugly? Someone asked once that “if someone offers you a loaf of bread or the vote, at which stage of starvation will you prefer the bread to the vote?” My question is that if someone offers you peace or freedom, at which stage of oppression will you say “this peace isn’t worth it any more?” Well?

        • Well, capitulating to bullies because it’s cheaper to just go along to get along IS selling out. Right? I know all corporations are inclined to take the path of least resistance, which is why they are such inviting targets for the totalitarian-minded.

  5. 2. Didn’t boycott CFA when it was supposedly anti-LGBTQ(rstuvwxyz) and I’m not going to boycott it now. Many moons ago a franchise was in the same mall I worked at as a manager (Tonya Harding worked in the building too…just sayin’) and the best thing in that place was the chicken biscuit sandwich at Chic-Fil-A. When I moved on to another job, I missed that delicious cheesy chicken biscuit!

    Years later my wife we’re on our honeymoon hanging out in Yellowstone and Montana in general. By that time the CFA controversy was known to us, but we we’re on a road-trip and hungry for breakfast. I said we should go. Thank heavens I have a wife who doesn’t listen to people telling her where to shop or eat, so we went to one in MT.

    Man they were nice. The manager even came out with small bottles of water and extra napkins and wet wipes for our trip. He chatted with us about our special holiday and showed nothing but grace.

    Later we learned of the Pulse nightclub shooting and how CFA helped by providing food for victims and employees donated blood. Yet not long after that, the narrative again was, CFA is anti-unicorn rainbow colored farts. Ok maybe not quite that.

    Years later we had to travel 50 min to get to the nearest CFA to get that hot biscuit. And we did once a month. The manager would greet us and the staff was not only kind but didn’t give a flying fish that we were there (we’re pretty obvious as together) as a couple. We chatted up the manager once about the drama. He noted he had both gay and trans employees.

    Only months ago a new Chic-Fil-A opened much closer to us (I wanted to go there on the first day they opened with a sign that said “I’m gay and ❤ Chic-Fil-A). We brought an open-minded gay libertarian and he said the chicken nuggets were “just okay” and it’s true, they were a bit dry. But otherwise he found no fault in how we were treated. I think he was surprised at how diverse the customer pool was. Far more people of color than you’d find at your average PDX woke hipster restaurant. And they have a couple gay folks working there, not that it matters.

    I’ll eat at CFA till I can’t anymore. Regardless of what they spend their donation monies on, it’s been a business that has always been clean, friendly, more diverse that some assume, and most importantly, a place that serves a product that is pleasurable and fatty.

    • I spelled it Chic-Fil-A and it’s all Jack’s fault.

      Monday Ethics Left-Overs, 11/25/2019: Dog Dissonance, Chic-Fil-A’s Surrender, Yang, And Yar

    • I sort of don’t fault CFA at all.

      Companies should try to stay a-political. Any move (ANY!) in the public sphere is commercial. It is subject to commercial forces. NFL, Nike, Popeye’s, Apple, the NBA, Dominos Pizza (my first encounter with such commercial activism). You play the game, you get beat.

      The odd thing was that progressives attacked CFA and Hobby Lobby for what their owners did, not what the companies did (I think the same was true of Domino’s Pizza).

      I recall one of my English teachers in high school describing “Dragons of Purity,” for the enforcers of virtue. Whatever you call them, Social Justice Warriors, or whatever, the Dragons of Purity are fat more prevalent on the left. They are not content to go after the actions of companies, but their founders and shareholders.


    • Good real-world example that supporting one thing or idea is not necessarily the same as hating and wanting to destroy another…both on your part and CFA’s.

      When are we going to get another column?

    • They have the nicest employees I have ever encountered, anywhere. I have a couple rabidly-anti-Chik-Fil-A acquaintances on FB, they are relentless. They won’t rest until CFAbis destroyed, and anyone who eats there is a traitor to the cause.

      Do they discriminate in hiring? No.
      Do they discriminate in awarding scholarships? No.
      Do they provide a good product, and train their staff well? Yes.

      Isn’t that what’s important?

        • …but not for long. Fly over country is overly sensitive to betrayal, and this seems like one to the average non-woke. Silly, maybe: yet there it is.

          Betrayal (as in: we had ONE company who ignored the totalitarians…) has been a hot topic in the heartland and their sales will plummet just like Dicks and Target.

          CFA won’t be selling chicken in Blue areas, either, unless they change their name. Too much bad publicity already.

          Just a stupid move.

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