I have come to detest April Fool’s Day, and cultural developments have shown me that, as William Saroyan liked to say, “I’m right and everyone else is wrong.” Early in the history of Ethics Alarms, more than ten years ago, I dared to criticize—indeed, called unethical—a blogging criminal defense lawyer who falsely announced that he had taken on a new prestigious job (as I recall: it’s not worth checking what his exact lie was), and it was then reported as fact by the New York Times’ crack reporters. The announcement was an April Fool’s joke, you see, so my assertion that lawyers shouldn’t deliberately misrepresent facts, even on blogs, even in jest, even unrelated to cases and even on April First was set upon by the lawyer’s angry defense lawyer allies, who pummeled me here from all sides. I had, in fact, over-stated my complaint (Can you imagine ME doing THAT?), and I duly apologized to the lawyer. But his pals remained insulting and vicious, and I wasn’t wrong in the principle I was asserting. Professionals shouldn’t lie, ever. Even on April Fool’s Day.
1. Hart concedes. The rest of the story: Iowa Democrat Rita Hart announced late yesterday that she is withdrawing her demand that her loss in Iowa’s 2nd congressional district be overturned, so the House Committee on Administration will no longer be seeking a justification to do so. I wrote about the Democratic Party’s attempt to de-certify an election result after it proclaimed Republican efforts to decertify the Presidential election as “an insurrection” here. Apparently internal polls were showing that there are still some levels of perceived hypocrisy that the Democratic faithful won’t cheer on. That’s encouraging…
2. The concept at play here is “deceit.” I guess after having three straight Republican Presidents who couldn’t speak clearly, it shouldn’t be a shock that the GOP has allowed Democrats to get away with flagrantly dishonest language games. Still, the transformation of the term “voting restrictions” into something sinister is quite an accomplishment for the Blue team, as well as cynical and dishonest. Unless a nation is going to allow anyone alive on the planet to cast votes in its elections, “voting restrictions” are natural, logical and necessary. It’s the “restrictions” part that the pro-voting manipulation side has weaponized. “Restrictions” are baaaad. But the right, informative and descriptive word is voting qualifications. You have to be alive and living in the district where you vote: this is why voter rolls have to be purged of dead people and those who have moved away. You have to be a citizen, and who you say you are, which is why voting IDs are necessary. You have to register before elections, because otherwise vote harvesters will just pay large groups of poor, confused, bored or drunk passive citizens to the polls to vote as they have been instructed. You should have to vote in person, because all mail-in ballots, including early voting and absentee voting, create verification problems, and increase the chances of fraud.
I have neither the time nor functioning brain cells to delve into this issue competently here and now, but I would not find the imposition of other voting qualifications odious or unethical, including requirements of the minimal civic literacy we would expect of, say, a 12-year-old.
3. “CNN.” That’s about all you need at this point...In a NEWS article reporting on Kristi Noem’s exceutive orders issued after her veto of a controversial the Fairness in Girls’ Sports bill, CNN breaking-news reporter Devan Cole wrote that there’s no way to determine a child’s “gender identity” at birth. Now THAT’s news! All these centuries where if a baby had a pee-pee it was deemed a boy and if not it was a girl, a simple and direct formula that was accurate—what, 99.9% of the time?—was in fact a fallacy! Who knew?
The article is incompetent journalism, opinion-writing presented as fact, and blatantly deceptive. Try to count the unsettled assertions (or settled in ways the “reporter” doesn’t agree with) in the article. All of this is presented to ridicule the idea that declaring that males transitioning to females should not participate in girls’ and women’s sports is reasonable, and that the position is “transphobic.”
Is there any precedent for such a tiny and anomalous minority being elevated to such an overblown social issue, and with such grandstanding, virtue-signaling and dishonesty? I can’t think of one. (Incidentally, I know two transsexuals pretty well, both wonderful people for whom I wish all the best in life. They don’t scare me a bit, and I respect them completely. I still think it’s damn obvious that allowing former males to compete against women in women’s sports is nuts.
4. Here’s something else that I don’t understand at all…Read the summary of the oral arguments before the U.S. Supreme Court in the current case over NCAA restrictions on pay for college athletes. Law aside, isn’t this argument all about which rationalizations to use in defense of an ethically corrupt and irredeemable system? It’s unethical for schools to use athletes to acquire alumni support that has nothing to do with education. It’s unethical for schools to divert large funds that should be used for education to athletics, and to allow colleges to be compensated for serving as a cheap feeder system for pro football and basketball. The arguments in the current dispute amount to “We have no choice,” “Everybody does it!,” “We can’t stop it,” “It’s for a good cause,” “It’s not the worst thing!” and dozens of others.
Students should attend school to be educated. Non-educational activities should be secondary. Paying alleged students to engage in non-educational activities for a school’s benefit is corrupt and corrupting. If a kid is hired as a football player, then he shouldn’t get a degree that falsely certifies he was a successful student.
A good beginning to eliminating all of the misapplication of funds and dishonesty would be to ban athletic scholarships altogether. Tell me why that would be wrong, and “It’s racist!” will not be accepted.
As an aside, I really like the graphic accompanying the story at SCOTUS Blog:
5. Let’s see just how stupid Major League Baseball is. Democrats want MLB to remove the All-Star Game from Atlanta because Georgia passed a voting regulations bill that the party is lying about. If the sport allows itself to be used this way—I’m sure many players will boycott the game without having a clue about the law—many of them look for ways to opt out of it anyway—there will be no end to such manipulation., and baseball, of all sports, cannot effort to be seen as partisan. I’ll write a full post on this mess later.