Thanksgiving Dinner Ethics Appetizers, 11/28/2019: Boing Boing, Boeing, And Bears In The Woods

Have a gentle, loving Thanksgiving, everyone.

And thanks so much for visiting and participating.

Tangential question: Does anyone watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade any more, with the lip synced musical numbers in the street, the inflatable balloons of anciet cartoon characters, the floats that are virtually identical every year, and the phony blather from the B-level celebrities in the booth? Isn’t this spectacle now something that people watch out habit, like the Miss America pageant, “Peanuts” holiday specials and the Oscars, even though it has the entertainment value of styrofoam?

1. Tucker Carlson endorses the Julie Principle! Last night, Fox News host Tucker Carlson made the shocking statement that President Trump has been less than truthful with the American people.

“We’re not gonna lie to you, that was untrue,” Carlson said. “The crowd at the 2017 inauguration was not the largest ever measured at the National Mall. Sorry, it wasn’t. Why did the president claim that it was? Well, because that’s who he is. Donald Trump is a salesman, he’s a talker, a boaster, a booster, a compulsive self-promoter. At times he’s a full-blown BS artist.”


  • NOW Carlson is enlightening us about this? Every sentient being knew this about Donald Trump ten years ago, before the Presidency was a twinkle in his eye.
  • Has there ever been an irrelevant fabrication by any U.S. President as harped upon incessantly by critics and the media as Trump’s silly claims about his inauguration crowd?
  •  The Washington Post, aping the New York Times, manufactured another one of those compilations of Trump “lies.” As of last month, the Post says, Trump had told over 13,000 false or misleading statements since taking office, including, of course, including the Inauguration boast. If I didn’t have a sock drawer crisis to deal with, I’m sure I would find that at least a third of those “lies” are in fact nothing of the sort, but mistakes, off-the-cuff exaggerations, and obvious puffery, as in, “Trump said X was ‘the —-est,’ but Y is actually  —-er.”
  • Here is what I wrote almost exactly three years ago, before that Inauguration, in a post called, “Trump, His Critics, and The Julie Principle”:

Yesterday, many, not several but many, of my Angry Left Facebook friends posted links to stories attacking Trump’s silly tweet about him really winning the popular vote and there being millions of fraudulent votes for Hillary Clinton. “Is he going to do this sort of thing his entire administration?” one friend asked.


If so, then you are going to go nuts, and you will just become irrelevant and annoying.

Which, of course, they have. Including the Post and Tucker Carlson.

2. Another thinly-veiled vulgarity? Those weird TV ads featuring the blue bear family that is obsessed with Charmin toilet paper (“My hiney’s clean! It’s Charmin clean!”) are oblique references to the old “Does a bear shit in the woods?”, right? Can anyone think of another reason?

3. Talk about “the ends justify the means”: ICE scammed US citizens to catch illegals.

The University of Farmington is a fake educational institution outside of Detroit, set up by Homeland Security as a sting operation, It rented  a building to create the appearance of a  college campus thatwas entirely staffed with actual ICE agents. As of this month, they’ve arrested about 250  immigration violators.

From the latest Detroit Free Press report:

Out of the approximately 250 students arrested on administrative charges, “nearly 80% were granted voluntary departure and departed the United States,” the Detroit office of ICE’s Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) told the Free Press in a statement Tuesday.

Out of the remaining 20%, about half of them have received a final order of removal; some of them were ordered removed by an immigration judge, and others “were given an expedited removal by U.S. Customs and Border Protection,” said HSI Detroit.

The remaining 10% “have either filed for some sort of relief or are contesting their removals with Executive Office for Immigration Review,” said HSI Detroit.

This operation began under the Obama Administration, and has been going on since January 2016. Here’s the best part, though: here were several hundred other students at the university who weren’t arrested for immigration violations, because they were in the country legally. The total enrollment was around 600 students, and the fake school was charging about $12,000 per year for tuition and fees. This means that the government was running a true fraud and, as far as I can determine, profiting from it, in order to flush out immigration law-breakers. Reportedly ICE has defended the scam/ sting by arguing that since the school had no physical classrooms, and an obviously  perfunctory course, the students must have known the college was phony.

Some of the arrested students  were  charged with “conspiracy to commit visa fraud and harbor aliens for profit” because they were recruiting other students to enroll in the university, in what the indictments called a “pay to stay” scheme.

None of this makes any sense to me. Full post to come, after some more research. [Pointer and Facts: Boing Boing]

4.  This doesn’t make sense to me either: The Times tells us  that Melea Johnson—a household name, right?—has become a retail marketing force on the web by making product pitches to her roughly 83,000 Instagram followers and 355,000 YouTube subscribers. She estimates that she will make promotional posts in about 20 sponsored campaigns this month, for which the brands involved will pay her because she’s an “influencer.”  How could she be an influencer? Her endorsement of these products isn’t genuine, it’s paid for. That makes her endorsement literally worthless. People have offered to pay me to promote books on Ethics Alarms, and I’ve told them that it would be unethical.

“The people who follow me or watch my stories feel like we’re best friends,” says Melea, who began as a blogger about retail bargains.Yes, Melea, but you’re not. They are fools, and you’re exploiting them for cash.

5. Nor this… Boeing’s 737 Max—you know, its plane involved in two deadly crashes that killed 346 until they were pulled from the fleet, was supposedly  going to be ungrounded by the Federal Aviation Administration this year. Now it is expected that the  the grounding will continue into 2020.

My question: why bother? What passenger in his or her right mind would be foolish enough to board one of these death traps no matter whether it was certified safe (by the same people who said it was safe before the two crashes) or not? Why would anyone trust Boeing, or the FAA, when a  737 Max is involved? Will airlines really be so incompetent as to use these planes, even the “new, improved” versions? Would you board the “new, absolutely safe” Hindenberg? Remember how Dustin Hoffman reacted to getting on a plane in “Rain Man” ?

I’d expect about 50 passengers behaving just like Raymond once they learned that their scheduled flight would be on a Death Plane.

14 thoughts on “Thanksgiving Dinner Ethics Appetizers, 11/28/2019: Boing Boing, Boeing, And Bears In The Woods

  1. #2 I see the bears as teddy bears, in reference to the old tagline of Charmin as squeezably soft, not as anything vulgar.

    Now, the decision to place this as item number two, on the other hand…

  2. It just seems like the thing to do. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a Miss American pageant, though. Now, Peanuts specials are my nostalgia warm-n-cuddlies.

    1. Better Late Than Never?
    2. I don’t know that I’m familiar with that reference. A pox on my cultural illiteracy then.
    3. I wonder how many news articles reporting on this will bother to mention which administration this started under?
    4. I don’t get it either. Social media influencers are less useful than the Kardashians. Worse…some influencers ARE Kardasians.
    5. The 737 is the Happy Fun Ball of the airline industry.

    Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family!

  3. My first thought was “Goldilocks”, but one of the commercials reminded me of Yogi and Boo-Boo. By-the-bye, Happy Thanksgiving, Jack, and everybody else as well.

  4. 3)I’m glad you’re going to look into this. I read that article and it was very confusing to me.

    I think they’re saying that since there is no classroom the classes are obviously phony?

    I am currently taking several virtual classes over the internet where there is no actual classroom. The IRS will give me continuing education credits for these ‘obviously phony’ classes. Good thing I am a natural born citizen or I guess I could be deported…..

  5. There are actually a lot of fake colleges in this country. It is estimated that more than half of the doctorates awarded each year are fake. People usually enroll in these ‘institutions’ because they need an advanced degree to get a job or a promotion, but no knowledge from an advanced degree is actually required by the job (a lot of these people work for the government). Our taxpayer dollars actually pay for government officials to get these fake degrees.

    In this case, it looks like the university was set up to attract illegal aliens who were trying to get student visas to ‘upgrade’ their status in the US. They also hooked legal residents with the lure of a degree with no work.

  6. 1. Carlson’s point was that the MSM, while always detailing and cataloging Trumps every exaggeration and hyperbolic statement, saves their real outrages for when he tells the truth, in matters such as illegal immigration and border security, fair trade practices, ending endless wars and other positions supported by the vast majority of Americans. The MWM, he opined, treats these as though they were the actual lies Trump is telling.

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