I try. I really do. In 2016, it was about this time when I started getting complaints that too many of the posts were about political topics…what I needed to do was write more about people in lobster hats.
I search the most obscure sources to try to find non-political ethics topics. I’m so sick of the politicizing of everything I could spit—in fact, I think I will. There. Just let me wipe off the screen… The final straw may have been having to look at “Black Lives Matter” in the center field bleachers in Fenway Park. I’m about to grab my machete and run amuck.
However, the attempt by the Democratic Party, “the resistance,” and the mainstream news media to try to first, rig the 2016 election, then to undo the 2016 election, then to deny the legitimacy of the President elected, then to try to engineer a soft coup, and now to use disinformation, and social unrest to corrupt the 2020 election, in total a general assault on democracy and our culture of democracy itself, is the most important ethics story of the past half-century by far. It is among the three most consequential ethics stories of the last hundred years, along with the civil rights movement and the Red Scare/McCarthyism. This is an ethics blog. I have to write about it.
But I promise to keep searching for as many non-political stories as I can find. I do miss the assistance of now retired crack ethics story scout Fred, who somehow sniffed out issues and controversies from the damnedest places, but many of you are helping out. Keep looking.
1. What’s going on here? Why isn’t it obvious to everybody? In Illinois, leaders in education, politics and other areas gathered in Evanston yesterday to demand that the Illinois State Board of Education….wait for it!… eliminate history classes in public schools statewide. State Rep. LaShawn K. Ford held a news conferences to argue that current history books create a racist society and overlook the contributions of women and minorities, so school districts should immediately remove history books that “unfairly communicate” history. “It costs us as a society in the long run forever when we don’t understand our brothers and sisters that we live, work and play with,” Ford said, explaining that he is sponsoring a bill that would require elementary schools to prioritize teaching students about the civil rights movement.
Of course, this is an open demand for propaganda rather than education, advancing the core belief of Black Lives Matter that Fac’s Don’t Matter. What is significant is that Ford and others are so transparent about it. Those who have actually read about history—it’s not as if schools competently teach it now—know that fanatic movements keep pushing for increasingly extreme demands as long as as those in power and the public hesitate to say “No. That’s irresponsible and ridiculous.”
2. Look! A non-political item! (It is about baseball, however.) Jumping into contention for the 2020 Asshole of the Year competition is New York Mets outfielder Yoenis Cespedes. Cespedes was signed to a huge free agent, guaranteed six-year contract in 2015 paying him 27.5 million dollars a season. In only one of the first five years of that deal has Cespedes played more than half a season; last season, he collected his millions without playing at all. He was finally healthy this year, however, and began the season in the Mets line-up, with MLB’s special universal DH rule making it easy on his perpetually injured legs and feet. Then, yesterday, he didn’t show up at the ball park for the Mets game. When alarmed team representatives investigated, his agent informed them that the outfielder had decided, without having the courtesy to inform his team or his team mates, to opt out of the 2020 season. Players are permitted to do this in the Year of the Wuhan Virus, though they forfeit their pro-rated salaries unless there is a health-related reason. But what does Cespides care? It’s only about 9 million dollars; chump change, really. He has well over a hundred million in the bank, and got his whole salary for sitting at home last year. Now, after doing little for the Mets to justify his money for the majority of his contract’s duration, and finally being able to get on the field in the agreement’s final year, it was too much trouble, apparently. Now he’ll be able to get another free agent contract next year, because being a toxic, self-centered asshole never seems to be a disincentive for some fool to hand over millions of dollars to athletes like this.
3. She can’t be the worst Democratic big city mayor because of Bill de Blaso, but D.C.’s Muriel Bowser would be a winner in saner times.
In the Wuhan Virus Ethics Train Wreck update over the weekend, I repeated the query seen on several conservative websites, blogs and social media posts about whether former President Barack Obama and the dozens of members of Congress who attended Rep. John Lewis’ funeral in Atlanta will abide by Washington, D.C.’s mandatory 14-day quarantine order for those who travel to “high-risk” states, like Georgia. (Incidentally, there is nothing inherently partisan about that question, except that progressive commentators apparently don’t have the integrity to ask it.) Remember, according to Bowser’s order, if you return from such a state, you must,
a. Stay at their residence or in a hotel room, leaving only for essential medical appointments or treatment or to obtain food and other essential goods when the delivery of food or other essential goods to their residence or hotel is not feasible;
b. Not invite or allow guests, other than caregivers, into their quarantined residence or hotel room; and
c. Self-monitor for symptoms of COVID-19 and seek appropriate medical advice or testing if COVID-19 symptoms arise.
Those whose travel is deemed essential get a break; they must only:
1. Self-monitor for symptoms of COVID-19 and to self-quarantine and seek medical advice or testing if they show symptoms of COVID-19; and
2. Limit their activities involving contact with other persons for fourteen (14) days to the purposes that exempted them from the self-quarantine requirement to the extent possible.
Asked directly whether attending John Lewis’s funeral was “essential,” Susana Castillo, press secretary for Mayor Bowser, said it was. Of course, it was only essential to allow partisan hits on President Trump, and to further inflate the reputation of Lewis. Responding to this, one man tweeted, “I get it. My dad wasn’t important. So it’s ok to limit his funeral to 10 people tomorrow.” In response, Wendell D. Edwards, an incredibly fatuous ABC news anchor from Atlanta tweeted, “Not at all. His father was important and should be celebrated. But he was not John Lewis.”
Oh! The pandemic recognizes a John Lewis exception, does it? Good to know.
When those mourners at Lewis’s funeral return and cause an outbreak in D.C., it will be blamed on President Trump, of course.
The post continues HERE…