Monday Ethics Overture, 2/8/21: I’m Crankier Than Usual Today

I was going to post a poll asking how many readers had watched the “Concussion Bowl.” Last night, right after the game commenced, I went to the local Harris Teeter was one of three customers in the whole store. I’m pretty sure everyone else wasn’t reading Ethics Alarms. I’m curious how many have the requisite integrity and cultural responsibility to reject the showcase of the NFL and its corporate enablers in light of pro football’s continuing profit from inducing brain damage and its nauseating pandering to Black Lives Matter.

But I couldn’t post the poll. Once again, WordPress had changed the ground rules. Now I was informed that I had exceeded my quota of “signals” in the previous polls posted here, and would have to pay a monthly fee to add any more. I had to explain to a nice WordPress agent I “chatted” with online what a “bait and switch” was. “Polls” used to be right on my “dashboard” like every other WordPress feature. No limits were mentioned, until today, when I was told, in essence, “Glad you like our polls, now you have to pay to keep using them.”

It’s not a lot of money, but the nickels and dimes add up. I wrote WordPress explaining that their conduct was unethical, and got an admission that “we should have been clearer.” That’s what all con artists and swindlers say.

1. If starting your day off with a head explosion is your thing, read this LA Times Op-Ed. I won’t comment on it because once I start, I might never stop. Just discussing the Orwellian use of the term “responsible” might take 5000 words. This is why I barely interact with anyone on Facebook now. When someone speaks like this deranged fool, and many do, revealing a distorted view of reality the equivalent of doing LSD in Oz and a comprehension of the Constitution on par with AOC’s, arguing with them is like debating Caligula or a toddler. Sure, it’s a breeze winning on points, but where does it get you?

2. But facts don’t matter…according to the analysis by John Droz Jr, the oft-stated assertion that the lawsuits regarding the 2020 election have overwhelmingly been rejected by the courts is more anti-Trump propaganda. Droz and his team examined court filings to track down 81 lawsuits that were filed in connection with the Presidential election and created a publicly available spreadsheet. The tally: Of the 81 cases, 11 were withdrawn or consolidated. 23 were dismissed for lack of standing or on other grounds. Those should not be considered wins or losses for either side, Droz argues, because they “have nothing to do with the merits of the case.”

I disagree. If a lawsuit is thrown out for any reason, that’s a win for the defendant. His argument is like saying that a team that wins a game by default because the opposing team didn’t show up isn’t really the winner.

Anyway, of 47 remaining cases 22 were ruled upon after the court heard arguments and considered evidence. Trump or Republicans prevailed in 15 of these and lost 7, according to the analysis. 25 lawsuits still have not been settled, including three before the U.S. Supreme Court.

Druz asks rhetorically in a statement. “Is that what the mainstream media is reporting?”

3. Some observations on the last item:

  • If the President’s lawyers, including Rudy Giuliani, had not so absurdly (and unethically) over-hyped their suits and the evidence, the impression the public received might have been closer to reality.
  • As with the TIME revelations, it is important that there be something approaching transparency and public education regarding the shenanigans in the voting process and vote-counting, even though the election will not be reversed, over-turned, or altered at this late date.
  • The AUC narrative that the election was as pure as the driven snow is both dishonest and dangerous, and if the next election is to be fairer—fair is too much to hope for—the irregularities must be vetted and revealed.

4. Go ahead, you idiots: cut your own throats. I have been trying to explain to my performing artist friends that streaming plays and Zooming readings may give them something to do, but they are exactly the wrong approach if the long-term goal is to preserve an audience for live performing. Plays on screen is essentially TV. Nothing of the live theater experience survives. Most Americans don’t see any reason to attend live performances, and if the theater community accepts—worse than accepts, promotes— the idea that a broadcast or a video recording is an acceptable substitute, it is plotting its own doom.

In the same vein, orchestras are streaming their concerts. Astounding incompetence. You know what a streamed classical concert is? A CD with worse sound reproduction. Brilliant. Not only does this misrepresent the quality of the product, it increases the likelihood that audiences will condition themselves to accept a cheaper, lower quality but more convenient alternative.

I face the same problem with my currently Zoomed ethics seminars (some with live musical performances). I make a point of beginning them with a disclaimer that the remote version is a pitiful substitute for a live, interactive session, which it is.

15 thoughts on “Monday Ethics Overture, 2/8/21: I’m Crankier Than Usual Today

  1. We go out to eat someplace nice on Superbowl Sunday evening. Inevitably, they still have TVs there. But it’s something.

    I heard about the OP-ED. That writer is deranged.

  2. Re: Point 2
    While I agree that a win is a win and any suit in which the defendant does not lose is a win, but I believe the point was that “the lawsuits regarding the 2020 election have overwhelmingly been rejected by the courts” is being interpreted to mean that the majority of the lawsuits had no merit and were summarily rejected for that reason.

    You said, “If the President’s lawyers, including Rudy Giuliani, had not so absurdly (and unethically) over-hyped their suits and the evidence, the impression the public received might have been closer to reality.”

    That very well may be correct but even now all I know is what is published in the media which is very little because while opinions are everywhere, actual facts are much harder to find. Haven’t we learned from activist lawyers to overhype the evidence if not outright lie about it. The goal is to move public opinion to favor you not to seek justice. The lawyers for the Floyd, Brown, Gray, and Martin families constructed narratives that caused cities to burn. It does not matter that the odds of black man being struck by lightning is many times higher that an unarmed black man being shot by the police. I am not trying to rationalize anyone’s behavior I am simply describing tactics that work in our world today.

    If we are to impugn Trump’s lawyers I think it fair to also say that if the lawyers, print journalists and opinion writers who were supporting the Biden Campaign and the DNC were not in an incestuous relationship with CNN, MSNBC, ABC, CBS, NBC and ESPN then the absurdly and unethically overhyped version of their case might not have been reported and the public impression might have been closer to reality. When the mainstream news characterizes every utterance by Trump as unsupported or baseless while every claim of institutional racism, white privilege, the terror of white supremacy, and Trump the dictator was never challenged in the least perceptions are distorted in a way that truly undermines the democratic process.

    • Both. They’re both worse. A mathematical impossibility, yet here we are…

      I knew the Trump-deranged weren’t going to behave any better if Biden won, but I guess a little flicker of hope still burned deep in my brain somewhere. But it’s clear that these freaks, having spent nearly five years marinating in hate, literally defining themselves by their opposition to this one person, aren’t able to let it go. In fact, they are physically incapable of doing so – they’re addicts, and the dopamine hit they get from nursing their outrage (whether real, imagined, or feigned) ensures that we’ll be hearing this shit from these broken, mentally-ill morons for decades. They’re like crackheads, whose entire life revolves around getting their next fix.

  3. Had a lovely time playing DnD with the family, and my Father-in-law decided to boycott the concussion bowl entirely on his own, due largely to the BLM/Kapernick lean the NFL has taken.

    Point 4 is one I’ve been struggling with for a while now. It’s hard not having the artistic outlets I used to. “The show must go on” is an old, hard habit to break. Live theatre has been on a downward trend for a while, and there’s a strong push for it to “get with the times” and find a way to modernize to stay relevant. To the modernizing crowd, this is the prime opportunity to shift the way theatre is perceived. It certainly also doesn’t help that I know of 4 or 5 shows that have attempted to audition and post up with New and Improved* COVID precautions – and then promptly had to cancel when the rules shifted yet again. The most recent I’ve heard of requires weekly tests from every actor – at the actor’s own expense – masks for the entire rehearsal period save for dress rehearsals, and an agreement to do nothing to allow exposure outside of rehearsals. It’s insane, but still not enough to keep the audition lists from filling up in a snap.

    There are a lot of people looking for ANYTHING they can do within the strict limits. Unfortunately, the firestorm kicked up in order to use the Wuhan virus effectively against Trump had no exit strategy. Promises of “the vaccine!” were dangled, just to push hope past November, and they’re getting a lot of mileage out of “It’s Trump’s/MAGAhats/nomasker’s fault that all the numbers are so high” – but when summer 2022 comes and goes without significant shifts in shutdowns, it’s hopefully going to be a challenge to argue that things are running smoothly enough to prevent the election’s tide from reversing.

  4. Jack;

    We had a really good day yesterday… as I noted, we had a round of golf scheduled, and by 2pm CA time, the course was almost empty… The Lovely Lady Carolyn and I got in 24 holes in total (a few extra on a back nine loopback because the course was so empty). On the way home, we noticed that there was almost no traffic at all on either I-210 or I-5 as we drove home. Even In-and-out didnt have the typical 10 cars out into the street queue of people seeking delicious cow sandwiches…
    (anyone from SoCA will tell you that it is indeed rare to see an empty in-and-out)…
    I made a nice greek style shrimp dinner on Orzo, and settled in for the evening. This morning, as I was getting my hockey headline fix from the site of a prominent Canadian hockey broadcast company, TLLC asked me “by the way, who won the game yesterday?”… I clicked around and told her,, so we didnt even know until after 8 this morning…
    And I didnt even have to watch a single commercial telling us what racists we are…

    Cheers, Mike

  5. This version of the WT overture (one of my favorite Rossini operas – especially with Pavarotti) seems more appropriate for the topics under discussion:

  6. Maybe the proverbial day late and dollar short, but I spent “super sunday” working to fit my workshop into a 5X8 cargo trailer for my escape from CA. I’ve been paring down, dumping stuff that is easily replaced at the other end, and giving away things of value no longer really needed. Finally drew (blue masking tape actually) on the floor and did a lot of moving, turning, nesting and I think I finally have it. If you are into pharmaceuticals futures, go long on Advil. This kind of “fun” really stirs up an old man’s arthritis.

    Until we relocate, I will have to settle for vicarious projects via YouTube. Not much better than the streamed stage productions or concerts… although the YouTube will never kill the need for first hand experiencing the smell of fresh-cut wood, the cuts and splinters, and the good feeling of having something coming out pretty much as you envisioned it.

    I fired the NFL (National Felon League) years ago.

  7. “The AUC narrative that the election was as pure as the driven snow is both dishonest and dangerous, and if the next election is to be fairer—fair is too much to hope for—the irregularities must be vetted and revealed.”

    I think you are missing the point. This is like the Epstein situation. Everyone joked that he would be killed in prison and it would be ruled a suicide. Then it happened under laughable circumstances. You weren’t supposed to believe that his cellmate had just been removed for unrelated reasons, the guards weren’t guards and were asleep, all the cameras failed except for the one they discovered later and they ‘accidentally erase the tape on that one, and he choked himself with a toilet paper noose when there were 7 jumpsuits in his cell. You were supposed to realize that he was murdered and that every news source and government official in charge were going to repeat the lie with a straight face. The point is to reinforce the idea that you are powerless and if you don’t do what you are told, you will be jailed or killed under false pretenses and there is nothing anyone, including the President of the United States, can do about it.

    There is nothing you can do about our rigged system. Do as you are told…or else. That is the message that was sent to the American people by the Democratic Party, the Press, and the Judiciary with these cases.

  8. Jack wrote:
    “Those should not be considered wins or losses for either side, Droz argues, because they “have nothing to do with the merits of the case.”

    I disagree. If a lawsuit is thrown out for any reason, that’s a win for the defendant. His argument is like saying that a team that wins a game by default because the opposing team didn’t show up isn’t really the winner.”

    I don’t think that’s the point being made though. To extend your simile, I think he’s arguing that when a team wins by default, they’ve certainly won but they didn’t win by being a better or more skilled team.

    So when the news media hypes up how terrible a team the no-shows are, it does not follow that this forfeit victory proves that what the media says is true. In fact, it tells us nothing about the relative skill levels of the two teams–and reporting that it does is Fake News.

    Likewise, when the media reports that various cases have no merit because they were dismissed due to reasons other than the merits of the case, that’s Fake News too and needs to be called out as such.

    –Dwayne

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