Morning Ethics Warm-Up, 12/1/2020: Satchel Paige Edition


Why Satchel Paige? The legendary Negro Leagues pitcher and member of baseball’s Hall of Fame once said, “How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you was?” Satchel wasn’t fooling: having played most of his career when blacks were blocked from the Major Leagues, Paige was still good enough at 42 to join the 1948 Cleveland Indians as a relief pitcher, and was effective enough to be contender for Rookie of the Year. Then he became the oldest pitcher to start a Major League game, shutting out the Boston Red Sox for three innings at the age of 59.

In my case, the answer to Paige’s question would be about 18, or perhaps 10. Surely not the age my arithmetic tells me, which is depressing and a little frightening. Every December first since 2009 has been a day with bad connotations: I found my father dead in his favorite chair that year, when I checked to see if he was going to have dinner with me as we had planned. This year there are two. Well, Dad soldiered on to have 19 more productive and mostly happy years after he reached my age, and he was being treated for cancer by than, and I’m not. There aren’t many ways I can top my father, but at least that’s gives me something to shoot for.

1. Wow. You don’t get to see such naked bias and hate just put out there in the media like this very often…Just think: a Washington Post editor okayed this article attacking the White House Christmas decorations and using them to excoriate Melania Trump for existing. How petty and ugly can a writer be and still get published? I guess it depends on whether or not your target is the Trumps.

The “money quote”: “[T]he defenders of Melania have always insisted on comparing her to her predecessor, Michelle Obama, and it became hard to believe that “elegant” was a code word for anything other than “White.” Melania is “elegant” because she represented a very specific kind of White femininity: silent, lovely, delicately fingering the ornaments that her staff had assembled.” The author is Monica Hesse, the Post’s gender writer. She is a biased, vicious, jerk. It is so obvious that Melania Trump could design Michelle Obama’s White House decorations and Michelle could secretly design the Trumps’, and Hesse would pronounce what she thought was Michelle’s inclusive and brilliant, and would condemn what she thought Melania created.

You know, pretty much the way her paper covered the Obama and Trump administrations.

2. This why I’ve insisted on calling it “the Wuhan virus” since March. How can CNN dare to present this as a scoop on November 30…


…after calling President Trump and anyone else who insisted that the pandemic originated in and with China was a racist? The truth of China’s culpability has been clear from the beginning, but a memo apparently went out from AUC Central that it would be easier to blame Trump for pandemic deaths if China’s accoutability was shot down the memory hole, at least until Biden won the election.

3. Are Democratic Party elected officials trying to guarantee that lockdown measures are defied by the public? Just yesterday there was this from the New York Post…

Cuomo masks

…and this from Fox News:


Or are they just arrogant power-mad hypocrites who think that the public is stupid beyong belief? (If you recall that Kuehl played face-squinching Zelda Gilroy on “The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis,” you’re at least as old as I am.)

4. Speaking of Democrats rubbing the public’s face in their hyprocrisy, Joe Biden signaled that he intends to nominate Neera Tanden as his Director of the Office of Management and Budget. Who is she? She’s a Clinton guerilla, but it’s worse than that.

Tanden was one of numerous Democrats to join the plot in 2016 to encourage electors in the Electoral College to ignore their states’ votes and refuse to elect Trump as President. Tanden endorsed fanatic NeverTrump lawyer Richard Painter’s argument that Trump’s violations of the Emolument Clause disqualified him from being President.Tanden also spread the false but effective conspiracy theory that Hillary Clinton lost because of Russian interference, claiming the “Russians did enough damage to affect more than 70k votes in 3 states.” Four days after the 2016 election, Tanden began implying that Russian hackers changed the vote totals.

This is the nominee by an apparent President-elect whose allies are attacking Trump for challenging the current vote totals in court, rather than through rumors and contrived fantasy.

5. And let us never forget that on this date in 1955, Rosa Parks got herself arrested for refusing to give up her seat to a white man on a Montgomery, Alabama, bus, an ethics milestone if there ever was one.

Satchel Paige approved.

26 thoughts on “Morning Ethics Warm-Up, 12/1/2020: Satchel Paige Edition

  1. 1. Melania hatred

    It’s fascinating watching the media engage in the very speech they wish they could control from the Right. It isn’t just projection, it’s an unapologetic announcement that they are coming for every one of us as soon as possible. Norway’s most recent Orwellian law outlawing “hate speech” even in private is precisely what the Post would happily support for us, as long as they get to decide what “hate speech” is.

    2. The Kung Flu

    Aww, it’s not deception from partisan bias. They were always just being ironic, don’tcha know?

    3. Democrat lockdown antics

    I’ll take door #2, Monty.

    4. Neera Tanden

    Jack said:

    This is the nominee by an apparent President-elect whose allies are attacking Trump for challenging the vote totals in court, rather than through rumors and contrived fantasy.

    This is what the Democrats mean by coming together. Put another way, it is “Surrender, Trump voters, and take what we give you or else.” Joe Biden talks the talk, but when it comes down to cases, he intends to break it off in us as deeply and as many times as possible.

    Given the prostrate stature of so many in the GOP and the demoralization I see showing up on the right, they might just get away with it, too.

    5. Rosa Parks

    That spirit may well be dead with her.

  2. A couple things are obvious, and at some point we can continue to call them out, but we really have to stop being surprised at them;

    There is a difference between hypocrisy and a failure to live up to your ideals; See there was a slew of stories in the 90’s of Republican lawmakers running on family values platforms or religious morals that got caught with a mistress or got dragged out of the closet. Were some of them hypocrites? Sure. Obviously. But having an ideal doesn’t necessarily mean that every time you fail to live up to that ideal, you’re a hypocrite. Sometimes you just fail to live up to your own expectations. And then there’s Michael Hancock, mayor of Denver, who gave a presser telling people not to travel for the holidays, because it was dangerous, minutes before boarding a plane to Mississippi to meet up with his wife and daughter who flew out earlier.

    Also not surprised: The article fails to mention party affiliation, which I took to mean he was a Democrat: Yup.

    I don’t know whether powerful Democrats think restrictions are for little people, or if they’re trying to gin up panic for political gain. Neither would particularly surprise, but there really isn’t a third option. Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Shumer, Dianne Feinstein, Gavin Newsom, Andrew Cuomo, Fredo Cuomo, Muriel Bowser, Lori Lightfoot, Jim Kenney, Drew Dilkens, and now Sheila Kuehl have all very publicly fell flat on their face, with Pelosi’s “The bitch set me up” as probably the most egregious take of them all. I tried Googleing “Republican COVID hypocrites” “Republican travels for holidays” and “Republican not wearing masks” and I couldn’t find anything like if from the Republicans. Not saying that it doesn’t exist, but anecdotally, the cases at least seem very lopsided. This only makes sense, when you think about it though, Republicans are more likely to view travel restrictions and masking as unnecessary to begin with, and so the few that actually say pro-restriction things are more likely to actually believe it.

    Regardless… I’m going to fall back on my priors: You know your situation, you know your health, you know your family, you know their health, you know your risk appetite. Do whatever is best for you and yours, and if some petty tyrant wants to stop you, tell them to jump in a lake. Because Fuck Evil.

    • I’ve tried to make that distinction often here. Clearly, though, while someone is demanding conduct of others to deliberately and voluntarily do the opposite is hypocrisy. (I did not one but TWO posts about Hancock last week, by the way.) The mask stuff is clearly hypocrisy: nothing stops these creeps from “living up to their ideals.” Yes, and anti-gay politician who is in the closet might not be a hypocrite, nor is someone who behaves in 2020 as he or she said not to behave in 2010. But the conduct of these officials who lecture about mask and social distancing and defy their own orders is unquestionable hypocrisy.

      • I think I made my point poorly… Probably because I didn’t say the important part: When a family values politician fails to live up to his values, that doesn’t make the value wrong… Faithful couples, waiting to get married before having kids, raising those kids with similar values is good, regardless of whether or not some people fail to live up to those ideals. That’s why those politicians in the 90’s apologized and/or resigned. Juxtapose that with 2020’s slew of Democrats… Lori Lightfoot said that she had to get her haircut, because she’s the public face of Chicago, Pelosi said she was set up, the only one that gave something that might even approximate an apology was Gavin Newsom, but I don’t think it would rate well.

        Unlike the unfaithful family values Republicans, 2020 Democrats aren’t even admitting what they did was wrong, nevermind resigning over it. They are fundamentally unserious about what they are trying to spin as gravely serious, and whether that’s because they think that they have a King’s pass to their own exemptions or because they don’t believe what they are saying is irrelevant, I don’t feel the need to be more accountable than they are.

        • Perhaps a better example than the family values candidates of the 90s would be Katie Hill. Democrats actually care about extramarital affairs and inappropriate workplace relationships enough to call for the resignation of one of their own, even through their bias towards women. They obviously care more about sexual impropriety than health regulatory propriety.

    • “Also not surprised: The article fails to mention party affiliation, which I took to mean he was a Democrat: Yup.”

      I’m actually kinda surprised the writers weren’t able to get the word “Republican” in the article somewhere, just so people reading it have the subconscious word association there, like maybe “Mr. Hancock, fresh off a decisive win over Republican contender…”

  3. Joe Biden’s cabinet, while annoying to us and giving proof of the lie that he was going to build bridges, is causing progressives to apoplexy. And it is glorious.

    Twitter checkmarks’ tears come down in a flood
    TYT Hosts screaming they’re out for blood
    Socialists, desperate, to their morals cling
    There are a few of my favorite things!

    When Trump tweets shit,
    When Joe does things,
    And I’m feeling sad,
    I simply Remember my favorite things
    And then I don’t feel so baaaad.

    • Comic relief. Refreshing.

      Rahm Emmanuel! Hah! I’m still waiting for Hunter Biden to be made Secretary of Commerce.

      Where is Hunter? Has he been place into a witness protection program?

  4. Zelda Gilroy! Are you kidding? “WORK?!”

    The father of a girl in my class at college was a writer on “Dobie Gillis.” Which gave her instant credibility.

    • My son reported to me his complaining to my dad about getting old, to which my dad said to my son, “I guess there isn’t much we can do about it, is there?”

  5. 1. Hesse in writing this, revealed a subtle racism that drives me bananas about some progressives. She implies that, in a way, blacks are not elegant. If “elegant” is code for white, then to Hesse, blacks or other races are not capable of elegance. This is “soft racism” in a nutshell. It sends a message, especially to all women, that softness and quiet is only for whites.

    Melania isn’t silent anyway. When she speaks, it’s with purpose, rather than blathering away on how people should think. Plus anything Mrs. Trump says is picked apart by media jackals anyway so I don’t blame her for her economy in speaking. And she is an immigrant with an accent. Perhaps she’s more comfortable to speak less, especially when half the country appears to be gleeful at tearing apart anything associated with her husband.

    Btw my Christmas decorations this year have been complimented for being elegant. Guess I’ll have to put out some chunky bold Kwanzaa decor instead.

    • And can we just take a step back and remember who Micelle Obama was? Michelle Obama wasn’t elegant. Michelle Obama has resting bitch face that can peel paint and every time she opens her mouth something stupid or crass fell out of it.

      As a general principle: People aren’t perfect, no one will demonstrate every good quality in humanity, and different people will be described in different ways, welcome to life.

      As a more discreet principle: Saying that not calling Michelle Obama “elegant” is racist is like saying not calling a dwarf “tall” is ableist. Maybe that seems reasonable to some, I don’t know, I don’t belong to their church.

      • You can’t win, HT. Democratic women and liberal women get the Queen’s Pass every time, while Republican or conservative women are considered acceptable targets for crass sexist insults and to be told someone should shit in their mouths. The left isn’t interested in being fair or being objective, or even in being inclusive. Jack pointed out that anything Moo-chelle wore was considered a fashion triumph, no matter how hideous, and anything Melania wears gets nothing but “mean girl” comments.

        It’s also well known that the designers stumbled all over themselves NOT to offer their services to anyone in the Trump family, although I wonder if they really thought it would compel Melania to appear in public in a potato sack. I also pointed out that any Democratic first lady who came from abroad would get all kinds of praise for her diverse and cosmopolitan nature, while any Republican first lady who originally came from another nation would suffer the press drilling into her family background to see if they could connect her with something bad from there.

        This would probably even be the case for two first ladies from different parties, but the same nation. A Democratic first lady from Argentina would be praised for her bilingualism, her sympathy toward Spanish-speaking immigrants, and finally bringing the White House kitchen some real coffee. A Republican first lady from Argentina would suffer endless attempts to connect her to the bad aspects of the Peron/Kirchner regime, with reminders of “helicopters that departed over the sea full and returned empty and squads of short-haired men with bulges in their pockets.”

      • “…it became hard to believe that “elegant” was a code word for anything other than “White.”
        Melania is “elegant” because she represented a very specific kind of White femininity: silent, lovely, delicately fingering the ornaments that her staff had assembled.”

        This part of the Hesse’s piece went beyond Michelle to speak to femininity in general.

        Personally I never viewed Michelle as not elegant per se, so I don’t really understand the unnecessary comparison of the writer (or your strange insult of Michelle either).

        • Michelle was and is a reasonably attractive, healthy, pleasant looking woman whose taste in clothing was often strange. “Elegant” was never a word that cane to mind when discussing her, nor any other First Lady within my lifetime, with the possible exception of Jackie Kennedy. Whatever Michelle wore, it received wild applause from the news media, which in some cases was just absurd. Again, this is personal taste, but some of her outfits were dreadful, and unlike Melania, who could wear a barrel and look great, Michelle could not get away with wearing them. Michelle has charisma, that’s all, one of the very few First Ladies to have it, and it’s more valuable than “elegance.”

    • You were perceptive to pick up on the subtle racism contained in the op=ed. I missed it but saw it after I read your post. I suspect that the authoress was oblivious to it as well. It is dripping with derision and condescension.

      I was more taken by the utter contempt this author has for Melania Trump. Hesse concludes her missive with this eloquent little gem: “Here was a woman, wandering through an empty mansion, selling us on a version of Christmas and America that you’d swear she didn’t understand herself.” Biting. Scalpel like in its commentary.

      I am not sure why Hesse hates her, though. Hesse mocks Melania’s English – well, Melania is not a native English speaker, she has a heavy accent, and her speech pattern is carefully restrained.* (That’s how I would speak at a formal gathering if I had to give a speech in Spanish, say in Spain or Mexico or Argentina, before a group supposed national leaders and the press, even though my conversational Spanish is excellent. Formal speaking, where everything is monitored, is very difficult. Throw in weird English constructions and phrases and, yes, it’s a daunting task even for someone who does it all the time – The Donald seems to relish in it, though.) Is it because Orange Man Bad so all things touching and concerning Orange Man Bad are Bad and subject to scorn and ridicule? Does the fact that Melania was a fashion model have anything to do with Hesse’s attitude toward her? Is that because fashion models perpetuate a myth that they are not very bright and only exist to show off other people’s clothing designs while at the same time not being down with the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants?

      Take a look at the comments to the piece, though. That is some lovely sentiment right there.


      *Ed. Note: By way of further example, recently my wife had to give a deposition in a stupid car wreck case. My wife is from Mexico and her English is flawless though she has an accent. In a formal, legal setting, she was very nervous about making misstatements so she spoke more slowly than usual, which caused her accent to be more pronounced. Add to the mix that she had never testified in a court setting before, it was an awkward zoom deposition, and an attorney she thought was twisting her words, and she was freaking out.

      • That sounds rough for your wife. Also it appears like she has a good husband in you.

        On Twitter, the first comment to Melania’s post with four photos of the holiday decorations, is a photo of her from back in her modeling days. It has been marked with a “sensitive information” warning. I’m not for censorship, but I wonder if something similar had been posted in response to Biden’s or Obama’s wife, if it would remain.

  6. 3. What are the rules for wearing masks in New York? Is it that one should wear a mask at all times in public, or is it that one needs to wear a mask when less than six feet of another person? If it is when less than six feet of another person then on taking a closer look at the photo and accounting for the camera angle, to me it looks that the people at the table are at least six feet apart and so are within the rules.

    • Nope. That would make sense. But the dictat is masks AND social distancing. Fail to do both and you have blood on your hands.

  7. Re: Not Sure; Trump’s Lawyer Threatens to Draw and Quarter Cybersecurity Official Christopher Krebs

    I saw this yesterday amidst all of the other “Trump is a Poopyhead” stuff. Apparently, former top US cybersecurity official Christopher Krebs (great name, by the way) was fired by Trump from his role as Director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency last month after his agency said that the November 3 election was “the most secure in American history,” and rejected the president’s baseless voter fraud claims. “There is no evidence that any voting system deleted or lost votes, changed votes, or was in any way compromised,” Krebs said. Krebs doubled down in an interview on Sunday, saying that high numbers of paper ballots used at the election “gives you the ability to prove that there was no malicious algorithm or hacked software that adjusted the tally of the vote.” He told CBS News: “Ninety-five percent of the ballots cast in the 2020 election had a paper record associated with it… Compared to 2016, about 82%.”

    Trump campaign lawyer Joe diGenova would have none of that. He told the Howie Carr show on Newsmax that: “Anybody who thinks the election went well, like that idiot Krebs who used to be the head of cybersecurity [for Trump]. That guy is a class-A moron. He should be drawn and quartered. Taken out at dawn and shot.” Dumb thing to say because it draws negative attention to Trump (as if the media need more fodder). Mostly unethical. Clearly not to be taken seriously. Right?

    Well, CNN had to discuss it ad nauseum. Watch this little snippet:

    It is amazing to see the self-righteous moral indignation from these supposed pundits. Borger outdoes herself with moral outrage.


  8. Tanden also spread the false but effective conspiracy theory that Hillary Clinton lost because of Russian interference, claiming the “Russians did enough damage to affect more than 70k votes in 3 states.” Four days after the 2016 election, Tanden began implying that Russian hackers changed the vote totals.

    These were ethics-corrupting events.

    Eighty percent of Democratic voters agreed with Tanden’s claims in 2018!

    I hope Trump and his supporters give those like Tanden, to quote the film Joker, what they “fucking deserve”.

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