Waning Sunday Ethics Embers, 7/26/2020: Madness! Hopeless! Stupid! And…Inspiring! [Corrected]

1. I don’t understand this behavior at all. Who are being more irrational and anti-social, the fanatic mask police, or the renegade maskless? Clearly the latter.  Take this story, for example :near El Paso, Texas, customers retaliated after they were asked to put their face masks on inside Dapper Doughnuts at the Fountains at Farah. Surveillance footage shows an unmasked  couple  arguing with Dapper Doughnut staff, then throwing a box of doughnuts at the woman for asking them to comply with the City of El Paso’s mandate that anyone over the age of two must  wear face masks inside public buildings or public outdoors spaces if social distancing is not an option. Sure, I think it’s quite possible that we’ll eventually learn that the whole mask fiasco was hooey, but, 1) if it makes others feel safer, fine, and 2) a business has every right to require them. There is no ethical argument for not wearing masks around others in public, and absolutely no excuse for throwing tantrums over it.

Yet I am reading about this kind of incident virtually every day.

In the silliness above, the people who snapped like twigs in the wind demanded a refund—for the doughnuts they threw away?—and when that demand was refused, they stole the change mug.

2. Unfortunately, I don’t have a clip of someone saying, “Hopeless! Hopeless!” Polls on the Presidential race have now reached maximum absurdity. In the same day, last week, I saw one poll showing Trump behind Biden by 12 points, and another one with him within two. When the “science” is that unreliable, it’s time to stop feauring polls as “news.” You might as well interview psychic. The news sources, naturally, treat whichever poll they want to be true, as true.

However, until Joe Biden comes out of hiding, gets questioned routinely by interviews not tossing softballs,  and picks a Vice-President, no poll relating to him has even passing credibility. He is essentially that always popular candidate called “anyone other than Trump” at the moment, even though  whoever he chooses as VP will be a) presumed to be the real Presidential candidate by much of the electorate, since about half think he’s one or two ticks from wearing his shoes on his face, and the other half will come around once they see him trying to speak without a teleprompter. Did you read about Joe saying that most people don’t distinguish between Asian nationalities? If Dr. Seuss were alive, he’d write a kids book called, “Oh, the Gaffes You Will See!” and b) will immediately alienate a significant group of voters.

The fact that Biden hasn’t picked anyone yet points up his dilemma. It appears that he is down to four: Kamala Harris, Elizabeth Warren, Tammy Duckworth, California Rep. Karen Bass of the Congressional Black Caucus. In other words, he’s doomed. Biden has to pick a woman, thus eliminating any strong candidates for the job at all. Warren and Duckworth are impossible: if Joe picks one of them, look for the duck to appear on his head a day or do later. With mobs roaming the countryside tearing down statues , burning buildings, and demanding a new standard where Black Lives Get The Job No Matter What, the Democratic Party will offer an all-white ticket? Oh, pleasepleasepleaseplease! Joe is already the #1 Hypocrisy candidate in history, appealing to the Democratic #MeToo base despite being a flagrant sexual harasser. Now he’s going to run for President claiming he’s all for Black Lives Matter More Than You Damn Whities!—I am getting that name right, aren’t I?—while giving his black supporters two whites to vote for?  The theory, see, is because Joe was Barack Obama’s Sancho Panza, he’s as good as black.  Oh, I’m sure that’s right. Do it, Joe. Choose a white woman–especially a really old one who pretended to be a Native American for most of her career. The base will love it. Really. I wouldn’t lie to you.

That leaves Harris, who is a gaffe machine herself, slept her way to power, and made her bones being tough on crime, especially black men, or Bass, whom nobody has heard of, but who is a typical Congressional Black Caucus race-baiter and Trump-basher. She now chairs the CBC, a racist institution to begin with, and has absolutely no qualifications to be President. She has not even been a notable legislator. But she has made headlines praising Fidel Castro…and there goes the Cuban-American vote!

3. The relentless Great Stupid: Madison (Wisconsin) West High School emailed parents and students that as “part of our collective work towards being an anti-racist school community,” the school was launching “virtual discussion spaces” for staff and students to talk together about “the pain our community is feeling at this present moment and make concrete plans in moving forward together.”

However, the “anti-racist school” explained that it is segregating the discussion by race.

We will conduct this work in affinity groups to maximize the level of emotional safety and security to do this work properly. Please join the Zoom space where you most closely identify: White students: Friday, July 10, from 1-2 PM (link to Zoom) Students of color: Every Friday (beginning 7/3), from 1-2 PM (link to Zoom)

Recipients were directed to contact the administration with questions, but the voice mail recording for the school’s principal and author of the email, Karen Boran, states that the phone messages will not be checked by her assistant “for several weeks.”

OK, you’ll have to help me out on which Ethics Alarms movie  clip to use for this one, Should I use Inigo Montoya’s famous question…

or Sidney Wang’s mocking praise?

Let’s poll it!

4. But life is still full of inspiring surprises! Witness the amazing redemption of Daniel Bard. He was a flame-throwing reliever of great promise with the Boston Red Sox. At 26, with nearly three seasons as an almost unhittable set-up man, soon to graduate to closer and all the millions that role would mean, he suddenly began losing the ability to throw the ball over the plate. His collapse in the final weeks of 2011, the same season that had seen him  set a Red Sox team record with 25 consecutive scoreless appearances, cost his team a play-off slot, and his control got worse the next season. He had the dreaded Steve Blass Disease, named after a Pirates ace and Cy Young Award runner-up  [That’s a correction: I originally wrote that Blass won the award (in 1971). I apologize to winner Steve Carlton and his fans.] whose control left him in his prime, destroying his career and nearly his sanity. There is no known cure. Like Blass, Bard returned to the minors in a desperate effort to regain his control and his confidence. Like Blass, he only got worse. We saw box scores from successively lower leagues showing Bard walking four batters, hitting three, and throwing multiple wild pitches in a single inning. The Red Sox released him, and he went from team to team for four years, finally quitting in 2017, again like Blass, when the frustration became too much.

Bard was working as a player mentor and mental skills coach for the Arizona Diamondbacks last year when something clicked. He decided to try pitching one last time at the advanced age of 35, and made the Colorado Rockies’ opening day roster this season. Still throwing in the high 90s just like when he was a young stud, Bard pitched 1⅓ scoreless innings in relief  as the Rockies beat the Texas Rangers 3-2 on Saturday. Daniel Bard got the win, his first since May of 2011.  “He said three words: ‘That was fun,'” Colorado manager Bud Black said after the game.

What a wonderful story!

And I have a perfect clip for this one…

11 thoughts on “Waning Sunday Ethics Embers, 7/26/2020: Madness! Hopeless! Stupid! And…Inspiring! [Corrected]

  1. Hey now,
    We will know if Biden is crazy if he names Candace Owens as his running mate.

    And, he would probably win.

    -Jut

    • Although when he makes that actual announcement, he’ll probably actually announce Candace Bergen instead.

      And then, immediately realizing his mistake, correct it to Buck Owens.

      –Dwayne

  2. 1. I hate wearing masks…loathe it, mostly because I think we are being scammed about Wuhan virus. But I still wear them where I am asked to because it’s the right thing to do when a business requests it. To throw a fit about it just makes a person look petty.

    2. If psychics are truly clairvoyant, how come I need to call one? Shouldn’t they know to call me and help me out? Anyways…I hope VP Biden’s choice is Warren. That would be entertaining beyond belief. They could be the modern-day “American Gothic” couple.

    Bonus thing…
    Our doorbell rang yesterday afternoon. A very good friend, one we’ve known well for about fifteen years, was standing there, wearing a Trump/Pence “Keep America Great” shirt and asking if he could give us a Trump/Pence sign for the yard. The man voted for Clinton (Bill) twice, Gore, Kerry, Obama twice, and Clinton (Mrs.). I about fell over…I’m sure my jaw flopped open.

    I have never advertised my politics in the neighborhood…EVER…but we are preparing to move and, Lord willing, won’t be here this time next year. So we took two signs from him and put them out. We are the first in our area to have signs of any kind. It’s been 24 hours, the signs are still there, and no one has fire-bombed the house. And to think I pined for a Biden candidacy in 2016…

    I’m still blown away at his transition to President Trump supporter. Biggest surprise I’ve had in years.

  3. 4. Blass topped out at No. 2 in the Cy Young voting. He had the misfortune of having his good year when Steve Carlton had his impossibly good year. He did throw two complete game wins in the 1971 World Series, including Game 7. He just retired as a Pirate announcer this year.

  4. 4) I was listening to that game as a Rangers fan. Despite that, it’s a great story and one that the Rangers’ announcers explained to us as well.

    1)Regarding masks — I am dubious about their value, however for a variety of reasons I wear one when entering stores and in the office when I’m seeing clients.
    What I actually have now is a face shield that I purchased via Amazon. They are listed there as dental shield and are much more comfortable than a cloth mask and, I believe, offer similar benefits. A co-worker got one and I decided to try it out, and liked it. I’ve had several favorable (and envious) comments on it.

    Our governor here overreacted less than most, I think, but now he’s been very reluctant to ease some of the restrictions. I think we’ll have to just work our way through whatever happens from here on. Shutting things down again is not, I believe, a viable option.

  5. 1. I’m getting tired of the mask, but, I may feel differently if this continues into the colder months, and I may hang onto it in the winter, when it sure keeps your face warm.

    2. My patience with the news regarding the polls and so on is very thin at this point. The media is of course tacking on articles that talk about the GOP “preparing for a post-Trump world” and other nonsense also, like this is a done deal, like the only thing Biden needs to decide is which tie to wear to his inauguration. They said the same about Hillary, too, except it was a pantsuit, and midsummer she should just stop campaigning so she could be fully rested when it was time to govern. It DOES bug me that Biden seems to be maintaining a huge lead without doing a damn thing. I think for the moment he is not only “anyone but Trump,” but he – or at least his proposed administration – is a blank slate on which voters can project everything they want to see. Now, this isn’t TOO far past the time in 2016 in which both candidates announced their running mates, but it is past it nonetheless, and getting uncomfortable. There’s a feeling of “what is he waiting for?” and “hasn’t he made up his mind?”

    You are right that it was foolish for him to commit to picking a woman, but he’s hoping to score big with that suburban female part of the electorate that gave the Democrats the House in 2018. I don’t think it will be Tammy or Liz. Tammy is just too out there and too obviously trading on her record to give him the usual veteran or law enforcement cover that the left seek. Liz would bring in the Bernie bros, but in the end that’s probably not that many actual votes, plus she would be creating an all-white ticket as you pointed out. That leaves Harris and Bass. I think Bass is more likely, since she does not have the tough-on-crime credential of Harris, which would normally be a plus, but are a major minus this year. Joe needs the full 13%, and she’s closest to the one who can deliver it to him, although he still probably won’t get it all, the blacks only come out in droves if somebody black is at the top of the ticket (that hope vanished last year). Ideas like Michelle Obama or Hillary I think are just smoke and conspiracy theory.

    I think Biden is trying to stay out of sight as long as possible, and stay “anyone other than Trump” as long as he can. In any other year that wouldn’t work at all. In any other cycle he’d be a sacrifice candidate like Bob Dole or Fritz Mondale who no one would expect to win, but who the party was giving his chance before he faded into retirement. In any other circumstance, if he really believed this was a “fight for the soul of America” he’d be out there campaigning his hardest every day with big initiatives. He thinks, though, that the best thing to do is nothing, and let Trump defeat himself. It just might work, and it looks like it’s working now. He just turned down an interview with Fox due to “unavailability” (surprise, surprise) and somehow I think he will always be “unavailable” until November for anything other than friendly networks. He’s laying the groundwork to avoid the debates, and I’m sure the media will be right there to say that’s fine, we all know what Trump is all about anyway (check out DeBlasio’s shot at the Yankees for inviting the president to throw out the first pitch, accusing them of inviting hate onto the pitcher’s mound). I am not sure it will sway the middle voters who need to be swayed, though. Biden can avoid Trump, but he won’t be able to avoid Putin or the Chinese, and he’s going to have to actually do something about this pandemic rather than hide. Stay tuned!

    3. The Great Stupid shows no signs of abating any time soon. Moral panics are often volatile and will fade as quickly as they came, but, like the War or Terror and the War on Drugs, this War on White Supremacy shows every sign of becoming a permanent addition to the decor, at least it looks that way now. It’s a question of whether this Law and Order campaign will cause the ordinary people of this nation to pivot away from it.

    • I think for the moment he is not only “anyone but Trump,” but he – or at least his proposed administration – is a blank slate on which voters can project everything they want to see.

      Just remember that Republicans are quite capable of projecting what they want tom see on this blank slate.

      They would pain him as President of Antifa, if they could.

      You are right that it was foolish for him to commit to picking a woman, but he’s hoping to score big with that suburban female part of the electorate that gave the Democrats the House in 2018.

      I understand the reason, as most of them were the “defector” vote in 2016.

  6. 2) If any self-styled thinking person at this point thinks the polls exist for any other reason than to hype up the Democrat base to engage in an outright insurrection on the possibility that Trump is actually reelected, then I’ve got ocean front property in Arizona to sell them.

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