End Of The Day Ethics, 4/24/2020: A Curse, A Whorehouse, And The Grim Reaper


Another weekend…

1. Nah, there’s no news media narrative coordination! Twitchy has pointed out the remarkable conformity of language regarding the Joe Biden sexual assault accusation. Last week, CNN reported that Democrats are “grappling with questions” about Tara Reade’s allegations. This week:

Politico: “The movement is facing a new challenge: how to grapple with the allegations against Joe Biden without tearing itself apart.”

Jake Tapper on Twitter: “Democrats grapple with questions about Tara Reade’s sexual assault allegation against Joe Biden…”

Jeremy Scahill at the Intercept: “My aim in writing this piece was to put into words what many principled people are grappling with right now, not to tell anyone what to do. Recognizing and understanding the problem helps us all decide what we believe is right…”

Mother Jones: “Sexual Assault Advocates Are Grappling With the Allegations Against Joe Biden”

All independent, objective journalists, of course…talking points? What talking points?

2. This “sharing a life” concept seems to be beyond you…over at Social Q’s a woman who is living with her boyfriend to ride out the pandemic complains, “He eats significantly more than I do, including some foods I don’t touch. Still, we split the grocery bill, and I am paying significantly more for food than usual. How should I handle this?” Columnist Phillip Gallanes’ advice is impeccably ethical:

Try stepping back and looking at the bigger picture…Sure, he eats more than you, but are you twice as messy (while sharing cleaning duties equally)? Do you watch three times as much Netflix (but split the bill in half)? And I haven’t even touched on emotional labor yet. ..if you want your partnership to survive even after we’re set free again, consider all the contributions each of you makes.

Nice try, Phil, but I’m guessing that question is signature significance, and the relationship is doomed.

3. It’s all our fault.  Columnist Nicholas Kristof, an old-fashioned bleeding heart liberal if there ever was one,  holds America responsible for the sad fate of a family he grew up knowing, with “five smart and rambunctious children [that] had recently bought their first home and were full of confidence in the future.”

#1, the oldest, “descended into a spiral of drug and alcohol abuse and died of liver failure.”  #2 “died in a house fire when he was passed out drunk.” #3 “blew himself up cooking meth.” #4 “died of hepatitis from injecting drugs.”

Now the youngest, who once told Kristof, “Our family is cursed. Something went wrong with our generation,” has also died. He had spent 13 years in the Oregon State Penitentiary—Kristof implies that the state shouldn’t have spent the money to convict and incarcerate him. He had dropped out of high school, like his four siblings, and abused drugs and alcohol. He told his columnist friend that he drank liquor daily, occasionally used a little meth, smoked pot (of course), and before his death had started shooting heroin. He overdosed and died.


“This is America’s pandemic of squandered talent and early death that preceded Covid-19 and that will linger after the coronavirus is gone. There’s no vaccine that will rescue us, but improved education, job training and drug treatment would help….For a tiny fraction of the [Wuhan virus assistance packages} recently approved, we could have created a national high-quality early childhood program like those in other countries, giving children a solid start in life and making it easier for working-class parents to hold jobs.”

Yes, the government can save people like those five doomed siblings, raised by an alcoholic father who beat everyone in the family, if it just spent enough money like other countries. Kristof really believes this.The family was cursed, the culture is the problem, and America would make it all go away if it cared.

I would have no idea what I would say to him to change his mind, or to the people who have reasoned this way ever since I was in college.

4. It’s unfair to accuse Democrats of fearmonger to keep people scared to death during the pandemic and ensure that the economy stays paralyzed…or is it?  Florida lawyer Daniel Uhlfelder plans to tour the re-opened state beaches dressed as the Grim Reaper. He says his goal is to remind people to say six feet apart. He is also using it to raise money for Democratic candidates running for congressional seats. But mostly its altruistic. Really.

I’m trying to think of ways this might breach the Florida legal ethics rules, as the state is infamously strict about appropriate attorney conduct.  It probably does not. Still, Florida’s  Creed of Professionalism states in part,

I… will at all times in my professional and private lives uphold the dignity and esteem of each…

I will strictly adhere to the spirit as well as the letter of my profession’s code of ethics, to the extent that the law permits and will at all times be guided by a fundamental sense of honor, integrity, and fair play….

I will abstain from all rude, disruptive, disrespectful, and abusive behavior…

Here’s the learned counsel:

5. How do you practice social distancing at a whorehouse? You  can’t, of course, so Nevada’s Bella Cummins, the proprietor of Bella’s Hacienda Ranch in Wells, Nevada, a legal bordello, applied for an emergency loan for pandemic stimulus money. But when the Madam went to  the Nevada State Bank to apply forthe loan from the Small Business Administration, she was rebuffed. Originally, the SBA had notified Cummins that her application to the Paycheck Protection Program for $70,000 had been approved.  She was then told by the bank that the funds were put on hold.

Professor Turley, who is terrific at finding these stories, concludes that it should make no difference that the business is a house of prostitution: it’s a small business, it’s legal, and it’s been harmed by being designated a non-essential business. She should get her money.

I agree.


31 thoughts on “End Of The Day Ethics, 4/24/2020: A Curse, A Whorehouse, And The Grim Reaper

  1. I am sorry. It is just amusing that they decided to frame how to deal with Handsy-Joe as “grappling.” If Tara Reade was an experienced grappler, the Dems would not be grappling with it now.


  2. Re #1: the “grappling” is about to get a whole lot more difficult. Apparently, some enterprising soul has managed to dig up a clip from “The Larry King Show” in 1993 where a woman called in, and without naming names, relayed a story about her daughter’s experience with sexual harassment in Washington, D.C. where her employment with “a prominent senator” had recently ended. The story seems to corroborate Reade’s claim that she told her mother about the assault when it happened, and Reade says the caller’s voice is her mother’s. Yikes.

    Sorry, Joe, but I think we’re well past the point where we should start to #BelieveThisParticularWoman.

  3. The Grim Reaper lawyer reminds me of the gas mask congressman. Both stunts make light of a serious situation. Both are unprofessional. Not to mention….not that creative.

    Ultimately the nitwits on the beach will have to live with the consequences. Or not. They know the risks to themselves and their loved ones. Even when they do open up my state, I am betting the economy isn’t going to rebound. Most people aren’t willing to take that gamble to do something frivolous like getting their nails done.

    I had the virus in mid March. And it was no joking matter.

      • Thanks. Luckily I didn’t need to be hospitalized. I will say that having antibodies is a bit like having a superpower.

        • Cynthia,

          Thanks for identifying yourself as a survivor of this disease. If I may, can I ask you a questions I’d really like your thoughts on?

          Do you think the incredibly massive, world-wide governmental response to the outbreak of this disease is justifiable? In your experience, is the disease markedly different from a flu or other intense, transitory illness?


    • It is especially amusing that the beaches are mostly vacant and his grandstanding protest us falling on non-existent ears.

  4. I think it’s only fair that Ms Cummings gets her loan. After all, she is providing a needed service for Congressmen and state legislators when they’ve out of session.

  5. Regarding attorney oaths, my oath in Wisconsin required the following declaration:

    “I will abstain from all offensive personality.”

    I take that as a sliding scale. Being from The State that Mondale Won, nothing is more offensive than being a Packer fan. But, considering that is acceptable in Sconnie-Land, my offensiveness will never be too offensive for the Wisconsin Bar.


  6. 1. The coordination between news media outlets, the Democratic Party, and (in this case) the Joe Biden campaign is not just unethical, it’s disgusting. It’s almost as if they all share the same brain. Somebody on the Fox News Channel – Greg Gutfeld, I think – has on numerous occasions run montage clips of Rep. Pelosi saying some talking point, then every news outlet runs the same script, using the exact same language. This time it’s “grapple”.

    You would think those on the Left would eventually get wise to the fact – an actual, literal, provable fact – that most media news has absolutely no independent, investigative reporting at all anymore. They don’t really even report news anymore. Someone just gives them a script and they read it, putting on an air of emotion and outrage…sort of like acting. They’re so brazen now that they don’t even both to change the word “grapple” to “wrestle” or “struggle” in order to sound independent. Yeah, “news” has become little more than political entertainment – pick your affiliation, sit down with popcorn and a beverage, turn on your station, and watch the spectacle.

    A parrot could perform Joe Scarborough’s job, because that’s all he is…that’s what the vast majority of talking heads are.

  7. 4–Uhlfelder is a piker as a shameless self-promoter; for that, the Oscar would go to Maldives President Mohammed Nasheed for holding an underwater cabinet meeting (October 2009) to put on display the IMAGE that the island nation was rapidly sinking beneath the Global Warming enhanced rising ocean surface.

    This…um…act pried loose a half a Billion (with a B!) in Climate Reparations from some hand-wringing suckers.

    Now; did the Maldives do what the lucid might expect, which would be to construct Global Warming deterring/mitigating infrastructure and, you know, like, move all their $#!t to higher ground?

    Not exactly.

    They used it to promote tourism; they built golf courses AND airports.

    Why “airports,” which empower evil jets and other CO2 spewing aircraft to ply their trade?

    For Fly-In golfers to jet out to the Out-In-The-Middle-Of-Nowhere archipelago!

  8. 3. Signature significance: A liberal believes there isn’t any human problem that can not be fixed by a government program. Further, if the government program isn’t working, all it needs to work is smarter people running it and more money.

    Preposterous. Nick must have been a Political Science major, or some such. He sure as hell didn’t major in English or American Literature or Comparative Literature or anything involving reading some good fiction. What is wrong with these people?

    • “All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.”

      ― Leo Tolstoy , Anna Karenina

      Come on, NIck. Didn’t you even read “Anna Karenina” in high school? Surely a genius like you took AP English?

  9. #3 – the columnist is ignoring where the real failure is: children’s services should have yanked every one of those kids out of the abusive home long ago.

    Also ignored: Yamhill is a former logging town. Why former: environmental laws have decimated the timber industry there. Hard work was a route to a viable middle class life. No more.
    There is also the pressure of insane property value increases. Yamhill is at the outer edge of a viable commute to the “Silicon Forest” where Intel and many other companies are based. Those seeking a small town life, more land, etc have been moving there for 30 years. I actually looked at moving there’s 25 years ago and couldn’t afford it.

    • Good points, Matthew. But foster care is a terribly risky proposition, don’t you think? Not a panacea. Better than not doing anything but it has its own deleterious side-effects. And how many of this family’s problems may very well be attributable to genetic pre-disposition?

      Agreed: There’s nothing more crucial to a viable family than a working parent or two making a living wage in a respectable manner and providing for their children. In my mind, it’s the essential building block of a successful society.

        • I absolutely agree.

          The progressive response to the failures and abuses in institutional mental health facilities seems to be to throw everyone out onto the street.

          It’s horrible and deplorable. In no way is living homeless with mental illness an improvement. Rather than fix the problems, they end the service without replacement but the demand and need remains.

      • Foster care is no picnic. Sometimes it’s bad. But then sometimes it’s not, and kids end up adoted into good families.

        The story related by the columnist shows that doing nothing is worse though.

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