Saturday Ethics Warm-Up, 2/22/2020: A Girl Named Nazi, And Other Ethics Puzzles

Good morning!

Believe it or not, that was what kids looked forward to on Saturday mornings.


1. Naming Ethics. I just learned that the U.S. Women’s Chess Champion in 2016 and 2018, is named  Nazi Paikidze.  Apparently in her parents’ native Georgian her euphonious first name means “gentle.”

Oh! Well no problem then!

2. Completely unrelated…no really, completely...In Hobart, Indiana, 23-year-old Kyren Gregory Perry-Jones and 18-year-old Cailyn Marie Smith drove up to two teenage boys who were riding their bikes, and asked if they supported President Donald Trump. The two boys’ bicycles were flying small American flags. After they answered yes, the couple swerved to drive them off the road.  Perry-Jones, according to the boys; account, left his car to rip one of the flags from its bike tossed it on the road, got back into his vehicle and ran over it. He also shouted, “Don’t let me see you downtown.”

The suspects—I wonder who their candidate is? My money’s on Bernie—were apprehended after they posted videos of the incident on Snapchat. One shows Cailyn Marie saying,  “Ya’ll scared, just like your President!…America is not great!” to the teens. I haven’t used tis video in a while, and this seems like a good time..


The two have been charged  with felony counts of intimidation and criminal recklessness.

3. Also related: I must post this Babylon Bee reaction to the story about the anti-Trump protesters who glued tiny MAGA caps to the heads of innocent pigeons…

4.  NFL values. Miles Garret, the Browns defensive end who swung his helmet at the exposed head of Steelers quarterback Mason Rudolph  during a game and was subsequently suspended by the league “indefinitely,” ending his season six games early, was quietly reinstated this month while all of the sports ethics attention was on baseball’s still festering sign-stealing scandal.

So now we know the NFL penalty for attempted murder. Nice.

5. “How things have changed!” Dept.  Clayton Williams died this week. He was a successful Texas businessman who had never run for political office, but who was regarded for a time as a cinch to be elected Governor of the Lone Star State in 1990. But he had an undisciplined mouth, and his comments about women and his female opponent, Texas State Treasurer Ann Richards, alienated voters.

He bragged about enjoying prostitutes as a young man, because it was the only way to get “serviced” in the 1950s. He refused to shake hands with Richards at a debate. When a poll showed Ms. Richards, a recovering alcoholic, making inroads on his lead , he said, “I hope she hasn’t gone back to drinking again.” He also boasted that he would  “head her and hoof her and drag her through the mud,” as if she were cattle.

His biggest gaffe, however, came  early in the campaign. He was sitting around a campfire in a rainstorm with reporters he had invited to his ranch. he joked that bad weather was like rape: “If it’s inevitable, just relax and enjoy it.”

Williams’ campaign slogan? “Make Texas Great Again.”

He lost to Ann Richards, and was never a factor in politics or government again.

6. Debate Ethics: on conflicts of interest and the appearance of impropriety. The New York Post discovered that years ago, Senator Amy Klobuchar and her husband, lawyer John Bessler, rented a 3-bedroom Arlington, Virginia home owned by NBC “Meet the Press” host Chuck Todd. Todd, as we all know, was the primary moderator in last week’s Democratic candidates debate in Las Vegas. Is that a big deal? No, not unless the Senator still owes him money. It is still a past relationship that raises an appearance of impropriety, and thus should have been disclosed, to the debaters, to the news media, and to viewers at the beginning of the event. The fact that it was not shows the sloppy and unprofessional attitude toward potential conflicts of interest at NBC and by Todd himself.

7. And on loyalty and trust. Does the anti-Trump Facebook Borg really fail to comprehend the vital importance of trust and loyalty on government positions? Is the mainstream media really as clueless on this topic as their recent attacks on the President suggest? President Trump has been far too trusting in his reliance on Obama administration holdovers and other officials during his Presidency, and his attempts to govern have been obstructed, undermined and sabotaged by a large and still substantially unidentified group of disloyal, self-aggrandizing opponents within his agencies and in the White House. One of them has proudly proclaimed his status as a subversive mole, writing about his activities in the New York Times and readying a book for publication. The Presidents’ recent dismissals and firings are being describes as “vengeance,” paranoia,and proof of autocratic tendencies.

This analysis is based on bias, ignorance and incompetence, or an unethical desire to misinform the public. No manager, and no leader, should continue to employ anyone whom he cannot say that he trusts absolutely to maintain confidences, work to advance the policies and goals he or she deems in the best interests of stakeholders, and to refrain from bolstering critics and adversaries.

Henry Kyle Frese, a former Pentagon counterterrorism analyst, pleaded guilty two days ago to sharing classified information with two journalists, including his girlfriend.He faces up to 10 years in prison. Good. According to court documents and social media posts, Frese passed documents to  Amanda Macias, a national security reporter at CNBC who was also. Frese’s girlfriend and lived with him. His objective was to advance her career. The Justice Department is finally getting serious about finding and punishing leakers, a necessary process about which the New York Times darkly writes, “The intensive pursuit of government workers who share classified information has unsettled First Amendment advocates, who say it could have a chilling effect, persuading public employees to stay silent rather than alert journalists to wrongdoing.”

Sure. As we have seen, judgment about what constitutes “wrongdoing” for this President is a highly subjective matter. The President had every right, indeed an obligation, to make certain that he does not continue to employ individuals whose idea of right-doing is to try to subvert his efforts to govern as he believes is in the best interests of the nation.

15 thoughts on “Saturday Ethics Warm-Up, 2/22/2020: A Girl Named Nazi, And Other Ethics Puzzles

  1. 1– (kinda) It should come as no surprise (especially to notable local satirist OB!) that there just so happens to be a St. Nazianz WESconsin, named after Gregory of Nazianzus.

    It’s a dad blame miracle perpetually offended denizens of America’s Dairyland haven’t been been triggered…yet.

  2. #4) “Now we know the NFL penalty for attempted murder.”

    I think this statement could use a little more legal behind it. Assualt? Yes. Assault with a weapon? Yes. Assault with a deadly weapon? No. Murder, as we will all remember, is the legal definition of intentional homicide. Did I miss somewhere that he said his intention was to kill him with the helmet? Attempted Voluntary Manslaughter doesn’t have the same ring as “Attempted Murder”, but that’s what would be *more* accurate; but it’s still incorrect because manslaughter is used when death is to some degree accidental or unintended. How can you attempt to unintentionally kill someone? You can’t.

    That leaves us with Assault or Attempted Assault, with all of it’s aggravating factors.

    • If you hit someone intentionally with an object that you know or should know might kill him, you’re at least facing manslaughter charges if it does. If you hit someone with a hammer, can you say, “I didn’t intend to kill him?” How about a bowling ball? Is a football helmet swung by a 240 pound athlete at a man’s head deadly force? I’d take that to a grand jury. The helmet hit the target a glancing blow. It it had crushed his skull, that’s manslaughter, and “I didn’t mean it” is a fact question at trial. “Assault with a deadly weapon” would be a charge if the helmet was swung at any part of the player’s body. When it’s at his head, there is a rebuttable presumption that the attack was intended to inflict mortal harm.

      That said, I was being intentionally hyperbolic.

  3. So a white guy is called a honkey or a cracker, he’s entitled to kill the guy who called him that. Good to know the ground rules.

  4. Back in the 50s, my first Southern friend, took it upon himself to define the words (and who was allowed to use them and when … me, never!) “redneck,” “hillbilly,” “white trash,” “ofay,” “honkey” and “cracker” among others. He (a self-named Alabama Boy) said “cracker” referred specifically to people from the state of Georgia. I found out otherwise later on. And so, jump over half a century to 2013, to millenial-speak:

    Ethical Alarms’ Etymological Coincidence Dept: CRACKER

    “Last week, Rachel Jeantel took the stand in the murder trial of George Zimmerman, who shot and killed Trayvon Martin after an altercation. Jeantel was on the phone with Martin moments before the fateful encounter.

    Jeantel said that Martin told her that a “creepy-ass cracker” was following him. She told Don West, George Zimmerman’s attorney, that she didn’t think the phrase was racist; West argued that it was.”

    The source is not an EA favorite:
    but it did remind me of an entirely different cracker-barrel of a trial — one that would NOT refer to a tough young man turning the head of an out-of-shape older man (albeit an equally culpable, stupid man) into a bloody pulp by repeatedly smashing it against a concrete curb as a mere “altercation.”

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