Saturday Ethics Warm-Up, 3/7/2020: “Rosie,” Hervis, And An Irish Idiot


Boy, I wish I was in Fort Myers, at the Red Sox Spring Training camp, instead of at my desk, obsessing…

1. Report from the social media wars: The tone among the Facebook Borg has shifted dramatically. The Trump Hate is as strong as ever, but the lack of enthusiasm over Joe Biden is palpable, and the Bernie Bros. clearly see the writing on the wall. The posts by the more rational infected are full of hopes that Joe will be so weakened by age and dementia that he’ll let “good people” run the show. Most troubling of all are the discouraged Warren fans, who appear to have been permanently disabled. Even the fact that Massachusetts Democrats had reached the unavoidable conclusion that she was a fraud and couldn’t be trusted—for a “Favorite Daughter” of a state to finish third in a state primary is almost unprecedented—can’t penetrate those Trump Derangement hardened skulls. A genuine friend, not  a pure Facebook variety, wrote that he had read my “arguments” that Warren was a lying fraud and found them “unpersuasive.” This guy’s a tenured college professor! What I wrote weren’t arguments, they were facts. That the mainstream media  didn’t widely publicize those facts—more people know about the President’s typos than know that Warren lied about being “chased around a desk” by a male superior who was in a wheelchair at the time, or her false spin claiming that she had fought for female plaintiffs in a lawsuit where her client was a defendant corporation—is beside the point. The entire period from Trump’s election to the present has been an experiment is selective perception of reality. Every day now, I have to check my ethics alarms to prevent me from posting an intentionally pain-inflicting message that says to the people who have been trading “likes” and “loves” over daily hate-pieces of various levels of truth and have been excoriating anyone who points out the danger inherent to  efforts to undo an election:

“Your party is going to lose, and lose ugly. It’s going to lose because it rejected democracy, and behaved disgracefully, dividing the nation while accusing the President of exactly the misconduct they were engaging in themselves. And you, the mob, have applauded and cheered while they did this, attacking anyone who tried to bring rationality to the discussion. You deserve what’s coming. You deserve the misery it will cause you. I’m sure you will blame anyone and anything in sight, but it will be your fault for becoming weak, biased, arrogant, and hysterical. I hope that you will learn from the experience, but everything I have seen, heard and read since November 2016 tells me that you will only get worse—more angry, more resistant to non-conforming views, more doctrinaire and totalitarian in your attitudes. You had the intellect to behave otherwise, but lacked the integrity and courage to resist  peer pressure and groupthink. I have no sympathy for you.

2. This is a scam. My wife got an email offer from CVS for a “free gift” if she would fill out a questionnaire. When she prepared to submit it, she discovered that the “shipping fee” for the “gift” would be eight bucks, and would require her to send in all manner of personal information.  She deleted the whole thing having wasted 15 minutes she will want back on her deathbed. Our choices are to encourage the government to regulate this abuse of free speech, to find a way to punish the companies who engage in it, or to ignore these devices in sufficiently large numbers that they try something else less obnoxious, or more effective.

3. More cognitive dissonance games. Hervis Rogers became an overnight hero in the news media by  waiting almost seven hours at the end of a line at a Texas Southern University polling place to vote on Super Tuesda , finally casting his ballot al 1:30 a.m. His story, in turn, spread on social media as more evidence of “voter suppression,” though why Democrats would want to suppress votes in a primary, and how doing so would benefit them, is  puzzling. Voter suppression always means “Republicans,” though, even when they aren’t involved in the example at hand.

The NAACP tweeted that “Texas closed hundreds of polling places, and we didn’t have the Voting Rights Act to stop it. No one should have to wait this long to participate in democracy! Thank you Hervis Rogers for your commitment to being counted!”

Now conservative websites are crowing about the fact that Rogers may have been ineligible to vote. Texas Department of Public Safety records indicate Rogers is on parole for a 1995 second-degree felony offense conviction for burglary. Under Texas Election Law (Sec. 11.002), a convicted felon can’t vote until the individual’s sentence has been “fully discharged.” That includes any term of incarceration, parole, or supervision, or completed a period of probation ordered by any court. Rogers’ parole doesn’t end until June 13, 2020, but somehow he had a Harris County voter registration card.

The way the conservative sites are attacking Rogers, one would think that his voting eligibility is related to how long he had to wait, and somehow makes the difficulty he had voting less outrageous. Nor does the fact that he had to wait so long to cast an illicit vote mitigate the fact that it was voter fraud—which Democrats claim doesn’t exist.

4. From the “Life Incompetence” files, we have the ridiculous tale of a 22-year-old Dublin man who became the first human being in the history of Ireland, which has had human beings since at least 10,500 BC, to be bitten by a venomous snake. How inept do you have to be to manage to nearly die from a snake bite on an island that famously has no snakes? This idiot brought his snake to the island, a puff adder native to Morocco and Western Arabia,  known as one of the most deadly vipers in existence.

5. Rosalind Walter, the original “Rosie the Riveter, Ethics Hero, dies at 95.  Rosalind P. Walter, who died this week,  was 19 and the daughter of  wealthy Long Island parents who raised her on their Fairfield, Connecticut estate.  When the United States entered World War II, she skipped college and chose to become an assembly line worker at the Vought Aircraft Company in Stratford, not far from Fairfield. She worked the night shift,  riveting Corsair fighter planes.  A newspaper column about her inspired the morale-boosting 1942 song that turned her into the iconic Rosie the Riveter, who  was later portrayed by a series of models for posters and magazine covers.

After the war, “Rosie” became a philanthropist, generously supporting the American Museum of Natural History, the Pierpont Morgan Library, Long Island University, the college scholarship program of the United States Tennis Association, the North Shore Wildlife Sanctuary on Long Island, and most of all, PBS.

10 thoughts on “Saturday Ethics Warm-Up, 3/7/2020: “Rosie,” Hervis, And An Irish Idiot

  1. Regarding number 3, armchair lawyers calling foup may be jumping the gun.

    Given that the general election is in November, and his sentence will be fully complete it June, it appears his registration is valid for the general election.

    11.001.1: “(1) be a qualified voter as defined by Section 11.002 on the day the person offers to vote;”

    The issue is whether a primary counts as a public election (from which he is disqualified by law), or or the deliberations of a private private organization (in which case the Democratic Party would be fully in its rights to admit him). Even if the primary were a public election, case law and other applicable criteria would have to be examined to see if eligibility in the general election entitled a Texas voter to participate in the primaries.

    It is interesting to note that the law states that if someone is erroneously registered in good faith in the wrong precinct, the vote is valid. Assuming he registratered in good faith for the general election and mistakenly participated in the primary, would his own precinct of residence count as an erroneous registration, thus validating his vote?

    • FWIW, there is no voter registration by party in Texas, and the primaries are “open”, with voters free to choose whichever party’s ballot they want (hence “Operation Chaos”). Polling places are under state/county supervision, not party, so seems a pretty “public” election, not a private party deliberation.

    • What you post is true. However, I am not buying the 7-hour marathon waiting story as a sign of Republican voter suppression. Remember, this was a primary and Democrats had their voting stations and Republicans had their stations. Democrat County Clerk Diane Trautman blamed Republicans for not agreeing to share voting stations. But, this fellow voted at Texas Southern University, which is no hotbed of Republicanism or conservatism. How is it that only Democrats had trouble voting when the same exact systems were used by Republicans without incident? It can’t be the huge voter turnout. What was it then?

  2. Jack, I’m leaning towards saying it’s unethical not to post your message. I think it’s utterly truthful, and I don’t see it as mean spirited at all (confirmation bias?).

    The sad reality is they’d ignore it, because TDS.

    It’s insane (I guess that thought is redundant…).

  3. 4. Even very experienced snake handlers fear the puff adder. It is aggressive and possesses one of the fastest strikes of any snake in the world…blink-of-an-eye fast. Why anyone would want to be anywhere near one…of his/her own choice…


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