Noonish Ethics Warm-Up (But It’s Morning To Me!), 3/6/2020: Bill Clinton Returns, And Other Amusements

Morning already, Sea Dog?

I guess I have to admit that I don’t bounce back from travel like I used to…incidentally,the original voice of Captain Crunch was the great Daws Butler, who was Hanna-Barbara’s answer to Mel Blanc, and every bit as versatile as the voice of Bugs, Porky and Daffy. He was Fred Flintstone, Huckleberry Hound, Quickdraw McGraw (and Baba Looey) Yogi Bear and Elroy Jetson, just to name a few of his 459 characters.

1. Enemy of the people…the Coronavirus situation is a perfect example of how the news media’s inability to avoid partisan bias does tangible harm. It is literally impossible to get straight reporting. The left-biased news media wants to make the situation seem as dire as possible, wants disruption of the financial markets, wants to undermine trust in the federal response, all because they so, so want to see President Trump defeated in November and they can feel that objective slipping away. The conservative media is determined to bolster the administration, and give the cheeriest spin on the pandemic possible. You either have to choose what you want to believe, or, like me, resign yourself to uncertainty because we have a corrupt and unethical journalistic establishment.

After the head of the World Health Organization (WHO)  estimated the global mortality rate of the coronavirus to be 3.4%, President Trump said on Fox News that his “hunch” was that it was much lower.

“I think the 3.4 percent is really a false number, and this is just my hunch, but based on a lot of conversations with a lot of people that do this because a lot of people will have this and it’s very mild. They’ll get better very rapidly, they don’t even see a doctor, they don’t even call a doctor. You never hear about these people.”

He was immediately attacked in the press and mocked on social media, because, you know, he lies, he’s an idiot, and he doesn’t believe in science. His “hunch,’ however, is almost certainly right, and for exactly the reason he talked about. From The Hill:

“Experts warn that the figure from WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus comes full of caveats and is likely to change as more people get tested and undergo treatment for the virus. ‘I think it’s lower because we are missing mild cases,’ said Jennifer Nuzzo, a senior scholar at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security. ‘We should be preparing for [the worst] cases, it’s true, but also going out to see what the real number is….Folks want to be able to understand what the true risk is. They want to know just how deadly is it, how deadly is it to me? The challenge is, we don’t totally know.'”

Joe Biden, meanwhile, noted that the outbreak occurring during The Great War made it hard to separate the Real McCoy from the malarkey.

Oh, lighten up! I’m just having a little fun.

2. This, however, is not a joke, unfortunately: This goes right into the Ethics Alarms “Is we getting dummer?” file. MSNBC’s Brian Williams and New York Times Editorial Board Member Mara Gay demonstrated the level of intellect Americans rely on to enlighten them about world events yesterday. “Somebody tweeted recently that actually with the money that he spent, he could have given every American a million dollars,” Gay said. “I’ve got it. Let’s put it on the screen,” said Williams said. “When I read it tonight on social media, it kind of all became clear.” Williams then read the tweet: “Bloomberg spent $500 million on ads. The U.S. Population, 327 million. He could have given each American $1 million and have had lunch money left over.”

“It’s an incredible way of putting it,” Williams commented. Yes, incredibly stupid, you morons. 500 million dollars divided by 327 million people is about a dollar and 56 cents. [Pointer: The Daily Wire]

3. This might also belong in that file: Williams College apparently suspended a male student based on his failure to pursue a relationship with a female student after “kissing and touching” her, according to a lawsuit against prestigious institution.

I fear that the #MeToo revolution will result in both sexes being more confused about what acceptable conduct is than they already were.

4. Bill Clinton is finally heard from, and not in a good way. I enjoyed Prof. Turley’s reaction, especially since he appears to have exactly the same opinion of Bill as I do:

“The new documentary on Hillary Clinton has been panned by many as yet another attempt to rewrite history for the Clintons. However, few expected Bill Clinton to come up with yet another explanation for the affair that led to his impeachment. Clinton explained in an interview that it was all an effort “manage my anxieties.” The problem is that his anxiety management included committing perjury as well as recently disclosed alleged witness tampering. He was of course never charged with perjury despite a court later saying that he clearly lied under oath. Of course, he would never lie to Hulu.

Clinton added that that he thought “there’s something that will take your mind off it for a while.” Of course, he also omits a long list of women who have accused him of sexual harassment, sexual assault, and rape as both Arkansas Governor and as President. That goes back decades and, with each woman, the Clintons crushed the accusers, including Hillary Clinton referring to them as “bimbos.” None of that was apparently relevant in this “documentary” which seems like four-hour exploration of historical revisionism.

However, it must be a great anxiety reliever.

5. From the annals of Rationalization #22, “It’s not the worst thing,” we learn that the the deficiencies of American teachers could indeed be worse than they are. In Nottinghamshire, Great Britain, newly-qualified teacher Joshua Brandon Lewis resigned from his teaching position at Carlton le Willows Academy in 2018 after joking  in class about a pupil’s vagina. Then a subsequent  investigation showed that he also shot at students with a staple gun, placed one or more in light-hearted headlocks, and pulled chairs out from under them. He was just banned from the profession by the Teaching Regulation Agency, which ruled that he egregiously breached teaching standards. I’d say that was a fair verdict.

To be honest, I could see myself making the comment that got him fired. One pupil described a drawing as looking like her friend’s vagina, and Lewis quipped, “If your vagina looks like that, you’ve got a problem.”

20 thoughts on “Noonish Ethics Warm-Up (But It’s Morning To Me!), 3/6/2020: Bill Clinton Returns, And Other Amusements

  1. RE #1: Yes, the politicization is appalling. But let us remember that regardless of ideological stripe, the news media’s primary bias is towards its own bottom line. FUD (Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt) are long-standing mechanism by which marketers and the media stir up the general population and get ’em to watch and/or buy stuff. The news industry has known this for a very long time.

    If you can also drive a political agenda while making the cash register ring..? That’s just gravy.

    • “The media’s the most powerful entity on earth. They have the power to make the innocent guilty and to make the guilty innocent, and that’s power. Because they control the minds of the masses.” Malcolm X

    • A lot of the death rate depends on the quality of the care. The initial death rate was about 50%, but fell very rapidly. This was probably due to the fact that only the serious cases were noticed and treatment protocols had not been established. The rate has continued to fall due to (1) better diagnosing of the illness and probably (2) the disease has mutated to be less virulent. The death rate between countries illustrates the point. The death rate for coronavirus in Iran is over 8%, but it is 0.7% in South Korea.

    • I keep hearing that, but when you consider that for 15 years, fox news has been pulling double the ratings, it just isnt so. As the other other news channels slid to the left, they hemorrhaged viewers. And they continued to slide, even as they watched the advertising dollars just float over to fox news. If it were truly money that motivated them, they would be far more interested in emulating the successes of their competitors.

      • They’re all making money, Aaron. Even CNN.

        I’m not saying that ideology isn’t a factor. But look at what CNN and MSNBC (and others) have been doing in the past few days – skewering a crackpot leftie in favor of a crackpot “centrist.”

        Not all of the dough is short-term. Yes, the Coronoavirus stuff is. But access and relationships to those in power – what most corporations would value as “goodwill” – still matters to these folks.

        What a pity that most of ’em are too dumb to understand that by constantly encouraging their dogs to shit on their own carpets, they’ve significantly reduced the re-sale price.

    • Yeah, when the State Department employees overrode Trump’s decision to only fly uninfected people back from Japan, that hinted at using this to hurt him in the polls, no matter how many people they had to kill. The further decisions to spread those infected patients out across the country and only quarantine people for 1/2 the incubation time were further indications. The plot was revealed when ‘whistleblowers’ reported that the workers on the ground (who were supposed to be dealing with uninfected people only, remember) did not have the equipment and training to deal with infected people when they arrived in the US. Pretty good setup.

  2. Re2
    Statements like that prove my point that calculators are tools to that people who lack basic math skills use to get the wrong answer faster. Basic inspection would tell the person with proficient sixth grade math skills that dividing 500 million by 335 million would be about a buck and a half.

    It would cost 335 trillion to give everyone 1 million dollars Just take 335,000,000 multiply by 1 and add six six zeros to the result 335,000,000,000,000.

  3. I got this from someone in WhatsApp. Thought it made sense:

    Dear Colleagues,

    When I was a professor of pathology at the University of California San Diego, I was one of the first molecular virologists in the world to work on coronaviruses (the 1970s). I was the first to demonstrate the number of genes the virus contained. Since then, I have kept up with the coronavirus field and its multiple clinical transfers into the human population (e.g., SARS, MERS), from different animal sources.

    The current projections for its expansion in the US are only probable, due to continued insufficient worldwide data, but it is most likely to be widespread in the US by mid to late March and April.

    Here is what I have done and the precautions that I take and will take. These are the same precautions I currently use during our influenza seasons, except for the mask and gloves:

    1) NO HANDSHAKING! Use a fist bump, slight bow, elbow bump, etc.

    2) Use ONLY your knuckle to touch light switches. elevator buttons, etc.. Lift the gasoline dispenser with a paper towel or use a disposable glove.

    3) Open doors with your closed fist or hip – do not grasp the handle with your hand, unless there is no other way to open the door. Especially important on bathroom and post office/commercial doors.

    4) Use disinfectant wipes at the stores when they are available, including wiping the handle and child seat in grocery carts.

    5) Wash your hands with soap for 10-20 seconds and/or use a greater than 60% alcohol-based hand sanitizer whenever you return home from ANY activity that involves locations where other people have been.

    6) Keep a bottle of sanitizer available at each of your home’s entrances. AND in your car for use after getting gas or touching other contaminated objects when you can’t immediately wash your hands.

    7) If possible, cough or sneeze into a disposable tissue and discard. Use your elbow only if you have to. The clothing on your elbow will contain infectious virus that can be passed on for up to a week or more!

    What I have stocked in preparation for the pandemic spread to the US:

    1) Latex or nitrile latex disposable gloves for use when going shopping, using the gasoline pump, and all other outside activity when you come in contact with contaminated areas.

    Note: This virus is spread in large droplets by coughing and sneezing. This means that the air will not infect you! BUT all the surfaces where these droplets land are infectious for about a week on average – everything that is associated with infected people will be contaminated and potentially infectious. The virus is on surfaces and you will not be infected unless your unprotected face is directly coughed or sneezed upon. This virus only has cell receptors for lung cells (it only infects your lungs) The only way for the virus to infect you is through your nose or mouth via your hands or an infected cough or sneeze onto or into your nose or mouth.

    2) Stock up now with disposable surgical masks and use them to prevent you from touching your nose and/or mouth (We touch our nose/mouth 90X/day without knowing it!). This is the only way this virus can infect you – it is lung-specific. The mask will not prevent the virus in a direct sneeze from getting into your nose or mouth – it is only to keep you from touching your nose or mouth.

    3) Stock up now with hand sanitizers and latex/nitrile gloves (get the appropriate sizes for your family). The hand sanitizers must be alcohol-based and greater than 60% alcohol to be effective.

    4) Stock up now with zinc lozenges. These lozenges have been proven to be effective in blocking coronavirus (and most other viruses) from multiplying in your throat and nasopharynx. Use as directed several times each day when you begin to feel ANY “cold-like” symptoms beginning. It is best to lie down and let the lozenge dissolve in the back of your throat and nasopharynx. Cold-Eeze lozenges is one brand available, but there are other brands available.

    I, as many others do, hope that this pandemic will be reasonably contained, BUT I personally do not think it will be. Humans have never seen this snake-associated virus before and have no internal defense against it. Tremendous worldwide efforts are being made to understand the molecular and clinical virology of this virus. Unbelievable molecular knowledge about the genomics, structure, and virulence of this virus has already been achieved. BUT, there will be NO drugs or vaccines available this year to protect us or limit the infection within us. Only symptomatic support is available.

    I hope these personal thoughts will be helpful during this potentially catastrophic pandemic. You are welcome to share my advice.

  4. I can’t not say it: Alan Reed voiced Fred Flintstone, and Mel Blanc was the most common voice for Barney Rubble. Daws Butler did some substitute work and supporting roles, but wasn’t a mainstay of The Flintstones.

    Now, back to politics and pestilence….

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