From The Ethics Alarms Archives: “Integrity Surrender For The U.S. Marines”

Frequent commenter Steve (not to be confused with Steve-O-in-NJ or Steve Withspoon, also veteran combatants here) asked my opinion about an article titled “Marines’ Obsession with Pull-Ups May Be Hurting the Corps, Study Finds.”

To begin with, it’s a  misleading headline. The real subject of the piece, in Military.com, is the alleged hostility being fostered toward female recruits because of their disparate and less demanding physical requirements, including pull-ups. I was sure that I had written about the Marine pull-up controversy before, and sure enough I had, in 2013, (My, how time flies.) Re-reading it now, I felt that the Ethics Alarms post was relevant background to evaluating the article, which includes this…

The idea that female Marines can do fewer pull-ups than their male counterparts and get an equal score “did not sit well” with men, researchers wrote. “Are [women] required to meet equal physical standards? No, it doesn’t take a scientist to study that,” one gunnery sergeant said. “They need to do this many pull-ups, and I need to do this many. Is that equal? No. Four and four is equal. 20 and 20 is equal. That’s equal. So either we’re equal, or we’re not.”

Somehow, the author spins the findings into a rationalization for allowing the unequal standards to continue, writing at the beginning of the article,

Marines are putting an “extreme emphasis” on the number of pull-ups leathernecks can do, a recently published internal study found. And that, some fear, could result in other important qualities that are vital to the Corps’ mission being overlooked. Participants in a study on Marine Corps culture were often focused on pull-ups as a best measure of a person’s value and worth, researchers found. Marines’ ability to lift their own body weight on a pull-up bar was “routinely what Marines referenced when discussing physical standards, a Marine’s value, and physical readiness,” the report’s authors wrote.

I hadn’t checked the name of the author until after I read the article and was struck by how the title and first paragraphs attempted to ignore the ethics issue involved. Guess the writer’s gender. Yup, you’re right.

Here was my article in 2013, (and I wouldn’t change a word); I’ll have some final comments at the end: Continue reading

Your Ethics Reading Assignment: “The Cost Of America’s Cultural Revolution”

I swear, when I wrote the recent post about the lawsuit against the use of the standard college admissions tests, I had not read nor was even aware of Heather MacDonald’s superb essay on the topic of the manipulation of higher education in pursuit of ideological domination. (Thanks and gratitude to Instapundit for the timely link.)

Here is a taste:

The social-justice diversity bureaucracy has constructed a perpetual-motion machine that guarantees it eternal life. Minority students who have been catapulted by racial preferences into schools for which they are not academically prepared frequently struggle in their classes. The cause of those struggles, according to the social-justice diversity bureaucracy, is not academic mismatch; it is the lack of a critical mass of other minority students and faculty to provide refuge from the school’s overwhelming bigotry. And so, the school admits more minority students to create such a critical mass. Rather than raising minority performance, however, this new influx of diverse students lowers it, since the school has had to dig deeper into the applicant pool. The academic struggles and alienation of minority students will increase, along with the demand for more diversity bureaucrats, more segregated safe spaces, more victimology courses, more mental health workers, more diverse faculty, more lowered standards, and of course, more diversity student admits. And the cycle will start all over again.

And another…

The ultimate social-justice solution to the skills and behavior gap is to remove the competition entirely. From the moment children enter school, they are berated for their white heteronormative patriarchal privilege if they fall outside a favored victim group. Any success that they enjoy is not due to their own efforts, they are told; it is due, rather, to the unfair advantages of a system deliberately designed to handicap minorities. Teachers are now advised to ignore white male students, since asking or answering questions in class is another mark of male supremacy.

Please read it all, here.

There will be a quiz.

Comment Of The Day: “If I Had Been Able To Swing A Full-Time Impeachment News And Commentary Blog…”

Now the second of three Comments of the Day I’m posting this weekend authored by Glenn Logan. Like the first, this one is about the impeachment drama (or farce, if you prefer.)

His specific context is the post, “If I Had Been Able To Swing A Full-Time Impeachment News And Commentary Blog, These Kind Of Things Would Have Been On It…” It begins with a quote from the text. I suppose this is as good a place as any to apologize for floating the idea of launching a separate blog to address what still is infuriating to me, the impossibility of getting accurate, objective information regarding the process, its history, essential legal principles involved, like hearsay and due process, and the context of this particular blot on our history. This would not be needed, except that we have no trustworthy journalism sources today. One stop information is impossible, and few people have the time or inclination to bounce around the web to get a fair snapshot of what’s going on without being misled by misrepresentations on one side and crucial omissions on the other.

Almost as soon as I asked for volunteers to assist in this project, the metaphorical roof fell in on me, and just getting this blog out every day became difficult. At this point in my life I should have been financially independent enough to devote full time to projects like the impeachment site. I’ve got half-drafted books lying around, I have half a dozen other fascinating and important projects that should be moving forward and instead have been on my “To do” list for years. This is nobody’s fault but my own: not enough focus, not enough discipline, too easily distracted by topics that interest me but don’t pay the bills or advance the chess pieces.

What a waste. But the end of the year always sees my mind running in this gutter. Anyway, I’m sorry.

Now here’s Glenn:

“For leaders, those who deal in power, distinguishing between rightful and wrongful acts based on motives is particularly difficult, if not impossible.”

I think the Democrats are being deliberately deceptive here, and can’t really say what they mean. What they mean is that the actions they have ascribed to Trump are crimes because Trump did them. If a person such as former president Barack Obama, or more pointedly former vice-president Joe Biden, had done the exact same thing, they would carry with them a presumption of innocence, validity and indeed, praiseworthiness. Their motives would’ve never been questioned, let alone put forward as the basis for an impeachment.

This just highlights the political nature of the impeachment “process” the Democrats have initiated, and the utter bankruptcy of their argument. If they can define crimes as not the acts themselves, but the combination of and act and who commits it, they will have reached a point that Orwell couldn’t, or didn’t imagine. Continue reading

Eureka! Here’s One Way To Guarantee Diversity In College Admissions: Eliminate Objective Standards

Oh, it can’t be you! It’s always the test.

A group of students, advocacy groups and a primarily black and Hispanic California school district filed suit against the University of California last week,  alleging that  the SAT and ACT college admission tests discriminate  against black and Hispanic students and demanding that the school stop using standardized test scores in its admissions process.

The theory that the tests are biased against poor and mainly black and Hispanic students concludes that the system illegally discriminates against applicants on the basis of their race, wealth or disabilities, thus denying them equal protection under the California Constitution. This battle has been fought before, of course. There was a time, decades ago, when foes of standardized testing could point to test questions referring to yachting and Western philosophers, baking in a bias that handicapped students fromracial and ethnic  sub-cultures in America. Those prejudicial questions have been purged, but the long-time disparity between the test scores of white and Asian applicants on one side and black and Hispanic students on the other continues. Continue reading

Ethics Quiz: Santa In A MAGA Cap

Frank Skinner, who has played  Santa Claus at a mall in Waycross, Georgia for 50 years, says he was nearing the end of a long shift with kids on on and off his knee and the mall  was finally empty. For fun, he put on a MAGA cap as he sat in his Santa chair and took his own photo. Then he shared it for friends on his Facebook page.Predictably, some jerk sent it  to the mall’s management with a complaint.To be clear, the picture didn’t show Santa reading Hustler, or feeling up a busty co-ed, or snorting coke. It showed him wearing the campaign cap of the President of the United States.

The mall responded, “We apologize for this occurrence and will be addressing this right away. The Mall at Waycross does not support any specific political party. Thank you for bringing this to our attention. Kindly, Mall Management.” Then  the mall’s manager told reporters that the posing of the photo was “done completely without our knowledge” and added that “it’s safe to say he will not be wearing this hat around here. This particular Santa has been replaced.” Frank was fired.

Your Ethics Alarms Christmas season Ethics Quiz of the Day is…

Was the mall’s action fair and responsible?

Continue reading

Unethical Quote Of The Month: GretaThunberg

“World leaders are still trying to run away from their responsibilities but we have to make sure they cannot do that. We will make sure that we put them against the wall and they will have to do their job to protect our futures.”

—Climate change demagogue Greta Thunberg to cheering protesters somewhere or other; it doesn’t matter, and I don’t care.

Maybe the hubris-poisoned Swedish teen doesn’t know that “against the wall” is a violent and threatening allusion, but then she has forfeited the normal leave I would grant a high-schooler by going around the world pretending to know more than one. She doesn’t of course. She has just been programmed to lecture adults as a surrogate for adult activists, as they use her as a human shield against critics, kind of like when Curly of The Three Stooges would don glasses and shout “Can’t a man with glasses!”  Can’t be mean to a teenaged girl!

Greta  might as well be a Muppet, like Kermit or Miss Piggy, except I have a hard time believing that a Muppet would every threaten to line up world leaders against a wall.

World leaders have many responsibilities, among them being the duty not to pay any attention to indoctrinated children with a false sense of their own wisdom. For Time to make this obnoxious kid its “Person of the Year” is the height of pandering and unseriousness, which, com to think of it, pretty much decribes what Henry Luce’s baby has grown into in its twilight years.

Thunberg makes Cindy Sheehan look like Gandhi. As for anyone who cheers Greta’s rants, they are enabling a slow-motion tragedy. She’s a female Marjoe Gortner now, and likely to end up angry, bitter, emotionally disturbed, a drug addict, a hustler, dead before her time, or worse, a reality show star.

Comment Of The Day On The Testimony Of Prof. Jonathan Turley

This is the first of three Comments of the Day I will post  authored by Glenn Logan. Glenn was an accomplished blogger himself before he hung up his blogging shoes, and here he among the  longest participating commenters Ethics Alarms has, and, obviously, an outstanding one. He has been on an impressive run, and I realized that I better catch up. All three of Glenn’s COTDs relate to impeachment (as well as several other excellent comments).

Here is Glenn’s first Comment of the Day, on Professor Turley’s testimony on impeachment, Part II, You can find the links to the entire statement here.

The crux of Turley’s argument is that the process has not discovered objective proof of the impeachable conduct alleged, assuming arguendo that the conduct alleged actually qualifies in a substantive way for the Constitutional requirement of “…high crimes and misdemeanors.”

Setting aside the intentions of the House Democrats and the Judiciary Committee, this entire episode has become an abuse of process, Kabuki theater designed to produce an impeachment trial. As to why, well, there are surely lots of plausible explanations and even on-the-record statements suggesting answers, but ultimately it doesn’t matter. What does matter is what future Houses will conclude from these proceedings, and I think that is largely driven by what happens in the 2020 election.

If it turns out that the Republicans win big because of the broad rejection by Americans of this entire process, the lesson will be that the wages of orchestrating an inevitably failed impeachment without broad political support from the electorate are punishment at the ballot box. The Republicans learned this lesson in the Clinton impeachment, and you would think the Democrats would have marked it well also.

But many of us suppose this current train wreck is being conducted by the Democratic base, who manifestly loathe Trump and would happily see him executed by firing squad, or hanged. If the Democratic politicians fail to deliver even a pro-forma impeachment of such a loathsome President, the Democrats (perhaps rightly) fear the base will abandon conventional political campaigns and go “full commie,” a situation which will fracture the party and perhaps reduce it to rump status. Continue reading