Monday Morning Ethics Warm-Up, 3/1/2021: Soccer, Evasion, A Drunk Driver And A Rewind

That clip has nothing to do with ethics, but it makes me laugh every time I see it, and then makes me angry because John Belushi threw his life away.

1. Not that I need more reasons to avoid watching soccer, but the U.S. Soccer Federation’s National Council formally voted to repeal a policy that required players to stand for the National Anthem. That’s right: athletes representing the United States of America are now permitted to show disrespect for the nation they are representing while appearing in foreign countries, in which such useless grandstanding as taking a knee during the Anthem are meaningless and confusing to non-American audiences. At the Zoom meeting in which the vote was taken, USSF president Cindy Parlow Cone embraced Rationalization #64 (“It isn’t what it is”) by caliming that the policy repeal wasn’t in any way intended to disrespect the flag or the military. “This is about the athletes’ and our staff’s right to peacefully protest racial inequalities and police brutality,” she said. “So I urge our membership to please support our staff and our athletes on this policy.”

She’s an ignorant fool, or she’s lying. The team has no “right” to protest on the playing field, before or during games, while representing the United States. This is just more cowardly woke capitulation. Anyone who says they are protesting racial inequalities and police brutality should be asked to specify 1) exactly what inequality they are protesting, 2) what instance of police brutality, and 3) how their grandstanding accomplishes anything that substantively addresses the issues.

2. Regarding Donald Trump’s speech at CPAC…I don’t want to have to write all this stuff all over again. If Trump tries to make another run for the Republican nomination, or, worse, launch a third party bid, he will be causing incalculable damage to the nation purely to satisfy his own ego. Go back to the posts here when he announced his short-lived candidacy in 2012. This is one reason I am hoping he takes the route of running for a House seat to exact his revenge. He’ll do less damage there, and Andrew Johnson will have some company in the history books for returning to Congress after being impeached.

3. Signature significance proves itself again! About 250 January 6 rioters are facing serious charges, and since they all have been caught on video, there aren’t too many defenses, if any. Thus lawyers are trying a novel “The President made me do it!” argument. Attorneys argue in court filings that Trump gave the mob “explicit permission and encouragement” to storm the Capitol, thus creating “a viable defense against criminal liability.”

“It is an astounding thing to imagine storming the United States Capitol with sticks and flags and bear spray, arrayed against armed and highly trained law enforcement. Only someone who thought they had an official endorsement would even attempt such a thing,” these documents claim. Utter nonsense, indeed desperate nonsense, and it’s not going to fly. “This purported defense, if recognized, would undermine the rule of law because then, just like a king or a dictator, the president could dictate what’s illegal and what isn’t in this country,” U.S. District Judge Beryl Howell responded, “and that is not how we operate here.”

Conservative pundit Jazz Shaw writes, “[T]here’s something rather strange about a group of people so dedicated and loyal to Donald Trump that they would travel across the country to attend his rally outside the White House, now turning around and trying to throw him under the bus. People so dedicated to the idea of “stopping the steal” that they were willing to risk injury or death (in at least one case) to defend the President are now casting the blame on him in an effort to avoid jail time.” It’s not that strange. Anyone who would attack the Capitol and behave as these people did is, by definition, an asshole. It’s signature significance. I wouldn’t expect loyalty, honesty or integrity from such jerks. Their lawyers [Full disclosure: One was a Facebook friend), meanwhile, are taking about the only approach open to them, as bad as it is. Still, nothing is stopping their clients from refusing to be defended with such a despicable claim.

Shaw writes, “Even if you believe that Donald Trump wanted them to attack (absent any specific instructions in the speech to that effect), nobody can order you to break the law. Every one of the people who broke down those doors and entered the Capitol Building did so of their own volition.”


I also want to point out that the AP is still flogging the false narrative that a Capitol police officer was “killed” in the riot, writing in the story, “But the legal strategy has already been shot down by at least one judge and experts believe the argument is not likely to get anyone off the hook for the insurrection where five people died, including a police officer.”

No police officer died in or at the riot, and it was not an “insurrection.”

4. Hey, I just had a brainstorm! What we need is some new profession that reports the news without bias, distortion or editorializing! We have another example of how the two poles in the journalism world (admittedly one pole is ten times larger and more powerful than the other) can’t report events sufficiently fairly to allow the public to know what’s going on. GOP Senator Rand Paul’s tough questioning of Dr. Rachel Levine, the President’s nominee to head HHS, was portrayed as ignorant, bigoted and transphobic in the mainstream media, while the conservative media reported Levine’s answers as evasive and her agenda as extreme. However, some facts are unspinnable, or should be. Paul asked the nominee, who is trans herself, directly, “[D]o you believe that minors are capable of making such a life-changing decision as changing one’s sex?”

The required answer for anyone seeking her desired position is “No,” but Dr. Levine answered, “Well, Senator, thank you for your interest in this question. Transgender medicine is a very complex and nuanced field with robust research and standards of care…. if I am fortunate enough to be confirmed…I will look forward to working with you and your office.”

That is an obvious dodge, and an unacceptable one. Paul tried again,

“Do you support the government intervening to override the parent’s consent to give a child puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones, and/or amputation surgery of breasts and genitalia?…What I’m alarmed at is that you’re not willing to say absolutely minors shouldn’t be making decisions to amputate their breast or to amputate their genitalia.”

Indeed Levine was not. She again refused to answer, repeating the “thank you for your interest” dodge.

5. A “Do you know who I am?” episode! I love those! Hawaii Rep.Sharon Har “smelled of alcohol” during her drunk driving arrest last week.

Wait…what party is she in? The news source I’m reading doesn’t say, so that can only mean she’s a Democrat, and (checking…) she IS!

52-year-old Har yelled “Black Lives Matter” at officers after police saw her driving in the wrong direction down tthe center lane of a one-way street. The police report says Har “slurred” her speech and that he “could smell the odor of alcoholic beverage emitting from her breath and the interior of the vehicle.”

Har has made a name for herself with her work on toughening drunk driving laws. She refused to take a field sobriety test.

Another officer reported that Har “began asking if I knew who she is….[Har] then related that she was going to be the next governor but ‘this’ will mess up her plans.”

I sure hope so.

10 thoughts on “Monday Morning Ethics Warm-Up, 3/1/2021: Soccer, Evasion, A Drunk Driver And A Rewind

  1. 1. Au contraire, mon frere. Foreign fans won’t be confused at all. They are pretty much numb to this sort of baloney, I’m guessing. All English Premier League games (and I suspect all Continental games as well but we only get EPL games) begin with all the players on the field taking a knee as one and the announcers blathering something about racism. So this sort of stuff is all over Europe.

      • THAT’s another story altogether, Dr. E. Although I have to say, there seems to be much less flopping, at least in the EPL. I think the referees have been told to crack down on it and give yellow cards for it, so in large part, the really ridiculous flopping seems to be a thing of the past over the last few years. People still go down very easily in the area, but it’s just not as flagrant as it used to be, at least to my eyes. Of course, Manu Ginobili tried, with a great deal of success early on, to bring soccer style flopping to the NBA, but I think pretty soon it was stopped by the league. But for a while there, he was beyond ridiculous.

  2. On 3:

    Humble’s Law:

    “As a person’s positions on a topic become more morally absolute, the probability of that person being a hypocrite approaches 1.”

    This is a reverse Argument from Hypocrisy. When someone is arguing from Hypocrisy, they are saying “X is the rule, but everyone does X, so X shouldn’t be the rule.” These people are saying “X should be the rule, in fact, everyone who doesn’t do X is a subhuman monster, evil, and literally Hitler” before being found out as having not done X themselves.

    Examples of Humble’s Law in action are;
    -The droves of male feminists or “allies” particularly in Hollywood, academia, the media, and politics, who end up facing rape and/or sexual assault charges charges (Or who have Dr. Evil-esque buttons on their desk to lock their office door, lower their blinds, and turn their office into a sex dungeon).
    -The politicians who speak gravely about the horrors of racism and/or cultural appropriation that routinely wear blackface (Looking at you, Trudeau).
    -The Lockdown Authoritarians moralizing about how family gatherings and air travel are not safe, moments before walking up a tarmac to fly to their parent’s for Christmas. Or got caught at a spa, or defended getting a haircut, or went out to public events without masks, or or or.
    -The politicians who were morally panicked about gay sex, and pushed sodomy laws, getting caught up with male prostitutes,
    -And now: The anti-drunk driving crusader who’s Gubernatorial aspirations are being nipped in the hopps following a drunk driving charge.

    Humble’s law in long form is the understanding that as people get more and more preachy on their pet projects, they are more and more likely to have fallen short of their own ideals. And to be clear: That’s most likely what they’re doing. Falling short does not necessarily mean that X shouldn’t be the rule. To wit: Rape is bad. It is still bad even though all those Hollywood bobbleheads were telling the world how evil and misogynistic we were while they were taking part in casting couch culture. But perhaps the torchbearers for the anti-rape movement ought not to be closet rapists. Humble’s law makes no judgement on why the most moralizing of moralizers so often fall short of their aspirations, it could be in penance for the things they do and know are wrong, a sense of ethical accounting, an insidious thumb at society’s values, a genuine lapse in judgement, or one of a million reasons not listed here, Humble’s Law merely points out that it happens, and happens often enough to be noticed.

    Other possible names: “A Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing”, “A Rapist in a Pussy Hat”, “The Fourflusher’s Camoflauge”, “Clinton’s VOWA”, “Matt Lauer’s Exit Ramp”, (I could have fun with this)

    • Reminds me of various (I thought) closeted gay guys I’ve known who always made gay jokes without any provocation.

  3. #2 Trump said he will not be starting a new party at the CPAC speech, so that specific issue will not be a concern. He was coy, wondering who the ’24 Republican presidential nominee could be, meaning it could be him, but there was not explicit announcement. I personally would not welcome that development, and would like to see the line up that would be vying for the nomination. Trump would better serve his legacy by being a party influencer.

  4. Any update on Part 2 of the Pandemic Creates a Classic and Difficult Ethics Conflict?

    Anyone who says they are protesting racial inequalities and police brutality should be asked to specify 1) exactly what inequality they are protesting, 2) what instance of police brutality, and 3) how their grandstanding accomplishes anything that substantively addresses the issues.

    I have read the purpose was to make people uncomfortable to get them to care about these issues.

    Their lawyers [Full disclosure: One was a Facebook friend), meanwhile, are taking about the only approach open to them, as bad as it is.

    It was their ethical duty.

    While the juidge followed his ethical duty in denying the defense, tyhat did not it could not possibly work.

    After all, Ethan Couch got probation for “only” killing four people.

    I would sadly not be surprised if Nikolas Cruz was free within three years even if he was convicted.

    I totally understand why Fred Guttenberg wanted to meet Brett Kavanaugh during the confirmation hearings. It would have been wrong for Kavanaugh to meet with Guttenberg, as the former was being considered for a seat on a Court that could very well decide an appeal arising from the Cruz murder trial, and a meeting would undermine the appearance of Kavanaugh’s impartiality regarding the appeal.

    But I do understand Guttenberg’s desire to not want Nikolas Cruz to receive the same sentence Ethan Couch did.

    and I undeastand why the lawyers in this case would think their defense has at least as good a chance as winning on a snake eyes bet in craps.

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