Morning Ethics Warm-Up, 4/17/2020: Sir Paul, Fauxahontas, #MeToo, The Flying Ace, And The 2016 Ethics Villain Of The Year

good morning.

my college freshman dorm room was where e.e. cummings spent his freshman year too. never liked ol’ e.e.’s poetry much, but admired his clever stunt to avoid having to worry about upper case letters, presenting laziness as style.

i wonder if i could do the same thing with basic spelling?

1. You don’t necessarily have to blame the victim, but you shouldn’t give him gifts for being irresponsible either. Pitching ace Roy Halladay had only been retired for three years when he died in the crash of a private plane he was flying. After his death, he was elected by baseball writers to the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame ahead of the mandatory five -year waiting period, an honor that was given posthumously to Roberto Clemente, the Pittsburgh Pirates outfielder who died in a plane crash in 1972 while trying to deliver relief supplies from Puerto Rico to earthquake-ravaged Nicaragua. Clemente was a no-arguments Hall of Famer; Halladay was not, though he was certainly a valid candidate. He was elected by sympathy and emotion as much as by careful evaluation; this is one reason the Hall makes players wait at least five years. Now the  National Transportation Safety Board’s report on the investigation of his death is coming out.

This week it reported that Halladay had a  mix of amphetamine, morphine and other prescription drugs in his system while he was doing aerial acrobatics and stunt flying. It was a miracle that he didn’t kill anyone else, as he was flying dangerously close to boats before his amphibious sport plane  plunged into the Gulf of Mexico  on Nov. 7, 2017.

The 13-page report says Halladay had 10 times the recommended level of amphetamine in his system, as well as an antidepressant, a muscle relaxant, a sleep aid and morphine.

2. Shut up, Paul. For some reason, Sir Paul McCartney felt it necessary to tell Howard Stern on the latter’s radio show that The Beatles were better than the Rolling Stones. I’ll restrain myself from commenting on the fact that it is per se irresponsible to do anything involving Howard Stern, but that obvious and undebatable conclusion regarding the Fab Four and the Stones can be explained by just about anyone except Paul McCartney, from whom it sounds petty. Losers have to plead such things: I was reminded of Jimmy Carter boasting that he is  the best ex-President ever (and he isn’t!) At least Sir Paul  didn’t feel he had to prove he was the most successful ex-Beatle.

3. More stupid interview tricks. Chris Christy, 2016 Ethics Villain of the Year and now reduced to call- in shows and punditry, said on “The View” that President Trump’s confrontational with reporters at  Wuhan virus task force briefings was “beneath what he should be doing.” I’ll restrain myself from commenting on the fact that it is per se irresponsible to do anything involving “The View,” but Chris Christy criticized another elected official for being confrontational with the press? What a wonderful example of ethics estoppel! Christie was infamous for attacking and bullying reporters at his press conferences before Donald Trump was a glimmer in a “deplorable’s” eye!

4. On #MeToo’s death by a thousand hypocrisies.. It’s comforting, I suppose, that Elizabeth Warren is living down to the Ethics Alarms assessment of her as a cynical, pandering, hypocritical and dishonest opportunist and demagogue.  In a video released this week, Warren endorsed Joe Biden and backed his 2020 campaign and also said  she would agree to be his running mate if asked. Warren praised Biden’s character, compassion, fundamental decency, and competence.  The fact that Biden has been accused of sexual assault apparently doesn’t trouble her at all. This is strange, considering that Warren has been one of the most strident  (and eloquent—the one thing Warren does well is talk) voices demanding that we “believe all women.”When Professor Christine Blasey Ford accused then-Supreme Court nominee Kavanaugh of sexual assault without  evidence or corroboration, with a conveniently timed “recalled memory” of a three decade old event without a clear date or location. Warren accused the judge publicly and accepted Blasey-Ford’s account without reservation. She  said,

I believe Dr. Ford…Nobody is entitled to a lifetime appointment on the Supreme Court … Dr. Ford’s credible accusations [are] sufficient reason to vote no on Judge Kavanaugh’s nomination. Republicans are playing politics with the Supreme Court,, and  they are willing to step on anyone, including the victim of a vicious sexual assault, in order to advance their agenda…Some [women] make the difficult and personal decisions to come forward and tell their stories. They, like all survivors, are courageous, and they deserve to be heard and treated with respect.

“Members of [the Senate] should vote no on Judge Kavanaugh,” Warren concluded. “Our country deserves better.”

What should we glean from Warren’s disparate treatment of Tara Reade’s accusations, which may not be true (I find them suspiciously timed as well), but are far more detailed and credible than Blasey-Ford’s? That no one is entitled to a SCOTUS seat, but one is entitled to be President? That women must only be believed when they accuse Republicans? That Reade’s accusations are inherently incredible because of Joe’s unimpeachable respect for women? (Show us the photos of Judge Kavanaugh nuzzling, groping, kissing, hugging and sniffing unconsenting women and girls, Senator!)

That Warren is an unscrupulous unprincipled phony?

Or as Prof Glenn Reynolds snarked in response to this and other evidence, “So #metoo was basically bullshit, then.”

Among the other catalysts for his conclusion—there are so many!___ were the fact that CNN, as of three days ago, hadn’t mentioned Reade’s three week old accusation, and in that same span Joe Biden was asked 81 questions in over two hours of questioning in ten interviews  and not  a single question involved Reade’s allegation.

Isn’t that disgraceful? (I wish I could say it’s incredible, but unfortunately, it is business as usual in the partisan mainstream media) In none  of Biden’s ten interviews, among them sessions with Chuck Todd on Meet the Press,  George Stephanopoulos on ABC, CNN’s Chris Cuomo, NBC’s Craig Melvin, and MSNBC’s Nicolle Wallace, did the matter of his ex-staffer’s claim and his own past declaration that accusations by women against powerful men should not be buried or ignored come up.

Bullshit indeed.


10 thoughts on “Morning Ethics Warm-Up, 4/17/2020: Sir Paul, Fauxahontas, #MeToo, The Flying Ace, And The 2016 Ethics Villain Of The Year

  1. “That no one is entitled to a SCOTUS seat, but one is entitled to be President?”

    Yup. All those offices belong to Democrats, they just occasionally let Republicans occupy them for a little while before reclaiming them.

    “That women must only be believed when they accuse Republicans? ”

    Bingo. Vote the right way on abortion and rise high enough (sorry, Al Franken, you weren’t high enough so you were expendable) and the office is your dating pool and the opposite sex is your oyster. Vote the wrong way and one rumor that a woman felt uncomfortable with you is enough to condemn you.

    “That Reade’s accusations are inherently incredible because of Joe’s unimpeachable respect for women?”

    Bullseye. Any woman who accuses a Republican is irreproachable. Any woman who accuses a Democrat is either a slut or a nut.

    Game. Set. Match.

  2. Or as Prof Glenn Reynolds snarked in response to this and other evidence, “So #metoo was basically bullshit, then.”

    Of course it’s bullshit. #MeToo merely an attempt to find a way to destroy any man the Left hates without having to find a justicable reason. All it takes is an accusation of sexual harassment, even one that can be authoritatively and facially disproven. These days, it doesn’t matter if you weren’t there at the time of the alleged incident, because #BelieveAllWomen.

    If you have to extend due process, this doesn’t work, so the first thing the #MeToo harridans had to do was to deny that due process was applicable with #BelieveAllWomen.

    Except, of course, in the service of thwarting, removing, or harming Donald Trump. Then, any accusation is a #RightWingLie.

  3. I have noticed that only women who are Democrats accuse Republican politicians. Also, only women who are Democrats accuse Democrat politicians. Apparently, if you are a woman and don’t want to be sexually harassed or sexually assaulted, be a Republican. Is that because Republican women are more likely to carry guns?

  4. 1. That news on Roy Halladay was so discouraging to hear. One always hopes it’s natural causes or mechanical failure of the aircraft or something…anything else. Not chemicals in his system. I hoped the same with the death of Tommy Hansen (who came up with my Atlanta Braves a decade ago), but was disappointed there as well.

    2. Beatles vs. Rolling Stones. That argument will go on forever, but clearly Sir McCartney has never heard of Menudo.

    • I can think of five bands better than either the Beatles or Rolling Stone, in no particular order:
      1. Chicago
      2. Journey
      3. Alabama
      4. Dos Gringos (a couple of F-16 pilots who did the band as a hobby – and it took off a bit…)
      5. Genesis

      Give me more time, I could pick a few others, too. Those are just off the top of my head.

      • But objectively, clearly demonstratively wrong.

        Your personal assessment is subjectively valid, but there are ways of measuring “better.” Record sales, popularity, legacy, influence on music, influence on artists, the genres, cultural references, pop culture, international impact, output, There have been more covers of Beatles songs than covers of songs by all of those bands combined, for example. I haven’t checked, but I’d guess that there are more covers of a single Beatles song that covers of all the songs of those bands combined. Saying there are lots of bands better than the Beatles is like saying there are lots of composers better than Mozart, or lots of baseball players better than Babe Ruth (Or lots of countries better than the United States.) Valery Putin has said that bootlegged Beatles records helped bring down the Soviet Union. On Rolling Stone’s 40 ground-breaking albums of all time, crossing all genres, The Beatles have two; nobody else has more than one. It’s fashionable now to diss the Beatles, but it’s like dissing “Casablanca”.

        • The issue of course is relative humility. It makes not difference who is better but any member of one artistic group, especially one of the main members, claiming to be better is hardly becoming. Never dis your competition because it looks like you have nothing good to say about your own product.

          I would argue that the two bands appealed to two distinct markets. Stones music is far more in your face than the Beatles. If we used comparative writing styles I see the Beatles write passively while the Stones employ a far more active style. Sure their is some crossover appeal but not too many places think Paint it Black is appropriate mood music, they prefer the instrumental Penny Lane to be piped into all the retail venues across the world.

          • The Stones are the greatest touring band, and that’s something. My musician friend Mike Messer, who is also a Beatles aficionado, says even now they put on one of the best shows extant.The Beatles were ultimately a studio band, and concentrated on artistic innovation rather than performance.

            By the way, did you know that the Stones’ first chart hit was a Beatles composition?

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