Ethics Warm-Up, 3/17/2020: Wuhan Virus-Free Zone. Well, Almost…

Good morning.

Stir crazy yet?

I have discovered, in my ongoing efforts to get traffic here back to 2016 levels, before Facebook banned the blog and The Great Exodus Of The Trump Deranged, that daily visits are 20% higher if I get a post up before 8 am. This has often caused me to get out of bed at 4 am or earlier to hit the keyboard. Today I couldn’t do it: I was so anxious last night about all the looming cancellations of my ethics programs that I barely got any sleep. Sure enough, I’m down about 400 visits compared to yesterday.

There are remarkably few comments on the Paige Spiranac saga. Well, I thought it was interesting. I also must confess that the post was in part for beloved long-time commenter Lucky, who I hope is still following the blog. Paige is his type.

I have concluded that a large number of my Facebook Friends block my posts from their feeds, because they’d rather read the daily wave of anti-Trump columns from the likes of Paul Krugman, Jennifer Rubin, and Michelle Goldberg without any unsettling clarifications from me. I have never unfriended anyone who didn’t personally insult me, but I’d unfriend someone for that. It reminds me of the “Black Mirror” episode where you can block someone in real life, and then they can’t see you, communicate with you, and vice versa.

I’m procrastinating finishing Part III of the Wuhan Virus ethics series. It covers politics and the news media, and the content makes me so angry I can’t see straight. Increasingly I’ve been wanting to write like Kurt Schlichter, the novelist/conservative gadfly, who writes things like,

“But the battle is really for the shriveled heart of the Democrat Party, and no one better represents the yin and the yang of that dying collection of power-hungry elitists and grasping greedos than the doddering socialist Sanders and that Biden guy who should by all rights be chasing that damn know-it-all squirrel around the park.”

I can write like that, I have written like that in the past, and I enjoy writing like that, but its not ethical. Schlichter recently wrote that a snarling Hillary Clinton would pop out of Joe Biden’s chest at the Democratic National Convention like in “Alien.”   What a great image…

1. Do you feel like you are being conditioned and brain washed against your will? In addition to Hollywood’s efforts to change the race or gender of every white male hero of yore, TV commercials are now giving sex changes and race overhauls to iconic characters in ads. “Mikey” in a new Life cereal commercial is a little girl. “Jake from State Farm” is now a black guy. I really don’t care who plays “Mikey” or “Jake from State Farm.” I do object to intrusive woke propaganda.

I’m waiting for Tony the Tiger to show up as a black panther and for a new Jolly Green Giantess…

…who goes “Hee Hee Hee!”

2. From the “What’s wrong with people like this and why shouldn’t we shun them?” files:

Tatyana Hargrove was arrested last November in Bakersfield, California for rubbing a hamburger bun on the floor of the McDonald’s where she was working and then spitting in it before handing it over to be served to a uniformed police officer using the drive-thru. She  also  shouted, “Black lives matter” and “Fuck the pigs!” during the incident.

Heck yeah she should have a guaranteed income…

The investigating officer testified that Hargrove admitted to the insults because she knew the burger was going to be served to a police officer. Hargrove claimed to be the victim of police brutality in a lawsuit filed against the Bakersfield Police Department in 2017. The suit went to a trial but the jury found for the defendant.

The officer  did not become ill from eating the tainted burger, so the case now hangs on whether it was technically poisoned,  as the felony charge requires.

This is the kind of charge that activists—and the Obama administration–think should be withheld from potential landlords and employers. I’d love to have someone defend that position as it relates to Hargrove. I wouldn’t trust her to feed a goldfish.

3. Another example of double standard blindness...among the stories cited with approval by the Facebook Borg were reports on a law review article, authored by District Court Judge Lynn Adelman denouncing Chief Justice Roberts and what Adelman called “raw ideological bias” on the Supreme Court. I weighed in on some of the resulting posts, pointing out that this was classic “my judicial activism is ethical but your judicial activism isn’t” hypocrisy, and that from a judge such unfettered partisan attacks are violations of the judicial ethics codes. My reward was being told yet again that I was repeating Fox News talking points.

I was pleased, therefore, to see Professor Turley devoting an article to Adelman’s unprofessional outburst. Turley wrote in part,

Adelman makes a better case of bias against himself than he does Chief Justice John Roberts…Adelman attacks the five conservative justices as that “hard right majority” that has now been “actively participating in undermining American democracy.”

Conversely, the voting bloc of four liberal justices on the Supreme Court appears to be a masterpiece of righteousness to Adelman. He just cannot accept that the conservative majority holds opposing but principled views on issues ranging from immigration to campaign finance to voting rights. Instead, Adelman accuses the conservative majority of diminishing the rights of “ordinary Americans” while responding “only to the wishes of a relatively small number of powerful corporations and individuals”…As I wrote long ago, Donald Trump seems to have a knack for bringing out the worst in people, a technique that has paid off for him. When he leveled unrelenting and unfair attacks on the media, some journalists proceeded to fulfill that stereotype with what is openly biased hostile reporting. The same appears true with judges such as Adelman, who are undermining the judiciary with screeds against conservatives on the Supreme Court and in Congress. Once untethered from any notion of judicial restraint, Adelman vents about how Republicans remind him of all “those fervent defenders of slavery who pushed the South into the Civil War.”

In the current political distemper, such departures from judicial decorum are celebrated. The liberal group Demand Justice has asked the House to call Adelman to testify… to allow Adelman to attack conservatives and Republicans to show the “increasingly partisan” and “biased nature” of the court system…

It is the death of irony in our society in this day and age. A federal judge attacks conservatives while denouncing partisanship and is celebrated as an oracle of judicial integrity.


19 thoughts on “Ethics Warm-Up, 3/17/2020: Wuhan Virus-Free Zone. Well, Almost…

  1. There were a bunch of dumb typos in this when it first went up. Usually I do a final check immediately after posting, but life, as they say, got in the way. I think they’re all out now.

    I’m sorry.

  2. Jack wrote, “daily visits are 20% higher if I get a post up before 8 am. This has often caused me to get out of bed at 4 am or earlier to hit the keyboard. “

    Might I suggest that you actually compose your blog post the evening before, and review it briefly in the morning that way you don’t have to get up at 4am to get it posted before 8am. I suppose that will all be conditioned on a couple of things; first, do you do your best blog work in the morning and/or do you do your best blog work when you are under self imposed pressure?

    Everyone creativity works a little differently so in the end; just do what works best for you to create your blog posts and then post them at the most opportune time to get your desired result.

    • WordPress also allows scheduling a post for a later date – write it in the evening and schedule or to go live at 6am the next morning. And I suspect a portion of readership have it as something they check once a day and if something is posted later that day, they won’t see it until the next day.

    • My husband does this with his own WordPress blog. He will work on it ahead of time, save it and schedule posting at a specific time later on.

      • Jack wrote, “there’s no real motivation to hold one.”

        Oh but there is motivation to hold one created in the evening until early the next morning as opposed to posting it in the evening, you said it will increase the daily visits by 20% if it’s posted early in the morning. You know the modern Pavlov’s Dog’s 24 hour news cycle indoctrinated brains, “that’s yesterday’s news, what’s new this morning”. 😉

  3. Stir crazy? Not yet. We haven’t been sent home to work…yet…but there are rumblings. All our entertainment venues have to either close early or stay closed and the restaurants are restricted to carry-out/takeout/drive-thru only.

    Church was live-streamed on Sunday; cranberry juice and Ritz crackers served as communion.

    But I can still go outside.

    1. I noticed Jake from State Farm was replaced, but not Mikey. It also looks like Jake is getting another commercial besides the original.

    Did you know there’s a statue of the Jolly Green Giant in Blue Earth, MN? You can stand in front of it or underneath its parted legs for a photo. Having our adolescent son with us at the time we visited, we took an upskirt photo of the giant while posing for the photo. Absolutely no genitalia at all.

    The entertainment trivia continues.

    2. Like hand-washing, certain habits should have been taught in kindergarden and never dropped. I think it would be great for businesses serving the public to develop a code of ethics. If not that, then, at least, it should be made clear to employees on the first day of work that they are not permitted to target customers for any reason for ridicule, mistreatment or product tamperment.

    Attempted poisoning is my verdict. It was just moral luck the officer didn’t get sick.

    • “All our entertainment venues have to either close early or stay closed and the restaurants are restricted to carry-out/takeout/drive-thru only.”

      We’re trying to embrace this with an open mind and looking at it as an opportunity to do some extra family bonding. It very early of course, but even this mindset has so far helped curb the worst of the fears about what long-haul social distancing might look like. We did a jigsaw puzzle last night for the first time in forever.

      • My sister and her kids put together three puzzles the other night from the same company…and found out that they all had the same shaped pieces in the same positions. So they started mixing the pieces up between the puzzles and creating cool scenes.

        • I generally find jigsaw puzzles boring, but learning this I’m tempted to find if we have a matching set here and try to do our own creative interpretations.

  4. I will say I don’t post very often as I feel you’ve said everything that needed to be said or if I feel I don’t have the knowledge of the topic to constructively add to the conversation. I do read all the comments and enjoy the conversation in the comments nearly as much as the article itself.

    • Only the Shadow knows!

      Hee hee!


      PS: Bad pun. I apologize in advance for any acrimony caused by my flippant response. The synapses responsible for such immoral behavior have been sacked.

      • “What evil lurks in the hearts of men?!”

        I’m glad other people think things like this.

        “The Shadow is, in reality, Lamont Cranston, wealthy young man-about-town!”

        Imagined, of course, with that turn-of-the-twentieth-century radio announcer vocal affect – what happened to entertainment?

      • But then, this is bordering on my go-to-bedtime. I would rarely post now because I’m writ-out and certainly not thinking at the level needed to deal with either the earth-shaking ethical conundrums, nor the lighter posts that, like baseball talk (not the game or the players – I love that: it’s, like, the conversation about, like, determining a batter’s hitting average, like), invite me into clever chat I could never keep up with. So I really wondered at seeing Jack’s 4am posts. Does he never sleep? Thus, I am not around usually to pick up many posts at the times of their posting in order to make up one of the necessary percent of First Responders. I do expect at least 319 of the 3,190 “followers” (Full Disclosure: I have NEVER wanted to be a “follower”) should be filling in for me.

        What I have been doing with all the “free” time I have now with all the cinemas closed and my crisis line work reduced to training newbies and standing by as emergency help in the middle of the night (I am slowly but surely losing my hearing) is to go back over all the Ethics Alarms posts I have commented on in the past couple of months and answered those that called for them. Whether or not they were called for by the writers.

        And since I’m here anyway:
        #1 I last saw television 11 or so years ago and have rarely seen or heard an advertisement since then (I blank out on daily bombardment, literally).

        #2 The poisoned policeman should take Tatyana (wassa matta her mudder cudden spell wit an “i”?) and do what he did in the verse of an old camp song:
        Oh, there was a big policeman
        come a walking down the street
        And he saw that Tat-T-Yana
        come a-rockin’ on her feet
        So he grabbed her by the hair and
        Then he grabbed her by the seat
        And he gave that girl a facial
        On the floor-oh.

        #3 No, Jack. If you’re the one blogging at 4am, Fox News has been repeating your talking points. For all you know . . . .

        #4 See. It’s already past your prime time.

        And now, my duty done, I am the same.

  5. “I wouldn’t trust her to feed a goldfish.”

    Not to a policeman, anyway.

    I hope the legal system has an appropriate charge. Poisoning? Not really. Selling deliberately contaminated food? Perhaps the same “slap on the wrist” fine many companies face for this. $20,000 or so. Or a day in jail for each $50 she can’t pay.

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