Monday Morning Ethics Warm-Up, 7/13/2020: “Hail To The Thingamajiggies!” Edition [Corrected]


1. When late is worse than never. Reports say that the Washington Redskins will officially announce that they are changing their name, to what nobody knows, not even them. The team’s obnoxious owner, Dan Snyder, who has run the once cultishly popular and successful NFL franchise into the ground during his incompetent stewardship, had memorably said that he would never change the controversial team name, unquestionably the most politically incorrect in all of sports. That pledge did not anticipate his league going nuts and supine before the George Floyd Freakout, to the point that there may be mandatory kneeling by the time the 2020 season opens.

The attack on the Redskins name was always about power, as has been the decades-long assault on all team nicknames with ethnic references. Survey after survey has shown that the vast majority of Native Americans don’t care; the idea is to bring corporate interests to heel, and then aim at the next, more substantive objective. The competent way for a team to handle this problem is to quietly retire a problematic name like “Redskins” (or a anachronistically provocative logo like the Cleveland Indians’ Chief Wahoo) when the heat is off, making it clear that the change is volitional and not compelled. Then the social justice mob members can’t puff out their little pigeon chests with pride and think “I did this! What’s the next target?”

I don’t care what the D.C. team’s name is. I do care about dishonest and illogical arguments, which is what have been mounted against this name for as long as I can remember. That’s why the Redskins and related matters have so often been a topic here.

I did laugh yesterday when I read a comment predicting that Snyder would announce that the new name would be “the Washington Murderous Savages”…

2. A Nation Of Assholes, redux: ESPN suspended reporter Adrian Wojnarowski after he responded “Fuck you!” to Missouri’s Republican Senator Josh Hawley after Hawley referenced the NBA’s craven loyalty to China, a condition apparently mandated because of the NBA’s investments there. Wojnarowski apologized [NOT Hawley, as I originally wrote for some damn reason; he had nothing to apologize for] , but the question lingers: what has happened in the culture that would allow anyone in the media to think even for a second that such an outburst could be professional and acceptable? What muffled those ethics alarms?

3. “Idiots. All of them!”  Doug Neff, the top writer for Fox News host Tucker Carlson has for years been  posting misogynist, anti-gay and racist comments  on an online forum that encourages such bile, CNN Business revealed this week.  You cannot tell me that Carlson and others at Fox News had no idea, or rather you can tell me, but I won’t believe you.  Some recent comments on the forum by Neff:

  • On June 5:”Black doods staying inside playing Call of Duty is probably one of the biggest factors keeping crime down.”
  • On June 24: “Honestly given how tired black people always claim to be, maybe the real crisis is their lack of sleep.”

Fox quickly released the required horrified condemnation (“Neff’s abhorrent conduct on this forum was never divulged to the show or the network until Friday…Make no mistake, actions such as his cannot and will not be tolerated at any time in any part of our work force.”) and Neff resigned.

4. Nah, there’s no mainstream media bias! USA Today reported that George Conway’s Trump-Hate group “The Lincoln Project” has pointed out that a pro- Trump T-shirt  sported a logo “similar to a Nazi symbol.” The evidence:

The United States  adopted the bald eagle as its national bird in 1792, and the symbol the Lincoln Project says is a Nazi reference is, among many other uses, visible on the U.S. Marines logo…

…and the logo for the Speaker of the House:

Nonetheless,  here was the result of USA Today’s “fact check”:

That’s because, I  guess, the Imperial eagle often used in Europe resembles the U.S.’s bald eagle symbol because eagles are similar to eagles. This means, of course, that President Trump is a Nazi. [Pointer: PJ Media]

5. At least “Hands up! Don’t shoot!” isn’t on the list: Here is the lsit of approved social justice messages that NBA players can have on the back of their jerseys when pro basketball resumes:

Black Lives Matter; Say Their Names; Vote; I Can’t Breathe; Justice; Peace; Equality; Freedom; Enough; Power to the People; Justice Now; Say Her Name; Sí Se Puede (Yes We Can); Liberation; See Us; Hear Us; Respect Us; Love Us; Listen; Listen to Us; Stand Up; Ally; Anti-Racist; I Am A Man; Speak Up; How Many More; Group Economics; Education Reform; and Mentor.

“The league and the players are uniquely positioned to have a direct impact on combating systemic racism in our country, and we are committed to collective action to build a more equal and just society,” NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said. “A shared goal of our season restart will be to use our platform in Orlando to bring attention to these important issues of social justice.”

I can’t believe I’m reading this, much less writing about it. Talk about cynical grandstanding! Watching a millionaire athlete playing basketball with “Love Us” on his back is going to combat “systemic racism”? Is anyone so stupid as to believe this?

And where are “Give Peace A Chance” and “Ramalamadingdong”?



27 thoughts on “Monday Morning Ethics Warm-Up, 7/13/2020: “Hail To The Thingamajiggies!” Edition [Corrected]

  1. 2. Nation of Assholes

    I don’t think it was Hawley who apologized. I believe it was Wojnarowski who issued a Level 6 apology.

    4. USA Today

    Three words for this: Trump Derangement Syndrome.

    5. NBA players

    Good grief. Well, I don’t watch anyway even though I am a basketball fan. If colleges start doing this, I’ll be down to golf for spectator sports. Maybe it’s just as well — my time could be better spent on other things.

    • 5. Glenn, all this terribly craven behavior by pro athletes and their leagues has turned me off all sports. Even the pro golf tours. Who cares who wins the U.S. Open. Quick quiz: Who won last year’s majors? Baseball players are afraid of getting sick from playing baseball? NBA players are terrified by a virus? They’re all young and the healthiest specimens in the population. Golfers afraid of catching a disease while on a golf course or in a locker room or a dining room? They are all going to kneel in unison to say … exactly … what? Who cares? They all disgust me. I’m done. They are all pathetic idiots. And I’m finding new ways to waste my time! Old adage: “Sometimes I sits and thinks. And sometimes I just sits.”

  2. 5. My favorite: “Group Economics.” I bet the players’ agents will love that. “Can I get more than just ten percent? C’mon, man.” Or maybe all NBA players should be paid equally and contribute forty percent of their salaries to help oppressed people of color? Hahahahahahaha.

  3. #5
    We(my 12 year old son and I) were out for a run Sunday. We take a run such as this an opportunity to have conversations not possible with the other family members around. During the course of our back-and-forth trying to get at what his underlying anger at the world stems from, he finally said “It’s just that I want to be wanted.”

    Could it be at the root of all of the slogans that there is a simple core human need to be wanted?

    • It’s natural for people to want to be liked, to feel needed and to be valued. I certainly do agree that some of what we’re seeing is the result of a large group of people who have been convinced that they aren’t wanted. Of course, that doesn’t mean that the solution is to make others feel as though they are not liked, needed or valued.

  4. #2. Well, there is a bit of a silver lining.

    Ethics superstar LeBron James posted a tweet in support of “WOJ”

    The backlash was astounding – many comments referencing James’ comments from last October that accused Daryl Morey of being “misinformed” and “not educated”. And the assortment of images (many creative, many NSFW) that were posted accusing James and the NBA of being a PRC lackey [or worse] were quite entertaining.

  5. Re: The “George Floyd Freakout”

    Alizia touched on something in her comment to Steve’s COTD that has been kicking around my brain as of late. Our intrepid Ethics Alarmist dubbed what is going as the “George Floyd Freakout”. I am not sure “freakout” is the correct word in that it diminishes what appears to a cold, calculated attack on everything that is at the very core of the US.

    Wiktionary defines “freakout” as “[a]n occurrence of unrestrained or irrational behaviour.” (Apparently, it is from Western Europe considering that spelling.) Quora defines irrational behavior as “any form of behaviour that goes against a normal response to situation or any behaviour that doesn’t follow the normal course of action expected of a situation and usually for no specific or reasonable cause or reason “be it positively or negatively”. Merriam-Webster defines “irrational” as:

    “not rational*: such as
    a (1) : lacking usual or normal mental clarity or coherence
    (2) : not endowed with reason or understanding;
    b : not governed by or according to reason.

    I daresay that the Left, BLM and their advocates and supporters are not acting “irrationally” at all; in fact, they are coldly and calmly calculating in every action they are taking. Over the last 30 years or so, the Left has attacked every aspect of US or American culture. Education, the family structure, military, interpersonal relationships, sexual activity and sexuality, race relations, and the economy. Slowly but surely, they have destroyed every one of those things. Since the end of March, historic buildings have been vandalized, statues have been destroyed, art is covered up, and Christian churches have been attacked, burned, or otherwise destroyed.**

    Now, the George Floyd incident played beautifully into their hands to destroy what political power the police had. The 9 minute video had everything needed to ignite the powder keg: The image of a white police officer kneeling on the next of a subdued and restrained (handcuffed) black male begging for his life and calling on his mother, while other witnesses begged and pleaded with the officer and his compatriots to do something to avoid killing Floyd. Who could not watch that video and not feel revulsion and contempt for the officers? It was universally horrifying, justifying legitimate calls for police reforms.

    Black Lives Matter saw it as a perfect opportunity (what did Rahm Emmanuel say about a good crisis?). In fact, the group’s name says it all. Think about out it: “Black Lives Matter” is perfect. Who can disagree with that? Clearly, “black lives matter,” right? To say otherwise is to embrace racism. Right? But, BLM cannot be stated in context of “all lives matter” because “ALM” delegitimizes the very foundation of what civil rights activists have been struggling for since the 1950s. Martin Luther King, Jr., would agree, and you know, when it doubt revere MLK and all knees will bend. You can’t criticize BLM a as a political organization, either. To do so is to reject the very idea that Black lives matter, and by doing so, you are a racist. It is beautiful in its circular reasoning.


    Ed. Note*: Thanks, Merriam-Webster. Your laziness and tautological definitions are useless.

    Ed. Note**: Christian churches, long at the forefront of civil rights movements are now under attack. Throughout the centuries, churches have been seen and used as sanctuaries. Now, they are apparently legitimate targets of Mob violence. I wonder why that is . . . .?

    • John. You’re absolutely spot on as to BLM. I do think “freak out” accurately describes the REACTION to BLM’s calculated provocation. It’s the chicken little/chicken with its head cut off reaction to BLM that is so disheartening and worse, destructive.

    • I won’t argue one bit about the point that BLM, Progressive leadership, the democrat party, and the MSM are all making a cold calculated attempt to “fundamentally transform America”. They are highly rational and intentional in what they are doing.

      What I question is how many are aware, and how many are useful idiots? I want to believe that the majority of the support they are getting are the useful idiots. Those are the ones that would qualify as participating in the “George Floyd Freak-out.” Why do I think that? Because Burnie Sanders, the open socialist, and the minions who think like him (Fauxcahontas, Buttigieg, et. al…) couldn’t win in the democrat primary. In the woke fraction of the country, they still can’t win a plurality over either Hillary or Biden. They still represent a tiny fraction of the country, yet have gotten the media, popular culture, and education all cowed to their way of thinking. They have out sized power right now, but still don’t have the majority.

  6. But Jack! The Trump t-shirt and Nazi eagles have their wings pointing up! The Marine Corps and Speaker for the House eagles have their wings pointing down! Also the Marine Corps and Speaker for the House eagles are sitting on planet Earth, while the Trump t-shirt and Nazi eagles are sitting on symbols of racist imperialist fascist hatred.

    Symbols can be important, but I think people should be worried about the dearth of substantial discussions first.

    • Nah, nah, you’re thinking about it the wrong way. This is an opportunity.

      My Top 5 (so far) List of things The Washington Redskins should change their name to:

      The Washington Noble Savages (Because that’s the problem, right?)
      The D.C. Redskins (Maybe DC is just feeling left out?)
      The Washington Redskins (but change the logo to a potato)
      The Washington Lizard People (to more accurately portray the population of DC)
      The Washington Karens (They’ll want to speak to your manager)

  7. Jack,
    I don’t suggest this makes the claims true, but Trump’s eagle and Nazi one both face (house) right; while the Marine’s and Pelosi’s face (house) left. Thus, conspiracy theorist will likely suggest that Trump’s eagle is nevertheless a subtle “nod” to Hitler’s. I haven’t done enough research to know if the direction of the head matters, though the presidential seal also faces left.

    I once remember hearing that the seal changed during wartime to face right, toward the talon with the arrows, but later heard it was only because of Truman’s redesign. My world turned upside down again (another likely fable).

    In other news, I hope you’re taking care of yourself.

    • From the American Heraldry Society – an interesting website with more information that many of us have ever considered:

      The story has been widely propagated, sometimes by people who ought to know better, that the eagle’s head in the United States arms is switched from right to left (dexter to sinister) whenever the United States is at war, so that the eagle looks toward the arrows of war rather than the olive branch of peace. This myth is particularly associated with the arms used on the Presidential seal.

      It seems to have arisen from President Harry Truman’s decision to alter the Presidential seal in 1945 so that the eagle’s head looked to the right (dexter)–the correct heraldic direction, which had been followed on every cutting of the great seal. In explaining the change, the White House noted that this made the eagle face the olive branch representing peace. People associated the timing of the change with the end of World War II, and thus a myth was created.

      The problem is that the eagle on the Presidential seal had faced to the left continuously since at least the 1870s and possibly earlier. There was nothing unusual about this: many other official emblazonments of the national arms also had left-facing eagles, including the one on the seal of the Department of State. During the roughly 70 years in which the left-facing eagle appeared on the Presidential seal, the United States was at war less than seven years. Since the change was made in 1946, the eagle on the Presidential seal, as well as on the great seal and every other official representation of the arms used by the U.S. government, has constantly faced to the right, whether or not U.S. forces are engaged in conflict.

  8. On June 5:”Black doods staying inside playing Call of Duty is probably one of the biggest factors keeping crime down.”

    If this is that racism expensive public schooling taught me is the greatest crime against humanity and for which we’ve been burning down cities and dashing careers against rocks, can I have my portion of the money back? I don’t think this was a valuable investment, and I wasn’t consulted at the front end. I expect reparations.

  9. Fox quickly released the required horrified condemnation (“Neff’s abhorrent conduct on this forum was never divulged to the show or the network until Friday…Make no mistake, actions such as his cannot and will not be tolerated at any time in any part of our work force.”) and Neff resigned.

    Neff is a writer, so this firing was justified, certainly much moire so than Emmanuel Cafferty.

    That’s because, I guess, the Imperial eagle often used in Europe resembles the U.S.’s bald eagle symbol because eagles are similar to eagles. This means, of course, that President Trump is a Nazi. [Pointer: PJ Media]

    All the Lincoln Project managed to do is discredit itself.

    Why do I suspect that if they hired you as an ethics advisor, they would have fired you in less than a week.

    Black Lives Matter; Say Their Names; Vote; I Can’t Breathe; Justice; Peace; Equality; Freedom; Enough; Power to the People; Justice Now; Say Her Name; Sí Se Puede (Yes We Can); Liberation; See Us; Hear Us; Respect Us; Love Us; Listen; Listen to Us; Stand Up; Ally; Anti-Racist; I Am A Man; Speak Up; How Many More; Group Economics; Education Reform; and Mentor.

    Did they approve Make America Great Again?

  10. For some reason, this aspect of the Washington Whatevers story didn’t get a lot of airtime:

    *Washington Redskins logo has deep connection to Blackfeet reservation, Wetzel family*

    “…The man responsible for the image is the father of Helena High assistant basketball coach Lance Wetzel, Walter “Blackie” Wetzel.

    “When I look at the logo, I mostly think of my dad because he was a person who found pride in the Redskins logo, of having our people in the spotlight, and being represented by a big-time professional team,” Lance Wetzel said. “Back in that time frame, there wasn’t a whole lot of positives about Native Americans. To look at that helmet and see the representation there, I see a whole lot of pride.”

    Lance and cousin Ryan Wetzel were even honored by the Washington Redskins on behalf of Walter “Blackie” Wetzel (in 2018) at a Washington Redskins home game. They waved the Blackfeet flag honoring the origin of the logo.

    Walter Wetzel, a former Blackfeet tribal chairman and National Congress American Indian President, urged the Redskins in 1971 to change their logo from the burgundy and gold “R'” to the image it still has today.

    The name, logo and likeness have been mired in controversy because of the racial connotations associated with it. There’s historical context to how the Redskins logo and name showcase a different intention than some interpreted, according to Lance Wetzel.

    “I took my dad’s word that this was a big-time logo representing our people,” he said. “You look at the logo and Blackfeet history, and they are considered powerful people. I identify and connect with the logo that way.”

    Walter Wetzel passed away in 2003. He was described by his family as fearless, charismatic and selfless, all characteristics that allowed him to excel and be on the forefront for rights of Native Americans during the era of the civil rights movement…”

  11. I see the NBA is taking lessons in woke stupidity from Goodell & Co.

    Remind me again…what is the ratio of multi-millionaire minority players in the NBA vs. multi-millionaire white players? Baseball? Football?

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