Third Of July Ethics Concert, 2020, Part 2: The Less Grand And Not Historic, One Hopes

For historical and quirky reasons, “The Egg” is my favorite song from “1776.” The number takes place on July 3, as the Continental Congress debates Jefferson’s handiwork, and Tom, Ben Franklin and John Adams sit outside, hesitant to witness  the rhetorical carnage they know is coming. I played the role of Adams in several musical reviews, a part I would have loved to have tackled on-stage in a full production, but I am about 7 inches too tall.

Some productions cut this number, which is both bad history and bad theater. (The number to cut is “Cool, Cool, Considerate Men,” a cheap shot at conservatives, and a lousy song.)

1. And I will say, “None of your business, officer!” A new Virginia law, the Community Policing Act that took effect this week, requires police officers to ask individuals pulled over during traffic stops for their race, ethnicity, and gender. I very much doubt that the law will withstand a legal challenge. The change is part of the Governor Ralph “Call me Michael Jackson” Northam regime of enacting every oppressive progressive agenda item he can get away with. This one is aimed at eliminating “bias-based profiling,” and requires officers to record the driver’s race, ethnicity, age, and sex while conducting traffic stops.

Like so many other misguided approaches to fixing “systemic racism,” this one attempts to protect the rights of African-Americans by infringing on the rights of everyone else. If I am pressed to answer the question by an officer, I will answer that I identify as Asian and female. I urge my fellow Virginians to do likewise.

2. Wuhan virus ethics train wreck update:

  • The World Health Organization has updated its official timeline of the coronavirus outbreak to make clear that China did not self-report the existence of the virus to WHO in December as it had previously claimed. The new timeline now states that WHO made two separate requests to Chinese officials for more information. They finally got a response three days later. But the initial version of the timeline, saying China proactively notified WHO, was repeated by news sources like CNN.

Rep. Michael McCaul, who sits on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, produced  an interim congressional report  last month revealing  that WHO director general Adhanom parroted China’s claim about self-reporting the virus: “Director General Tedros actively engaged in an effort to defend the CCP’s leadership from criticism, negatively impacting the world’s understanding of the virus and hampering the global response effort,” the report concluded.

  • This is the latest step in the ongoing disinformation campaign to convince the public that the socialdistancingd-iscarding and substantially mask-less George Floyd demonstrations/riots/statue-toppling parties across the country had nothing to do with the spike in Wuhan virus cases. Mayor de Blasio’s NYC government has instructed the city’s contact tracing program  not to ask those who’ve tested positive whether they’ve taken part in the demonstrations.

“We’re doing everything we can to keep New Yorkers safe while respecting individual privacy,” said a de Blasio spokeswoman.

  • Let’s see  how and when the mainstream news media reports this: The Henry Ford Health System study indicates the anti-malaria drug hydroxychloroquine DOES helps lower the death rate of COVID-19 patients. Officials with the Michigan health system said the study of 2,541 patients found the drug “significantly” decreased the death rate of patients involved in the analysis. 13% of those treated with hydroxychloroquine died while 26% of those who were not treated perished.

If this holds, it is more moral luck. President Trump was irresponsible to hype the chemical before data was available. On the other hand, the pundits, journalists and Trump foes who mocked the drug, also without sufficient evidence other than the fact that Trump endorsing it had to mean it was worthless, have some backtracking to do if they have any sense of fairness or decency. For the most part, they don’t.

3. From the “Facts Don’t Matter” files: The Intercept reports that “at least one highly dedicated Wikipedia user has been scrubbing controversial aspects of Kamala Harris’s “tough-on-crime” record from her Wikipedia page—her decision not to prosecute Steve Mnuchin for mortgage fraud-related crimes, her strong support of prosecutors in Orange County who engaged in rampant misconduct, and other tidbits — such as her previous assertion that “it is not progressive to be soft on crime” — that could prove unflattering to Harris as the public first gets to know her on the national stage. The edits, according to the page history, have elicited strong pushback from Wikipedia’s volunteer editor brigade, and have drawn the page into controversy, though it’s a fight the pro-Harris editor is currently winning. ”

The objective, obviously, is to make it more difficult for the public, especially police and criminal justice-hating progressives, to discover that Harris, as a prosecutor, was an enthusiastic contributor to “over-incarceration.”  The whole idea that Harris is a front-runner to be Joe’s VP, and the eventual President when and if his faculties decline to the point where he thinks he is a dog-faced pony soldier seems bizarre to me, and one more indication that Democrats are delusional.

Senator Harris proved herself to have little appeal as a presidential candidate in the nomination process. She was a weak debater distinguished by fecklessness and equivocation, so she’s the favorite for VP?

This is what happens when the dedication to group identity over ability and merit takes over. By limiting Biden’s choice by gender and color, he literally has no good options.

Well, it’s his party.

4. I have worse to write about, but this is especially silly.  Wizards of the Coast, the company owns Dungeons and Dragons, has announced that the game will be changed so that none of the races in the game will be classified as “inherently evil,” except white people. No, I’m kidding, not even them.

See, categorizing Orcs, for example, the evil race in the Lord of the Rings books, perpetuates racism. Just assuming that Vampires, Warlocks  or Demons are bad—in a role-playing fantasy game!—is profiling and bigotry. I’m not kidding this time, unfortunately.

18 thoughts on “Third Of July Ethics Concert, 2020, Part 2: The Less Grand And Not Historic, One Hopes

  1. This is the latest step in the ongoing disinformation campaign to convince the public that the socialdistancingd-iscarding and substantially mask-less George Floyd demonstrations/riots/statue-toppling parties across the country had nothing to do with the spike in Wuhan virus cases. Mayor de Blasio’s NYC government has instructed the city’s contact tracing program not to ask those who’ve tested positive whether they’ve taken part in the demonstrations.

    Have you not heard?

    The virus does not matter anymore.

    However, as public health advocates, we do not condemn these gatherings as risky for COVID-19 transmission. We support them as vital to the national public health and to the threatened health specifically of Black people in the United States. We can show that support by facilitating safest protesting practices without detracting from demonstrators’ ability to gather and demand change. This should not be confused with a permissive stance on all gatherings, particularly protests against stay-home orders. Those actions not only oppose public health interventions, but are also rooted in white nationalism and run contrary to respect for Black lives. Protests against systemic racism, which fosters the disproportionate burden of COVID-19 on Black communities and also perpetuates police violence, must be supported.

  2. 4. I read “The Hobbit” and “The Lord of the Rings” every August…and my total number of readings of the series is conservatively at fifty. Next month, I’ll read it again.

    Orcs are evil. Always have been. Always will be.

  3. 1. Aren’t they supposed to ask about a person’s sexual orientation as well? Whether they smoke? Filters? Unfiltered? Boxers or briefs? Fox News or MSNBC?

    Anyway, sounds like a Tim Conway cop sketch in the making. Hilarious.

  4. As a long time table top RPG player (especially DND 3.5) I’m not terribly bothered by it. The in world fiction has long made the case that the members of the traditionally evil races aren’t necessarily evil by genetics. They’re made evil by a combination mild genetic predisposition, in universal cultural pressure, and the magical influence of their people’s dominant god. Drizzt Do’Urden is the classic example – a dark elf ranger who was born magically out of touch with his people’s evil spider god. It’s such a beloved series of books that the character archetype is something of a cliche.

    • “They’re made evil by…cultural pressure, and the magical influence of their people’s dominant god.”

      Not far from reality.

    • You’ve also got the pacifist Odonti orcs clear back from 2nd Edition:

      I always thought the orcs were Tolkien’s weakest creation from a world-building standpoint.An entire race of sociopaths that’s still able to be organized into massive armies? Hard see that working in reality.

      I prefer the orcs from World of Warcraft, who are often judged as all evil, but merely have a strong martial culture like the Vikings or the Apache.

    • I agree in that I’m not bothered by races not being exclusively evil. As you say, there have been very interesting prototypical characters that broke the molds of their races, and I’m all for allowing players more latitude.

      I do find it stomach-turning that Wizards of the Coast felt the need to attach the movement away from proscribed alignments to the BLM business.

  5. #2 was on the front page of the Detroit Free Press this morning, so I assume that means the MSM has indeed reported it, Jack. It also states a quote from the study acknowledging that this particular study came up with a different result than other ones. I wonder if FOX news will report that part?

    • 1. “Other” reports, as EA reported, were deliberately misrepresented to the public, and there was really only one that got substantial publicity. Read up—I guess you missed that post. The study didn’t find what the media, including Fox News , said it did.

      2. The mainstream media, as it has since 2016, has taken the position, as I correctly wrote, that if Trump supports something, it’s wrong. This has been a particularly ugly example.

      3. Your assumption is incorrect: the MSM has buried the story. Detroit papers have covered it because the Henry Ford health System is local.

      4. Henry Ford, however, is not some right-wing snake oil operation, and the study should have been widely reported.

      5. Moreover, FREEP did not report it straight. It is not obligated to report previous studies (that didn’t studuy the same thing—this one gave the drug to people before they were desperately ill, for example, a material difference.

      6. The Fox News retort gets old, and in this case it is particularly obnoxious. Fox was one of the sources that falsely represented that alleged debunking study as I reported. Fox News is one of very few deliberately right-leaning news sources created to deliberately try to balance the overwhelmingly pro-Left MSM, back when it was a lot more objective and trustworthy than it is now, and tyhank God it was. But the compensating bias of a single network does not justify or mitigate deliberate efforts at disinformation by a huge partisan machine.

      7.Dr. David Samadi, Fox News’ version of Sanjay Gupta tweeted yesterday:

      “I want to ensure that everyone understands the gravity of the situation here.
      Hydroxychloroquine worked this whole time. The media said it would literally kill you if you took it simply because POTUS promoted it as a cure.Thousands of people likely DIED because of this.”

      Moral luck, but true.

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