Ethics Evening Frazzle, 10/29/2020: Racing With The Clock

Ever have one of those days that just starts at an insane pace and never stops? The entire ProEthics staff (well, all two of us) is having such a day. If I can get four posts up, I will consider it a success.

1. Well, I did it. For the first time since before my 11th birthday, I didn’t watch a moment of the World Series. This wasn’t because the Red Sox weren’t there: I didn’t watch a singe Boston game after the team was allowed to boycott a scheduled game because man charged with rape, breaking the law by returning to harass his alleged victim, who placed a cop in a headlock, had a knife and may have been reaching for gun was shot by police. Is Jacob Blake the most ridiculous Black Lives Matter martyr of them all? It’s close: there is George Floyd, of course, a career criminal who make have overdosed on fentanyl, and the Wendy’s snoozer, Rayshard Brooks, who was shot while trying to shoot an officer’s own taser back at him. Then we have Ricardo Munez, who is seen via bodycam charging an officer brandishing a butcher knife. All of these shootings caused rioting. Hell, let’s poll it; I’m curious.

I don’t know if I’ll ever return to caring about a sport that chose to side with these people and against law enforcement and common sense, just because they were afraid of sparking the ire of their millionaire employees. If that doesn’t worry baseball executives, it should. I am, or was, among the .001% of most loyal, passionate, committed and active baseball fans. If the sport alienated someone like me, it’s in big trouble.

In baseball-related ethics news, Dodgers star Justin Turner ran out on the field to celebrate with his team, and generally ignored all of the mandates for safety even though he had just tested positive for the Wuhan virus. He was asked to leave, and refused.

2. If I decide to vote for President Trump—and I have not at this time—it will be because of the news media. Today I heard the media’s escalating refusal to report the news fairly referred to a  virtual coup, and my reaction is, “what do you mean, “virtual?” This has been an attempted soft coup since 2016, but the adamant refusal of journalists to report the Biden family scandal and the revelation that “Anonymous” was promoted by the New York Times as a “senior” whistleblower when he was just a low level schlub, combined with the resignation of Glenn Greenwald, hardly a Trump booster, and the fake negative spin given to any news that should reflect well on the President…like this…

Screen Shot 2020-10-29 at 9.24.11 AM

 has me close to the brink. (Pointer Althouse for the screenshot).

If we allow these arrogant and unethical journalists to tilt an election by controlling what we see and hear like the IM Force in a bad “Mission Impossible” scheme, we will be slaves of propaganda. The Axis of Unethical Conduct must fail, or their power will strangle the republic.

3. This was a case study in how villains and cowards are rotting the culture. The Girl Scouts of America tweeted out a non-partisan, completely innocent salute to the women who have served as SCOTUS Justices,

Girl Scouts

and pulled it because of asshole tweets like these…

Asshole tweets

They are teaching girls to be intimidated and to be dominated and dictated to by bad and stupid people—who are, I must again point out, exactly the people who will be enabled by Democratic victories next week.

4. If Jonathan Turley is going to vote for Biden, he’s going to have to fight through some massive cognitive dissonance. His latest hit on the Trump Derangement in his own field was his column this morning in the Hill  explaining the utter stupidity of fellow law professor Norm Ornstein to impeach Amy Coney Barrett if she does recuse herself from any election challenge before the Court. A demand for such recusal was filed yesterday in the Supreme Court. As Turley makes clear, this is partisan madness.

“Recusal under these circumstances would create a dangerous precedent for future nominees who are pressured to recuse solely to influence the outcome of pending or expected cases,” he writes. “There is not a single case in history where such a recusal of the justice has occurred under this type of flimsy claim. Barrett has no personal, professional, or financial interest in pending election cases.”

The new standard is “Orange Man Bad.” Academics are only slightly behind journalists in their revelation of a total integrity deficit during the 2016 Post Election Train Wreck.

20 thoughts on “Ethics Evening Frazzle, 10/29/2020: Racing With The Clock

  1. 1. Pro sports can take a hike. A bunch of spoiled brats who can hit curve balls and major league fast balls or jump high enough or have big enough hands to stuff a basketball or hit 250 yard five irons. Fuck ’em all. Freaks. Moronic freaks.

  2. 3. I don’t set foot on Twitter for multiple reasons, but if I did I’d have some choice words for those two fools.

    Regarding the first twit [sic]: Someone doesn’t know what “antithesis” means. Words have meanings. Just because someone doesn’t share all of your priorities doesn’t make them the antithesis of anything. If someone is more inclined to spend money than I am, that doesn’t make them the antithesis of thriftiness.

    Regarding the second twit: How, I prithee, does a Supreme Court justice have any influence over whether or not people can sign up for healthcare or negotiate equal pay? Isn’t it the responsibility of Congress to draft and pass constitutional legislation that helps people? The Supreme Court cannot strike down a duly passed law regarding healthcare unless it’s unconstitutional. What Supreme Court cases do you foresee that lead to this misogynist dystopia scenario of yours?

    Blurred-brains. Don’t just string words together just because they sound like what you feel. The real world has nuance, and cause and effect, and without a solid grasp of those you’re just making noises with no informational content, because you heard the human next to you make similar noises.

    This has been a Barren [sic] Blauschwartz message.

  3. #2. Quite apt timing to see that screenshot, as I was randomly inundated with an echo chamber praising a politician arguing that the recession began in February, ergo, Trump caused it… The pandemic only pushed it over the brink it had already crested.

    Ah, this pandemic didn’t start in 2019, like the 19 tacked onto its name then. Gotcha. That also explains why travel restrictions end of January were xenophobic at the time.

  4. #2
    Do the journalists that write these headlines know the definition of a recession? A recession is defined as two consecutive quarters of negative economic growth. The moment a quarter is marked by a positive change in growth the recession is technically over. We have had positive growth over the last two quarters and have recovered 94% of the pre-pandemic economic activity which was also considerably higher than what it was in January of 2019.

    Yes, some areas are still hard hit but that is because they have been governmentally shuttered. What has occurred is people shifted spending money on things rather than services. Walmart is booming. Amazon is booming. Ironically, the areas last to recover are those owned by none other than DJT. Airlines hotels, resorts, and restaurants got the short end of the stick and the employees who work there are getting the shaft.

    I find it incomprehensible that so many employed people are bitching about a stimulus hold up. The only groups we should be go into further debt for are those in the service and hospitality industries who are prevented from working because some governors deem their livelihoods expendable. I see no reason to give thousands of dollars, that we will borrow from China, to millions of Americans who are drawing full pay or whose retirements are unaffected financially by the economy. When the pandemic hit we were at about 4.2% unemployment we are currently at about 8% unemployment; focus the help on the 4% differential. Perhaps we should impose a 1% federal tax on all online purchases and give the proceeds to those displaced by the pandemic. Seems like we should all be paying our “fair share” during this pandemic. Watch how fast the “fair share” proponents shoot down that idea.

    • The service industries and the entertainment industries. When even Disney is forced to let go of live performers as dead weight, and can’t even leverage millions in lost revenue to convince CA to let them reopen, that industry is dead in the water. And every time a local company summons the courage to open a show, the rules change about two weeks into the rehearsal process, shutting the whole thing down again. What I’d give to be under the lights again right about now…

  5. 2. It’s a hard decision, I know. But a vote for anyone other than one of the two major candidates will only make the margin of victory for the winner slimmer which increases the likelihood of a contested election.

    A vote for anyone other than Donald Trump is a vote for Joe Biden, even if you don’t vote for Biden.

  6. Since you asked, “who was the least deserving …” I felt an “all of the above” answer would not have been responsive to your question, which was to measure intensity of disagreement given three options.

    But none of them deserved a protest. George Floyd comes the closest, I suppose.

    Jack said:

    If I decide to vote for President Trump—and I have not at this time

    Stunning. A non-decision is so far from your previous statements, it isn’t even in the same galaxy. I’m not trying to pick on you, it’s just noteworthy.

    Moving on to Glenn Greenwald, let me state up front that I have disliked him since he was trolling right-leaning websites back in the first decade of this century using the “sockpuppet” technique. But he has been growing on me — not his policy views, which are no less abhorrent generally than before, but rather his newfound dedication to integrity on freedom of speech. That is laudable.

    Jack said:

    If we allow these arrogant and unethical journalists to tilt an election by controlling what we see and hear like the IM Force in a bad “Mission Impossible” scheme, we will be slaves of propaganda. The Axis of Unethical Conduct must fail, or their power will strangle the republic.

    Let me examine this in two parts:

    1. Allow? I’m not sure what this means. We cannot stop them from attempting to do so, and either the impulse to resist such manipulation exists within consumers of the news, or it does not.

    2. Having said all that, I agree 100% with the statement’s message. If we are not self-aware enough to use our own intellect to guide our actions rather than letting the biased media do so, we can wave goodbye to our republic as we’ve known it for nearing on 250 years. The media is in the process of an attempted coup not just against the United States, but against its founding principles.

    Regarding the Girl Scouts, I have long since concluded that scouting of both genders, as I knew it in my youth, is a rotting zombie corpse killed by a massive wokevirus infection. It is not recoverable, and should only be lamented as the passing of a loved one. Adherents to modern scouting should be treated with great suspicion.

    Regarding Turley, I consider him the archetype of many people who must deal with massive cognitive dissonance in this election, including yourself and, to a much lesser extent, me and others who comment here. I have no idea how he’ll vote (nor do I particularly care), but it must be very hard for an honest Democrat to deal with his party these days, much like it’s difficult for an honest Republican. Welcome to the festivities, I guess…

    • Glenn, I’ve explained why I cannot, so far, bring myself to vote for Trump: as an ethicist, I would be defying every principle of leadership and character I have spend my career arguing for. I do not, and never have, believed that people without any ethics compasses, or those whose ethical values are seriously flawed, can be trusted, and I insist that only trustworthy individuals can be leaders. If I did not spend so much of my waking hours advocating ethics, the pragmatic choice would be easy.

      I do not have the hubris to compare my dilemma to his, but the thought process is similar to Thomas More’s….and I know where that got him.

      • Jack said:
        Glenn, I’ve explained why I cannot, so far, bring myself to vote for Trump: as an ethicist, I would be defying every principle of leadership and character I have spend my career arguing for.

        And as I’ve explained before, I do understand this position and have no objection, and even admiration for it.

        What I don’t recall seeing before is the “…so far…” qualifier. Perhaps it has been there all along, and I just didn’t pick it up. It was always my impression that there were no reasonably foreseeable circumstances where you would even consider voting for Trump because of your well-stated objection above. The “so far,” to me, seems new.

        • Here was an earlier post (a two-parter) on the issue:


          I have not reached the point of reversing myself on this crucial decision for me personally, professionally, and as an American. Not yet. I feel, however, that the time may be approaching where my case of ethics zugswang cannot be honestly addressed by refusing to take a side. This week, in particular, has forced me to consider that a tipping point may be at hand.

          As I have written before, whatever cosmic script-writer came up with the harebrained idea that someone as personally repellent and ethically inert as Donald Trump should be thrust into the position of being this great nation’s crucial last defense against the rising totalitarianism and fascism of the left is a sadist with a sick sense of humor. It is increasingly difficult to deny, however, that this is the ethical conflict that America finds itself in. At the point, fast approaching, when I have to confront the conclusion that defeating the Democrat/”resistance”/ mainstream media collective is the only way to ensure that the United States and its values remain viable and intact, refraining from making a noxious choice will no longer be an option.

  7. 2. The Washington Post figured out its own way to spin the news: Instead of reporting the annualized 3rd quarter figure of 33.1%, the way the numbers have been reported forever, they reported the deannualized, raw quarterly figure of 7.4%.

    But the article compared this 7.4% 3rd quarter increase to the annualized 31.4% contraction in the 2nd quarter, not to the raw 9.0% quarterly contraction. That is, they said that the economy grew by 7.4% in the third quarter after decreasing by 31.4% in the second quarter. (At least that’s what the twitter thread says they did — I didn’t read the actual article myself, since it was behind a paywall and I refuse to give a cent to the evil propagandists at the Washington Post.)

  8. Although none of the protests were justified, I went with Munez. He was actively moving towards the cops with a deadly weapon. Based largely on how they would appear to the general public give the evidence that they had. It’s too bad you didn’t have the protest over the one who was shot after firing point blank at the police and missing, since that seems like a clear winner to me.

    George Floyd at least looked like he was suffocated by the knee. Chauvin got some questioning by the lower ranked police, so even internally there was concern. It’s the only one I think really looked like police brutality at first glance.

    Rayshard brooks was technically running away and attempting to fire a less lethal weapon which had no ammo left. Tied for second with Blake

    Jacob Blake had just fought the police, but he was moving away and shot in the back. The optics are worse regardless of the rest of the story. He seemed to be in the process of abducting his kids from his ex, so I really can’t fault the cop.

    • But I also heard from a source that I sometimes trust that Facebook has a “Hate Speech Engineering” team – the staff of which includes a number of Chinese nationals, working in the U.S. with H1B visas.

  9. 1. Silly me! I have been in la-la land about police equipment awareness. I am serious – not trying to be cute. Here I was, thinking that street cops had a ready array of non-lethal (and at least tolerably reliable) tools. Including a tool that shoots like a gun, but sprays a net of some kind, that rapidly flares and snares (or at least, disruptively snags or entangles) an oncoming threat, such as a guy running with a knife or other weapon (other than a gun) toward a cop. WHY have police departments NOT used tools like that more often, for those sudden, close-quarters, high-risk encounters? Have cops been shot by attackers even while caught in the snare? Is the snare tool too unreliable? Too clumsy to use?

    I sincerely do believe that cops do not need to resort to shooting a gun that implements lethal force, as often as we have been seeing them doing.

    • Net-snaring George Floyd before otherwise gaining control over him (without the knee on his neck) would have been a blessing to us all. Okay – I’m done.

  10. I’m shocked that GSA doesn’t realize that Twitter is, among other things, an intelligence black hole. Maybe that’s because the leadership at GSA has become a smaller intelligence black hole of its own. Surely someone at the top knew…KNEW…that a tweet involving Justice Barrett would be met with a backlash from the Mindless Black Hole. Surely a bunch of GSA people knew that. It should have taken two or three people sitting at a table about five minutes to figure that out, come up with a snappy but graceful retort, keep the original Tweet, and still have enough time to check their phones for text messages.

    It’s funny how Twitter – essentially a glorified bulletin-board website – manages to control so many people’s lives. It’s absolutely tragic.

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