Tuesday Ethics Torture, 2/23/21: Stevey’s Going, Peter Suprises, Ian Shrugs, And California Dictates…

Torture of Brinvilliers, 17th Century

I spent a half-hour searching for ethics stories that made me feel good. All I found was more sources of gloom and depression. I have a headache, and no matter how many times I play, “Zing! Went the Strings of My Heart!,” it doesn’t male me want to laugh, gambol and frolic….

1. Normally the baseball season’s impending approach would cheer me up, as it has for more than 50 years (and that’s another damn thing—I can’t possibly be that old), and this time, nothing. It’s like I’m dead inside. The twin curses of the Boston Red Sox pandering to Black Lives Matter and the team’s rehiring of a proven, and as far as I can see, unrepentant cheater as manager have apparent sucked all of the joy out of what has been a lifetime passion. Now I’m bothered more by the flaws that once I would have shrugged off, like this one: Ian Desmond, a 35-year-old outfielder with the Colorado Rockies, has “opted out” of playing for the second straight season.

“For now, I’ve decided to opt out of the 2021 season,” Desmond wrote on Instagram. “My desire to be with my family is greater than my desire to go back and play baseball under these circumstances. I’m going to continue to train and watch how things unfold.” Between the two seasons, the player has now walked away from a combined $13.56 million. He was owed $8 million this year and was set to make $5.56 million of his prorated $15 million salary last season, though the Rockies have a $2 million buyout for 2022.

Desmond, 35, hit .255 with 20 homers in 140 games in 2019. He’s not special. Yet he has made so much money in a slightly above average career that he can afford to toss away millions of dollars. An industry that pays its workers so much that they have no financial incentive to work makes no sense, and any team that would keep a player like Desmond, whose attitude is, “Eh, I don’t feel like playing baseball…maybe later,” is foolish. He’s healthy, relatively young, and his risks of serious health problems from the Wuhan virus are slim: my grocery store clerks face greater risks by far. Yechhh.

2. Slippery Slope Warning! The slippery slope is both a phenomenon and a fallacy, as when someone objects to something benign by arguing that it creates a theoretical slippery slope that is not benign. Of late however, the assault of the Woke has made slippery sloping a national pastime, particularly involving slopes that lead governments to dictate all manner of conduct that should be none of its damn business.

For example, in California, good little brain-washers Evan Low and Cristina Garcia introduced Assembly Bill 1084 to require gender neutral retail departments. The bill would add Part 2.57 (commencing with Section 55.7) to Division 1 of the Civil Code, to be titled “Gender Neutral Retail Departments.” The bill would enact a regulation based on “legislative findings” that there are unjustified differences in similar products traditionally marketed either for girls or for boys. Thus the bill, on the theory that it will be easier on the consumer if similar items are displayed closer to one another in one, undivided area of the retail sales floor, mandates eliminating gender distinctions in clothing sales. In addition, keeping similar items that are traditionally marketed either for girls or for boys separated incorrectly implies that their use by one gender is inappropriate, the bill claims/

Ah! Illegal implication. Can’t have that!

I would assume that even an idiot could see that this is government indoctrination and has zero to do with serving consumers. If a retail company chooses to market clothing as unisex, they should go for it, but it is not the role of government to dictate how merchandise is displayed.

California is a contagious carrier of terrible and infectious ideas. The other states should be wearing big masks…

3. Stevie Wonder says he is moving to Ghana. Bye! His reasoning is less than compelling. “I don’t want to see my children’s children’s children have to say, ‘Oh please like me. Please respect me, please know that I am important, please value me.’ What is that?,” he told Oprah Winfrey. That’s what nobody has to say if they are likable, independent, ethical, productive and socialized.

Stevey is rich, so this is simply the equivalent of retreating to a tropical island for him, and presuming that his children will be provided with enough of his money that they won’t have to endure, like normal Ghanians, a society where the average citizen makes less than 3,000 a year. Good plan.

(I’m adding this to the Ethics Alarms clips group.)

The comments on Twitter, mostly from African Americans, are revealing and depressing. How much propaganda and false narratives does an African-American have to absorb to make him or her really think life is better in Ghana? Yet…

  • “We are all here wanting the same thing, and if we could all pack up and leave, there’s a lot of Americans that would go.’
  • “Most of us are tired of the Struggles in AMERICA, a nation where we continue trying to fight just to be given the Equality that we deserve.”

That one calls for another clip. Equality?

More:

  • “I cannot blame him, seeing what has happened to Black people in the U.S; this place were suppose to call home could care less about us.”
  • “Stevie articulated how I’ve felt living in America most of my life.”

4. I hate clickbait. Any website that says one thing in a link and delivers something else is dead to me, forever. If everyone adhered to this rule, the deceptive, insulting online practice would stop. Today a “sponsored” link said, “These are the shows Netflix has cancelled” and had a picture from “Ozark,” an entertaining and dark series that the Marshalls like. But when I clicked, the screen read “These are the shows Netflix has cancelled (or renewed)” and I was stuck in one of those traffic stats-inflating slide shows. Dead last after 25 clicks was “Ozark”—which has been renewed.

5. We have descended into some kind of Hell world where Steve Doocy’s son is the saving grace of journalism. (This is Glenn Reynold’s running gag line, but I couldn’t resist.) White House press secretary Jen Psaki is dim, dishonest and inept. That’s settled, and the job seems way, way over her head, much as it defeated Sean Spicer. (Worse, people have started picking up her annoying catch phrase “circle around”—if I ever use that, someone hit me from behind with a brick.)

Biden’s administration reopened the temporary Influx Care Facility in Carrizo Springs, Texas, to care for children who arrive at the border unaccompanied by a parent. The facility is capable of holding roughly 700 children. The same site was  closed in July 2019 Democrats and the news media kept referencing its function as keeping “kids in cages.”

During Tuesday’s press briefing, Fox News reporter Peter Doocy, (who has his job due to pure nepotism, as his father Steve is one of the stars of “Fox and Friends,” and Peter has always seemed like a cub reporter for a college rag), asked Psaki why the Biden administration was reopening the facility that had been condemned just a couple of years ago.

Psaki babbled that the policy of the Biden administration is “not to expel unaccompanied children who arrive at the border,’ and explained that pandemic protocols have reduced the capacity at existing facilities to hold migrant children, so this facility was reopened to accommodate the overflow.

But, Doocy reminded Psak, in the summer of 2019, when the prior administration operated this facility, then-candidate Biden accused President Trump of keeping kids in cages and Kamala Harris said the Trump administration was keeping “babies in cages” and committing a “human rights abuse.”

“How is this any different?” Doocy asked.

Well, it isn’t. Democrats and the news media didn’t care why the facility were being used; they just focused on the fact that children were there. Whether the reason was justifiable of not, the facility was criticized purely on the basis of its operation, not its purpose. So, naturally, all Psaki could do was try to draw a distinction based on the reason “kids were in cages.” Uh-uh. The previous criticism was absolute: if children are being held at the facility, it is per se inhuman. Jen?

“Let me be clear here, one, there’s a pandemic going on. I’m sure you’re not suggesting that we have children right next to each other in ways that are not COVID safe, are you?” she asked Doocy.

“I’m suggesting that Kamala Harris said that putting people in this facility was ‘a human rights abuse committed by the United States government’ and Joe Biden said, ‘Under Trump there have been horrifying scenes at the border of kids being kept in cages.’ Now it’s not under Trump, it’s under Biden,” Doocy said.

Exactly. Same facility. Same conditions for its detainees. Yet Psaki still claimed, “This is not kids being kept in cages.” This is a Jumbo. If the children in the facility  were “kids in cages” under Trump, then the children in the facility are “kids in cages under Biden. Doocy was right.

Gee, wouldn’t it have been nice if a reporter from somewhere other than Fox News grilled Psaki on this point?

19 thoughts on “Tuesday Ethics Torture, 2/23/21: Stevey’s Going, Peter Suprises, Ian Shrugs, And California Dictates…

  1. Re: #3:

    Looks like I need to pick the low hanging fruit:

    “I don’t want to see my children’s children’s children have to say, ‘Oh please like me. Please respect me, please know that I am important, please value me.’ What is that?,”

    Don’t worry, Stevie, you won’t see them say that.

    -Jut

    • This is a slightly different mutation. The American lefties who have so much love for their country that they want to leave it consistently say that they’re going to leave, but Ghana is a new one. What they’re usually saying is “I want to signal how virtuous I am by saying that I just can’t stand to live in a country as utterly bad as America, but I don’t want to interrupt my life too much, and I want to put the minimum effort in.”

      So where do they choose? Not Cuba or Venezuela, where they could fulfill the socialist dream of eating zoo horse. Not shitholes like Haiti, where you’ve got a fair chance of dying from sepsis acquired inside a hospital. Not even relatively similar societies like France, because these tend to be lazy and/or unintelligent celebrities, and learning a new language is over their conceptual limits. No, it’s Canada. Because we’re so bloody excited to take in America’s castoffs.

      Ghana…. Now, Ghana is a new one. One might take it to mean that perhaps he’d done some research and was serious. One might also point out that he could be pandering, and just blurted out a black-majority nation off the cuff. Me? I wouldn’t get too excited yet. Wonder has been saying he’s going to move there since the 70’s, and at some point the boy cried wolf, and it’ll take some blood smears to rebuild that credibility. Basically: Put up, or shut up. Wonder strikes me as the kind of person who likes the idea of moving to Ghana, but might not enjoy the experience too much past the honeymoon period.

  2. #3– I wonder if those who make these Twitter-things (tweets?) are actually confronted with a response along the lines of “What’s keeping you:?” This isn’t East Berlin in the ’70s; buy a ticket, jump on a plane and off you go. Money??? I bet there are many people who would feed a Go Fund Me for someone leaving, as long as there was a way to guarantee they actually used the money for that.

    In spite of the US being so racist and hostile and oppressive to POCs, there is a line a mile long to get in here, almost all people who look like those who are here and claiming to be oppressed…. What am I missing?

    #1– I’ve not heard of that guy who is “opting out” of baseball for another season. Is he really good enough to hold a spot for, or are they not Sounds like he quit. If he blows through his accumulated money then he should have to reapply and succeed in the try-outs.

    #5–I heard one of the Fox news-babes use that phrase today, without the slightest hint of sarcasm or awareness… Its gonna be a long year.

  3. 1. i stopped watching baseball when all those healthy jocks were terrified of a virus that kills people in nursing homes. Same thing with golf. Guys afraid to have caddies touch their clubs. Adios guys.

    3. I hope you’re starting a trend Stevie. Take Ilhan Omar back to Somalia. and Whats her name Tlaib to the West Bank or Gaza and AOC to Puerto Rico. And maybe Bernie Sanders to Russia. No white supremacists anywhere in any of those places. And why are people who are yelling about systemic racism shoulder to shoulder with people who want open borders. Shouldn’t some of those lefties be warning foreigners about the toxicity of the United States and telling them to stay the hell away?

  4. 3. Any American who thinks the conditions here are worse than in Ghana is not someone I want as a compatriot. Given that, I’ll buy a one way first class ticket to the first American who comes and tells me they guarantee they are not coming back, no matter what.

    • This is an interesting subject to me.

      The American Colonization Society was founded by abolitionists who felt strongly that persons from Africa and the Caribbean (and their descendants) should not be held as slaves. However, the feeling was that whites and blacks could not live side by side, for a variety of reasons, so the Society pushed for the emancipation of slaves and their departure from America.

      Practical considerations made this plan largely unworkable. While some returned to Africa, many slaves didn’t want to leave. Slavery or not, they recognized that the standard of living in the U.S. was better than where they or their ancestors had left. They no longer had much in common with the country of origin, having learned the language, the customs and converted to Christianity. For them, this country was now their home.

      During the Civil War, Lincoln suggested that the U.S. Government work with the seceded states to pay the slave owners to emancipate their slaves, effectively ending the reason for the war in the first place. When cautioned that this would be a huge expenditure, Lincoln reminded his critics how much the war itself was costing the federal government.

      How much does the federal government – via taxpayers – spend on the average person on welfare, food stamps and other free or reduced fee social programs? How much have those programs actually helped the African American community?

      Using Lincoln’s example as a template, wouldn’t a one-time travel expenditure to the African or Caribbean community of their choice be far less expensive in the long run than paying for decades of social programs for people whose children and grandchildren end up in the same programs?

      If there are people who don’t want to be here and cannot afford to leave, is it ethical to facilitate their voluntary – and I must emphasize here that it must be voluntary – removal to the third world country of their choice where they believe their lives will be better?

      In return, we would have to insist that such persons benefiting from this program would renounce their U.S. citizenship. This means no more voting, no more welfare, no more social security and no U.S. protection if they run afoul of local law enforcement or if their new country breaks out in revolution. They may come to the U.S. as visitors only after ten years residency in their new country and only for limited duration visits.

      I want to be clear – this is a Devil’s Advocate position. I am not suggesting this become U.S. policy or that any forced removal take place.

  5. “I don’t want to see my children’s children’s children have to say, ‘Oh please like me. Please respect me, please know that I am important, please value me.’ What is that?,”

    Is this because the dominant race in Ghana is Black? I thought the whole racism /white supremacy idea was that because whiteness comes from the dominant culture which is different from other cultures and surrounds them 24/7 they always feel second class. So apparently what some want is to be the dominant culture so that other cultures residing there feel second class. I would take this as a desire for Black Supremacy and thus Black racism can and does exist.

  6. I know people say that ‘slippery slope’ arguments are fallacies, but I can’t think of one involving the left that HASN’T happened in my lifetime. It may be a logical fallacy, but it seems almost a practical certainty. The ratchet only turns one way. When the ratchet only turns one way, the slippery slope is certain. Gun laws, free speech, abortion, government programs all only go one way.

    You might ask, “Why does the ratchet only turn one way”? The first reason is because of indoctrination. Why don’t we repeal the 1968 Gun Control Act? It was a law instituted to keep blacks from being able to buy firearms. Why not repeal it? We could then buy guns through the mail, import cheap guns, not require serial numbers on guns, etc. Most people would freak out, but we had that situation for a long time and were fine. Why not take suppressors off the NFA list? People would freak out even though lots of countries don’t regulate suppressors severely and don’t have any problems. People have been told ‘You can’t do that’ and they accept it without proof. Tycho Brahe couldn’t accept the idea that the earth could move because he was raised in a culture that believed Aristotle. He believed that the Earth was impure, corrupt, and heavy so it couldn’t move while the stars and planets were perfect, light, and made of aether. He believed it so fervently that he was INCAPABLE of believing that the Earth could move. We now have a generation that has been indoctrinated with ‘You can’t allow hate speech’. How do you think that is going to work out?

    Why don’t we abolish the Department of Education? You can show that the Department of Ed has only made education worse, not better. We did better without it. We have only year-year DECREASES in educational achievement since its inception. Why not abolish the EPA? We could take half their budget, distribute it as block grants to the state EPA’s and get better results. The EPA is actually HARMFUL to the environment. The list can go on, but you can’t do it because people have been indoctrinated into BELIEVING that these agencies do something beneficial and you can’t live without them.

    The second reason is that bureaucracies grow unless checked by market forces. Whenever we have a recession, companies find that they can eliminate entire departments with no or even positive effects on productivity and efficiency. During good times, administrative positions multiply until they consume most excess resources. Companies used to be 70% production/30% support, then it was 50/50, then 40/60, then bad times hit and they go to 60/40 and become profitable and more effective. All those extra people don’t just sit there, they find something to do, usually bothering others, micromanaging people, becoming more intrusive, and hurting productivity. Government bureaucracies have no market forces to check them. They just ask for more money. As they grow, they actually become worse at their job. That is why we have a huge, ineffective, and very expensive education system in this country. They aren’t teaching, are collecting taxes as if they are, yet they claim they need a bunch of money to restart? What are they doing? Well, they are delivering breakfasts and lunches to the students, running sports programs, promoting transgender ideology, etc. All those extra people find something to do and it is never good for the core mission. This is borne out by Price’s Law and that, by itself, portends the destruction of this country by the unchecked bureaucracy.

    With an indoctrination that says the leftist ideology is true and bureaucracies that are destined to grow to infinite size, slippery slope arguments regarding them will inevitably come true.

    • FWIW, the “slippery slope” is only a fallacy in formal logic, where “A leads to B leads to C” is only “true” if A always leads to B, and B always leads to C. In the real world, of course, we’re usually dealing with probabilities rather than absolutes, so such an argument can well be true most of the time if observation and data support it. Those who think yelling “slippery slope!” actually debunks a claim are providing their own examples of “a little knowledge is a dangerous thing”. Maybe that’s why it’s often employed by the generally ignorant gun control crowd.

      I like your analysis of bureaucratic growth. Good teachers I know have bemoaned for years the ever-increasing number of “administrators” whose main roles seem to be to justify their existence by burdening teachers with largely useless programs that eat their time and resources to the detriment of actually educating students (Helloooo “Dr.” Jill.)

  7. Couldn’t wait until Friday, sorry.

    Hillary Clinton just announced that she’s teaming up with acclaimed fiction writer Louise Penny to write her first work of fiction. The book, tentatively titled “If I Did It.”, will, according to Clinton, be “complete fiction, but draw from some of her life experience” detailing the career of a Secretary of State faced with the daunting task of rebuilding American leadership after years of diminishing influence abroad, as well as having to hide the bodies of her recently suicided political enemies, and keeping her crippling child-sacrifice addiction under wraps.

    The book will be available in October of this year. While it might seem unusual for a politician to team up with a fiction writer, this is actually precedented. Former president William Jefferson Clinton (no relation) co-wrote “The President Is Missing” with James Patterson in 2018. Following that up with “The President’s Daughter,” later this year, and “All aboard to Lolita Express” On August 10th, 2030, to memorialize the anniversary of his friend Jeffrey Epstein’s passing. 2030 because that anniversary would have had special meaning to Epstein, 11 being the preferred age of his sexual partners.

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