Afternoon Ethics Delights, 4/6/2021:

The U.S. entered The Great War on this date in 1917, surely among the most disastrous decisions the nation has ever made. Unfortunately, almost all of the debate over whether we “should” have gotten involved in the seemingly pointless quarrel among the European powers is polluted by hindsight bias, consequentialism, and a disregard for moral luck. Yes, it’s true that The Great War led to a far worse one, and that Germany winning what became World War I probably would have kept Adolf Hitler painting houses. But that’s cheating: we can only assess the legitimacy of the U.S. entering the war on the basis of what was known at the time.

1. Baseball uniform ethics. Oh yeah, this makes a lot of sense. The Boston Red Sox uniforms have been red, white and blue for almost a century—perfect for the team’s annual Patriot’s Day game, which occurs in the morning so the crowd can watch the end of the Boston Marathon. Only Massachusetts, Maine and Connecticut celebrate Patriot’s Day, when Paul Revere (and his two friend) rode to warn the Boston suburbs that the British were coming in 1775.

Well, Nike is now pulling baseball’s strings (there is evidence that the company that employs Colin Kaepernick as a spokesperson helped push MLB into punishing Atlanta for Joe Biden’s made-up racist voting law claims), and part of its deal with the sport is that it will design new uniforms for many of the teams. Here are the uniforms the company thinks the Boston Red Sox should wear to celebrate Patriots Day, since those old colors just reflect the flag of the racist nation founded on the backs of slaves:

They look like eggs.

And of course, no red socks.

2. The rest of the story! Remember this post, about San Francisco’s lunatic school board declaring that one-third of the city’s school names, including those honoring Washington, Jefferson,  Lincoln, James Madison and both Roosevelts , Presidents Monroe, McKinley, Herbert Hoover and James Garfield; John Muir, the naturalist and author; James Russell Lowell, abolitionist poet and editor; Paul Revere,  Robert Louis Stevenson, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow,  Daniel Webster, and current California Senator and former city mayor Diane Feinstein must be replaced so as not to honor individuals who were, in the words of an over-acting character in “The Birds”,

Rendering the equivalent of Tippy Hedren’s slap to these idiots has been, well, just about everybody, from historians, scholars, parents, anyone with an IQ above freezing, and even San Francisco’s reliably woke mayor. Implementing the re-naming was also expected to embroil the city in litigation. So now, the school board, after pausing its grand cancellation project, is expected to overturn its decision after wasting a lot of time and money, and making the city appear even more absurd than it usually does, which is quite an achievement.

You would think that someone on the school board would have been sufficiently smart, competent, responsible grounded in reality to predict the fate of such a mass historical airbrushing. Nope!

This isn’t called The Great Stupid for nothing, you know.

3. Jen Psaki, who pledged to be transparent, submits her entry into the “Most Dishonest Question Dodge in White House Press Secretary History!

“Is the president going to change the way that he talks about the new Georgia voting law?” Fox News’ Peter Doocy asked Biden’s paid liar. Baby Doocy was obviously referring to Biden’s “Jim Crow on steroids” nonsense and his repeated claim that the law closed polls at 5 pm, which is not true.

“His view is that we need to make it easier and not harder to vote, and that will continue to be what he advocates for,” Psaki said. So Doocy was more specific, asking if Biden is going to back off of his previous false claim flagged by, among others, various left-biased factcheckers and anyone who bothered to read the law.

“The fact checkers will also tell you that this bill does not make it easier for people across the state of Georgia to vote, and that’s where he has concerns,” Psaki answered.

Really? Then why does he keep focusing on a false complaint like a 5 pm voting restriction that doesn’t exist?

CNN’s Kaitlan Collins then asked, “The President does acknowledge that the new law doesn’t change election day voting hours, right?”

“Well, it also doesn’t expand them for early voting and makes early voting shorter, so there’s a lot of components of the legislation he’s concerned about, and that’s what he was expressing,” Psaki said. “I think what’s important is to report on all the components that make it more difficult to vote in the package, in the legislation.”

No, in fact that wasn’t what Biden was expressing. What he was expressing was a blatant distortion of a feature in the law that expanded the time for voting, and what is important is that Presidents not lie to the public to create racial suspicion and division. Then he used that misrepresentation to call for a corporate boycott of Georgia. Major League Baseball’s despicable pulling of its All-Star game alone is expected to cost the state millions of dollars.

In an earlier presser, Psaki had also lied, saying that the law “standardizes the ending of voting every day at five, right? It just gives options. It gives options to expand it, right, but it standardized it at five. It also makes it so that outside groups can’t provide water or food to people in line, right?”

Wrong, and wrong. The law does not prevent people from giving water to those standing in line. It allows “self-service water from an unattended receptacle” and also allows anyone to give water or food to any voters outside the limited area around the polling place. It makes no sense to bar people from trying to influence voters in the area if they can broadcast partisan affiliations while giving away free food or drink.

Remember how Sean Spicer and Kellyanne Conway were mocked for promoting “alternative facts” regarding the crucial matter of how large President Trump’s inauguration crowd was?

4. I know, I know—polls, but isn’t this completely predictable? According to the latest Rasmussen Reports survey, 40% of likely voters say race relations have deteriorated under Biden. About 3% of respondents see no change, and 22% said race relations are better. Among blacks, 41%, believe race relations have worsened.

Commentators call this “surprising.” Why is it surprising? Blacks aren’t blind. An administration that is cheering on reparations and critical race theory in the schools while engaging in race-baiting and Black Lives Matter pandering will further divide the races.

5. Good for Gov. Abbott. The Texas Governor released a letter yesterday announcing that he will not support the politicization of baseball and therefore will not throw out the first pitch.“I was looking forward to throwing out the first pitch at the Texas Rangers’ home opening game until MLB adopted what has turned out to be a false narrative about Georgia’s election law reforms,” Abbott tweeted Monday. “It is shameful that America’s pastime is being influenced by partisan politics.”

Abbott attached a letter he addressed to Neil Leibman, president of operations and chief operating officer for the Texas Rangers, that stated that while Texas was proud to host the playoff games and World Series in the state last year, it would not seek to host any other MLB special events, including the All-Star Game.

Adding to his comments this morning on Fox, Abbott suggested that baseball’s executives hadn’t read Georgia’s law. I bet he’s correct. He was basing his assumption on American Airlines’ statement against a proposed Texas voting law earlier this month. The Texas-based corporation said,

“Earlier this morning, the Texas State Senate passed legislation with provisions that limit voting access.To make American’s stance clear: We are strongly opposed to this bill and others like it. Any legislation dealing with how elections are conducted must ensure ballot integrity and security while making it easier to vote, not harder,” the company said at the end of their statement. At American, we believe we should break down barriers to diversity, equity and inclusion in our society – not create them.”

Later, the company’s government relations representative  admitted that neither he nor the American Airlines CEO had actually read the legislation.

46 thoughts on “Afternoon Ethics Delights, 4/6/2021:

  1. 1. That’s just ignorant.
    2. They’ll just change the names later when no one is paying attention.
    3. So even CNN called her out? I hope Collins has plenty of money in savings.
    5. Why read it when we have Big Brother to tell us what it means?

  2. 2. You keep using that word….

    I really think “The Great Stupid” is just plain wrong. What’s going on is a slow motion, Marxist-inspired, relentless revolution. These people are playing the long game. Lefty intellectuals started this in the ’50s. They’ve been pushing it in colleges and universities ever since. The faculties of colleges and universities are now populated by second and third generation lefties. Graduates of these institutions are now filling up the staff positions at media through out the country and are even working their way into senior management. “The Squad” and “Justice Democrats” are the tip of the spear of this kiddie corps that is now entering congress. These indoctrinated graduates are filling up positions in all levels of government jobs, local, state and national. These people are even affecting corporate culture and working their way from human resources into really important management positions. Church leadership is filled with these people. Just look at the current Pope! Calling this takeover of and complete revision of American culture and values “The Great Stupid” is whistling past the graveyard. I’m not sure what the correct term is, but it needs to be sufficiently more malevolent than “The Great Stupid.” People are not all of a sudden waking up and being dumb. They are pursuing a nasty strategy. Some wittingly, others unwittingly. (There are a LOT of useful idiots out there these days.)

    • Great point OB. I want to stop using the term cancel culture and use a more accurate description such as segregationists or exclusion policy.

      • Thanks Chris. Coming up with benign names for nasty things is a standard issue Marxist/Communist tool. I’m just not very sanguine about this kind of stuff.

      • Chris Marschner wrote, “I want to stop using the term cancel culture and use a more accurate description such as segregationists or exclusion policy.”

        Let’s narrow it down to its ideological core, it’s…

        Vigilante Persecution

        • Works for me. I think though if we use the direct antonym for inclusion or integration it smacks them in the face with the fraudsters they are.

    • The recognition that this is the third and fourth generation of communist activists in the colleges is important. It explains why everyone now seems to be incompetent. When communist activists didn’t have complete control of academia, they were taught by people who actually knew how things worked and were taught useful information. Communism doesn’t work with reality, so this became a problem. As communists took control of entire departments, they devolved into pure ideology detached from reality. As more departments fell, this ideology became the controlling voice in the universities and took over all of administration and student life. It also made the fields incompetent.

      Let’s take the example of polling. Why can’t polling organizations seem to produce an accurate poll? My suspicion is that they don’t know how anymore. People figured out how to get polls that reflected public opinion pretty closely. Then, they found that polls didn’t just reflect public opinion, they influenced public opinion. Then it was time to ‘cook’ the polls, while passing the polls off as impartial. I remember reading that one poll claimed that people aged 18-25 in Columbus Ohio gave you an accurate representation of the opinions of the US. Well, that is just the Ohio State students and no it doesn’t. However, if you claim it does, you can pass your poll off as ‘impartial’. Now, when this was done, everyone knew it was hogwash. If you teach this to gullible college students and it comes from ‘respected’ polling researchers, they will believe it. They believed all the lies told about the methods used to skew the polls. The old pollsters are gone, all that is left are the pollsters and the bag of lies they believe. I don’t think they can make an accurate poll because everything they have been taught was designed to create inaccurate polls.

      Now, expand this to just about every field of knowledge. Look at Modern Monetary Theory, the philosophy currently running our economy. It holds that the government can never go bankrupt because it can just print more money. In it, the government is funded by printing money (borrowing) and the purpose of taxation is solely to further societal aims. You might wonder about hyperinflation, but MMT states quite clearly that increasing the money supply does not cause inflation, so there! If it does cause inflation, you can just redefine inflation so it doesn’t. BTW, we are changing the CPI again this year so that it reflects the FED’s assertion that we have 2% inflation. Using the original CPI, we have had 10+% inflation each year since 2008.

      …sigh. I just realized I started a post about lefty college professors and ended it with what is wrong with the FED.

      • I just realized I started a post about lefty college professors and ended it with what is wrong with the FED

        Thanks Michael. You’ve made my point, (as well as yours, of course). So ridiculous the CPI doesn’t seem to include home prices (or if it does, it doesn’t reflect them). Zillow says our neighborhood home prices are predicted to increase by ten percent in the next year. “Elephant? What elephant?” That guy Austin Goolsby says hyper-inflation is impossible. Well all right then! Nothing to see here. Move along.

  3. 1. Jeeze. Those allegedly Red Sox uniforms! Insane. Is this Charlie Finley’s revenge from the grave or something? One word: “Why?” What a travesty. Would any self-respecting rec league softball team want to be seen in those?

      • Sportscasters like to get paid. They’ll read anything that’s put in front of them by their employers. Hilarious. Surprised they didn’t end that comment with an “Okay Boomer!” Assholes.

  4. My understanding of World War I is still pretty limited, though I’ve been enamored with it for a few years now. Most of the books I’ve read focus on the months leading up to the war, and the first months of the war, as almost all the consequential decisions were taken in that time frame. But in my limited understanding, these are the factors that the United States faced in 1917:

    1. Germany had restarted unrestricted U-boat activity, which was now claiming hundreds of American lives

    2. Germany had made overtures to Mexico, trying to entice them into declaring war against the United States, with promises of supporting the reclamation of Texas, Arizona, and other territories.

    3. The Germans had not proved themselves to be benign. In order to achieve the grand vision of the Schlieffen Plan, Belgian neutrality (guaranteed by treaty between England, France, and Germany) had to be violated. Germany issued ultimatums demanding that Belgium simply let the Germans pass through unhindered, with the promise that Belgian territory would be returned to Belgian once France had been dealt with. But that promise was hardly trustworthy, given the Germans were already mobilizing and planning to violate Belgian territory before King Albert made his reply.

    4. The German retaliation against Belgium was nowhere in keeping with the civilized, sophisticated culture that Germans had been presenting to the world. The people that boasted of Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Wagner, and Strauss butchered Belgian citizens and burned libraries and museums. Suing for peace with people who have demonstrated barbarism like that was an uncertain measure at best.

    5. Destabilizing Europe left much of the world at risk of socialist revolutions, and Russia did see that occur later in 1917.

    In keeping with the tenets of Just War Doctrine, we can examine each point and see if they were met, given what people at the time knew.

    A. The threat has to be certain, lasting, and grave.

    B. Other means of reconciling the issue must be proved ineffective.

    C. There must be reasonable hope of victory.

    D. Fighting the war must not introduce greater evils than are being fought against.

    I would argue that, with the stubbornness of the parties involved, diplomatic resolutions to the Great War were not likely to succeed anytime in the foreseeable future. France, though its soldiers were undergoing a crisis of morale, would not surrender yet more territory to Germany. (The loss of Alsace-Lorraine in 1870 chafed them so much that they gleefully entered war with Germany with the intent of regaining that territory.) The British feared that Germany’s naval ascendancy would eclipse their prized fleet. And Germany looked poised to turn the tides of the war in its favor, and would not back down.

    The United States entrance in the war would provide the much-needed manpower for the Allies, and perhaps prove the crucial weight in the battle of attrition. (And in fact, when Russia withdrew, it was the manpower provided by the dough-boys that let the Allies hold on long enough to bring one of the crucial weapons against Germany that finally broke the trenches: tanks.) So there was reasonable hope of victory.

    The United States, as far as I know, had no diabolic measures planned that would introduce greater evils than the war was already producing, and there was hope that the United States would bring about an Allied victory and mitigate the harm that many believed Germany would inflict on Europe. So the fourth conditions seems to have been met. (The decision at Versailles to treat Germany as a defeated nation, rather than a belligerent that signed an armistice, and to inflict crippling demands for restitution, was probably a great evil, but that would be in the future.)

    That leaves the question of whether the problem of Germany was certain, lasting, and grave. I’m not sure that there was any certainty that a German victory would be dire for Europe. But there was evidence that it might be. As I mentioned, the way Germany treated Belgium was a possible warning sign that German hegemony over Europe might be disastrous. Kaiser Wilhelm suffered a great deal of envy of his British brethren, which led him to attempt to build a grand armada to challenge the navy of his cousin King George. He believe Germany to be surrounded by enemies on all sides, save for its southern border, where it only met with ineptitude. He was a ruler of uncertain temperament, vacillating on important matters up to the last minute. He promised support of Austria-Hungary against Russia and Serbia, but at the eleventh hour demanded his generals redirect troops for engagement with Russia only. When told that it was too late to alter the Schlieffen plan (it wasn’t) he caved and committed Germany to war with France. What would happen should he prove victorious over France and England was anyone’s guess, and it was as likely he would prove a cruel dictator as it was he would be content with territorial gains and a return to the status quo.

    Given the brutality that Germany displayed to Belgium, the envy of the Kaiser, the willingness to engage in unrestricted U-boat activity, the desire to provoke war between Mexico and the US, and the risk involved with betting on German benevolence, I think there are good arguments to make that the threat of Germany was certain, lasting, and grave. There are plenty of arguments against, I won’t deny. One argument that I do discount, though, is how Germany was not an existential threat to the United States. I’ll agree that it was not, but that is not required to satisfy the doctrine of Just War. Just as a victim being mugged in the alley is not a direct threat to me does not mean I’m unjustified in stepping in and defending the victim from the mugger. If the threat to Europe from Germany was certain, lasting, and grave, then the United States could justifiably choose enter the war against Germany even if the United States did not have much vested interest in the outcome.

    I now open myself to rebuttals from my betters who have vested far more time and study into these matters. In truth, I’d really like to hear the opposing arguments. I’m enveloped in an epic in which the United States benevolently stepped in and saved Europe twice and became the great savior of the world, and a little disillusion about that would probably benefit me quite a bit.

    • There is also the little known incident of the German spy ring in the U.S. that was responsible for the destruction of the Black Tom munitions depot. They also destroyed boats and used germ warfare against horses and mules that were being sent to the Allies. The United States was officially neutral and profited by selling supplies and arms to both sides for awhile.

      History focuses on the Zimmerman telegram and the unrestricted submarine warfare, but we don’t hear much about the spies that were trying to intimidate us.

    • Well, one thing I’d throw in was the huge egos of some of the leaders. As I wrote elsewhere:

      The real lesson, found in the beginning of WWI and what led up to it, is that too much success, unless it is reined in with wisdom, will inevitably undo itself when the successful overreach.

      Germany was a young buck among the nations of Europe in 1914. Not even 50 years had passed since the emergence of the Prussian Junker class (professional military officers who ranked just below the nobility, very powerful in an autocratic state) and Otto von Bismarck’s plans to unify the German-speaking peoples by “blood and iron.” In that time the emerging empire had beaten Denmark quite handily, deviled Austria into a war in which they beat them so soundly that the German-speaking world would never take it’s cues from Vienna again, and beaten France, formerly the premier military power on the continent, so badly that they shook it to its core and brought down Napoleon III. They’d also participated in the carving up of Poland like a roast that took it off the map completely.

      Like Spain in 1492, Germany stood astride the world in 1914 and the sky was the limit. Like the older empires they had to force a concession in the far east and take a slice of the Chinese pie. Like them they had to build colonies in Africa. Not content to have the best army in the world, they decided they had to have the best navy as well, and challenge the British for rulership of the seas, fueling the dreadnought arms race (a long story in and of itself). Although Bismarck himself stepped down upon the accession of Kaiser Wilhelm II (who had his own issues with feeling inadequate due to a crippled arm), no one stepped up to say that maybe Germany had won enough and acquired enough, and might want to slow down.

      So perhaps it comes as no surprise that the Kaiser decided, when what would otherwise have been a regional conflict between Austria-Hungary and Serbia erupted, to back Austria-Hungary completely, thinking he could extend Germany’s unbroken string of successes and extend his influence still further. He found otherwise, and the rest is history, history that destroyed four empires and gave birth to two of the most tyrannical ideologies ever to blight this world.

      The thing is, it wasn’t the first time a nation and a ruler that had known nothing but success a bit too long overreached, with some bad consequences both for themselves and others, and it wouldn’t be the last.
      There comes a time when one more word will detract from the story, one more twirl will take away from the dance, one more flower will mess up the arrangement. A wise weaver knows when the tapestry of success is complete, and doesn’t pull one more thread in the hopes of making it still better. If a foolish or arrogant weaver pulls the wrong thread, then we have a problem.

      Meantime, on the other side of the Atlantic you had Woodrow Wilson, himself an arrogant, patriarchal figure determined to impose his vision as far as he could. Prior to WWI he’d deployed the US military multiple times in the Western Hemisphere to teach the Spanish-speaking nations “to elect good men.” The thing is, Teddy Roosevelt, who’d acted much the same, had charisma, the ability to make others see things his way, and, most importantly, the ability to compromise and take half a loaf when the whole loaf could not be had, Wilson had coldness, arrogance, boundless self-certitude, and very little ability to compromise. Roosevelt also was poles better as a diplomat. Wilson initially wanted no part of the war in Europe, but, by the time he ran in 1916, he all but knew he was going to take the chance on getting involved so that the US could do more than “call through a crack in the door” (his words) when the shooting stopped.

      Given that “the rape of Belgium” was quite real and involved two years of cruel destruction and occupation, the Zimmerman telegram, and the resumption of unrestricted submarine warfare, it was not that hard to get Congress to declare war. It seemed to be lost on most people that they had reelected him only about six months before on the grounds that “he kept us out of war.”

      You know the rest: the initial stumbles, the collapse of Russia, the race between the German armies coming west and the Americans arriving in force, the failure of the last German offensive, and the defeat one by one of Germany’s allies. You also know Wilson’s bullying attempt to impose the League of Nations and his vision, his bullying attempt to impose the Treaty of Versailles on Congress, and finally his isolation, with few allies anywhere, and the disabling stroke that left him unable to do much. Perhaps also this was a product of too much success and overreach. I don’t doubt things would have played differently with the peace of 1918 if Wilson had adopted a different approach.

      Did the US save the world in 1917-18? Not really. It tipped the scales on the Western Front to prevent a victory by a bullying rising German Empire, but the victories in Syria and Palestine that took the Turks out of the war were mostly British, and the victory at Vittorio Veneto that made the Austro-Hungarians sue for peace was mostly by the Italians, with some able help from the British. It then lost the peace, not only leaving the Germans simmering with anger and receptive to Hitler’s blandishments, but breaking up otherwise stable governments and cobbling together nations that wouldn’t last (Yugoslavia, Czechoslovakia), creating winners and losers so there were new grievances, and oh yes, leaving the Turks to run wild in the worst ethnic cleansing to date and the Soviets to commit the biggest democide to date and lie about it.

      The fact is that the US had always dealt in small successes to date, in which there were not very great dangers if the success later didn’t hold. However, to use a firefighting 🚒 analogy, it’s easy to knock down a small car fire or an isolated campfire that’s not near too many other combustibles, and the consequences of not doing it very well are not that great. It’s a whole other story to douse a skyscraper or factory fire, and once you’ve knocked down the main fire, that’s just the beginning. You still have to overhaul the place, pulling down ceilings, opening walls, and making sure there are no occult fires or sparks that could flare up again🔥 once you leave the scene. I don’t think Wilson, or the American people, grasped that, and they weren’t willing to do the hard, but non-sexy and sometimes ethically murky, work of building a workable peace.

      • Steve-O,

        Thanks! One particular detail I had read about, regarding Germany and Austria-Hungary, was that in several past events, Germany had decided not to back their alley, and with the assassination of the Archduke, Germany felt compelled to to assist or lose Austria-Hungary as an ally. Given the German concern of being surrounded by enemies — France to the west, Russia to the East, even England across the channel, though Wilhelm never really believed England would really side with France in a conflict — to alienate Austria-Hungry would make the encirclement complete.

        Of course, the threads pulling Europe into its self-immolation were so numerous that people keep writing books and concocting theories about who really bore the brunt of the blame. Germany’s preoccupation with being taken seriously as an empire on the world stage, the forming of the Triple Entente because England was starting to feel insecure without any allies of its own, the decay of the Ottoman Empire that left the Balkans an unstable mess, the Russian shame after Japan defeated them soundly that led them to bolster their military, the numerous military plans all the great nations formed in case of war with their exacting timetables, France’s bitterness over Alsace-Lorraine, domestic problems in Austria-Hungary, and on and on…

        • And it did not help that the Kaiser was unstable and had held long-term grudges against the English because of his conflicted relationship with his relatives in the Royal Family. Once his grandmother, Queen Victoria, died in 1901, the tenuous connection with his uncle, King Edward VII, grew precarious and came to a head with his cousin, King George V.

    • “The United States, as far as I know, had no diabolic measures planned that would introduce greater evils than the war was already producing”…well, there is THIS: Recent research indicates that Wilson irresponsibly sent thousands on soldier infected with the Spanish Flu overseas to infect the rest of the world, killing millions.

      • Was that to deliberately infect the rest of the world, or just indifference to the epidemic? If the former, that would certainly alter my analysis. But if the latter, I’m not sure it would. If we’re trying to make an analysis without hindsight bias, then I’d have to conclude that if Wilson simply didn’t care he was shipping sick soldiers overseas, that wouldn’t impact the justification for the U.S. entering the war. It would only show that the ensuing execution of the war effort suffered from idiocy from its leaders. But the flu was meant as a biological weapon, I would say that having such and unethical plan from the beginning would have invalidated any justification for U.S. entry into the war. That would be introducing an evil as great as that being fought against, and I think it would also cripple the likelihood of winning the war. Who was more likely to suffer, Germany or the Allies sharing trench space with infected American soldiers?

  5. Once a political party figures out how to use overly powerful corporations, including sports, games, and entertainment, as tools to get the legislation it wants…I think we’re near the end of the American Experiment. It was a good run.

    • If the American people are ok with that, THEN we’re in trouble. Ironically, in the aftermath of 2008, some media figures, including a certain superlefty cartoonist who I won’t mention here by name, said it was time to outlaw the Republican Party, just like they outlawed the Nazi Party in Germany and the Communist Party in Russia (not true, although the old party no longer exists, there is a successor Communist Party there that adheres to the same ideals, but I digress), because it had messed this nation up so badly and done so many wrong things. Not that I defend GWB or the GOP of almost 20 years ago unconditionally, but they did not foment racial division, use criminals as militia, try to strip individuals of the ability to defend themselves and communities of the ability to police themselves, sell major legislation with lies, or use big companies to work around the Bill of Rights. Who should be outlawed again?

    • And kids, what do we call it when a political party unites Corporations and Government into a single monolithic force?

      Say it slowly, it’s called Fascism.

      Well done democrats, like all fascists before you, you’ve successfully denigrated your political enemies as being exactly what you are in order to foment the masses against them and gain power yourselves.

      Well done.

      Looking at you deery…Beth…charlesgreen…other evacuated leftists.

  6. #5 So American Airlines was caught red handed parroting fake news propaganda for the purpose of signaling their virtue to the American people. Major League Baseball is currently boycotting the State of Georgia because the fake news propaganda is openly lying about a bill in the state and MLB needed to signal their virtue to the American people. The list of companies signaling their virtue to the American people is growing all the time. Who knew that this kind of blatantly open virtue signaling had crept into companies across the USA? Oh wait…

    These… kinds of choices are being made for the same kinds of reasons every day all across the United States. It’s there in the news, it’s there in the newspapers, it’s there on the streets, it’s in the school systems, it’s in the police departments, it’s in the government, it’s in the businesses, it’s in the store fronts and it’s in the home – all you have to do is pay attention. The choice is a preemptive one to protect businesses and individuals from the irrational emotional perceptions of morally bankrupt stupid people that use their blind ignorance to destroy others and it matter not how illogical, irrational, emotional and morally bankrupt their justifications are; they have shown that it’s a power they will wield and our society is making decisions based on that fact. These “stupid people” know that there is no way to publicly defend against hordes of virtue signaling people screaming RACIST at the top of their lungs in the physical or virtual public square, even if they’re wrong you can’t prove you’re not a racist, it’s trying to prove a negative.

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, progressives and social justice warriors have already won the battle of the minds; either a vast majority of the population is willfully consumed by the social justice bull shit or they are in literal fear of it; therefore, our society is screwed. Progressives’ social justice intimidation tactics have won the day.


    Companies signaling their virtue is becoming so routine now that social justice warriors are expecting companies to to it – or else. Truth and facts be damned.

    This social justice cancer is brainwashing the population of the USA and turning us into a hive mind cult.

    This is not defeatist, this social war is our new reality.

  7. Why have you not finished Part 3 of the Pandemic Creates a Classic and Difficult Ethics Conflict?

    You would think that someone on the school board would have been sufficiently smart, competent, responsible grounded in reality to predict the fate of such a mass historical airbrushing. Nope!

    I will paraphrase my longtime Usenet ally, Christopher Charles Morton.

    All of the schools should be renamed after Pokemon, Super Mario and Spongebob characters. At least that way the whole thing would be treated with the seriousness that it merits.’

    Later, the company’s government relations representative admitted that neither he nor the American Airlines CEO had actually read the legislation.

    With all this handwringing over Georgia’s voter laws, it is important to consider what they are not wringing their hands over.

    Here is New York City.

    In which case, perhaps we ought also to take a look at New York City’s gun-permitting process, which not only requires individuals who wish to buy a firearm to go through the apparently devastating process of obtaining an acceptable ID but also to provide separately a proof of residence, a proof of citizenship or permanent residency, and a Social Security card; to pay $431.50 plus the cost of two color photographs; to wait an average of eight months for the application to be processed, and then attend a lengthy in-person interview; and, if the applicant has not lived in the United States for seven years (and many immigrants can become citizens after just three years, remember), to provide a certificate of good conduct from their foreign government. Pray, how does that fit into the mix?

    Then there is Chicago, which, in addition to strict gun control laws, has had a century-long track record of political corruption, police brutality, and systemic racism.

    Where is the handwringing?

  8. #1 – White and yellow are perfect colors for new uniforms in the new woke MLB. White is for capitulation, yellow is for cowardice.

  9. On 2:

    From the original post:

    “Read (if you dare) the spreadsheet in which the board explains its justifications for dishonoring so many individuals without whom the nation would literally not exist, Not only is the thing riddled with typos, misspellings, grammar mistakes and factual errors, it shows a group responsible for educating the city’s children that itself lacks minimal critical thinking skills, historical perspective, and the sense God gave a lemming.”

    That spreadsheet is a dead link, I’m sure the board removed it… Did anyone manage to snipe a copy before it got dusted?

    On 3:

    “The law does not prevent people from giving water to those standing in line. It allows “self-service water from an unattended receptacle” and also allows anyone to give water or food to any voters outside the limited area around the polling place.”

    So…. The law prevents people from giving water to those standing in line. This remains my biggest gripe about the law. America’s election system is objectively shit. Your election cycle is a circus, it is years long, you never put adequate resources into it, and people, particularly people in urban centers, often spend their entire day waiting in line. Jack, you have delivered diatribes on here about the ethics of making customers wait in line for egregious amounts of time. This is worse. Despite that, a significant portion of Americans actually go through the process and manage to cast a ballot.

    In Canada, we drive up to the polling station. We walk in. There’s a row of tables sorted out by last name. We present our Driver’s license, they check against their records, if they find you, they mark you as having voted, hand you a ballot, and someone shows you to a booth, you mark your ballot, walk out, deposit it in the box, thank your elections worker, and walk out. I have never, in my entire life, having voted probably 50 times, between federal, provincial and municipal elections and by-elections, taken more than 10 minutes to vote. The one time it was close, I had just moved and wasn’t on their records, they needed two pieces of delivered mail, and the driver’s license with the updated address, failing that, I could have brought along someone I’d known for two years to affirm my residency. I don’t *need* food or water.

    The fact that there are people on humanitarian missions to the polling lines is more indicative of a problem than anything else, and preventing the distribution of food and water, not the campaigning, but the handout, is callous to the point where I’m left thinking that the cruelty is the point.

    • “So…. The law prevents people from giving water to those standing in line. ”

      Actually, it doesn’t. You are allowed to give food and water if they are not directly in front of the polling place. This is to prevent campaign workers from bringing pizza and providing it to people in the hopes of gaining their vote. Nothing prevents a voter from bringing food and water on his or her own. Nothing prevents a non-campaign worker, like a friend or relative, from bringing food and water to a person in line.

      “In Canada, we drive up to the polling station. We walk in. There’s a row of tables sorted out by last name. We present our Driver’s license, they check against their records, if they find you, they mark you as having voted, hand you a ballot, and someone shows you to a booth, you mark your ballot, walk out, deposit it in the box, thank your elections worker, and walk out.”

      That’s exactly how I vote each and every time – except that we use computer scanners, not ballot boxes. I’ve only waited more than 10 minutes two or three times in the 30 plus years I’ve been voting. I live in the 13th or 14th largest city in the United States.

      Also, you have to show your ID. Do you think that’s reasonable? Because the Democrats and their allies in the news media and the entertainment industry (as well as, apparently, Corporate America) think asking for ID to vote is racist…even if white people also have to show ID to vote.

      If people have problems getting IDs, then there should be changes made there so that they can get valid IDs more easily, rather than eliminating ID requirements. I would also support legislation to make Election Day a holiday. It would be interesting to see how many more voters actually show up at the polls instead of taking off to a movie and a bite to eat.

      • “Actually, it doesn’t. You are allowed to give food and water if they are not directly in front of the polling place.”

        You can continue to pussyfoot around the fact that the law absolutely does prevent people in those lines from being given food and water all you want, it won’t change the fact that the law does, in fact, actually prevent people from being given food and water. Nothing you said changes the that:

        1) There are lines that are stupid long.
        2) They’re so long that feeding and watering people while in line isn’t unreasonable. and
        3) This law makes that harder.

        If your system is so fucked up that you think people could buy votes with bottles of water, then maybe you have bigger fish to fry than the water-giver-outers.

        “Also, you have to show your ID. Do you think that’s reasonable?”

        AM…. Neither of us are new here. I’m ABSOLUTELY on record in saying voter ID is reasonable. I don’t care what the Democrats say.

    • “So…. The law prevents people from giving water to those standing in line.”

      Why are you playing THAT game? It does not prevent all people from giving water to voters in line, and it does not prevent people in line from getting water. You’re enabling material misrepresentation with this kind of deceitful argument. Having campaign workers give anything of value—even water—to potential voters is potential illicit influence, and correctly forbidden. Bill Clinton went down voter lines in 2016 shaking hands. He broke the law, but he got away with it. The false narrative would be that the mean law prevents “people” from “being nice” to those in line to vote. No, just “people” affiliated with candidates and parties….who should have no contact with voters whatsoever once they enter the voting space. Which is what the Georgia law mandates.

      Come on.

      • “Why are you playing THAT game?”

        ….Why are you? I’m going to parse this fully…. And we can get as semantic as you want, but once we all know exactly what it is we’re talking about, the base fact pattern is that this law does prevent people from giving other people water while in line. Sure, with some exceptions, caveats and asterisks, but it still leaves you in the egregiously absurd place of arguing in favor of a law that prevents you from giving your neighbor water, if you both happen to be in line next to eachother. Nothing you say changes that. It’s a stupid fucking law. And if you wanted to prevent campaigning at polling stations, which was already illegal, then maybe you should argue that the law already on the book be given more teeth, or that it be enforced. Going after people distributing water is… There are no words. It’s fucking dumb.

        “It does not prevent all people from giving water to voters in line, and it does not prevent people in line from getting water.”

        See above. The only people that CAN give people in water as per the new law are polling workers, and lets be real: They belong to an organization that created the problem to begin with, expecting them to be the solution is novel. And sure, someone COULD leave the line to get water… But then they’d have left the line, and God knows how far away water is. “Do I leave my place in line to go to the 7-11 next door and lose the spot I’ve waited 4 hours for, or do I pass out from dehydration? Fuck me, American elections are so fucked, I should have packed a lunch. What an idiot I am. No no, fellow human being, you can’t give me water, that’s illegal!”

        “You’re enabling material misrepresentation with this kind of deceitful argument.”

        Show me where I’m wrong.

        “Having campaign workers give anything of value—even water—to potential voters is potential illicit influence, and correctly forbidden. Bill Clinton went down voter lines in 2016 shaking hands. He broke the law, but he got away with it. The false narrative would be that the mean law prevents “people” from “being nice” to those in line to vote. No, just “people” affiliated with candidates and parties….who should have no contact with voters whatsoever once they enter the voting space. Which is what the Georgia law mandates.”

        As you point out: Campaign workers handing out anything of material value or campaigning at the polling stations was already illegal. So does this law MERELY make it double-illegal to do what was already illegal, or does it make new activities illegal? And if it makes new activities illegal, what are those activities, and why ought they be illegal?

        You know I’m right, why are you being like this?

        • The law specifies that water is included among the things campaign workers can’t give out:

          SB 202, March 25: (a) No person shall solicit votes in any manner or by any means or method, nor shall any person distribute or display any campaign material, nor shall any person give, offer to give, or participate in the giving of any money or gifts, including, but not limited to, food and drink, to an elector, nor shall any person solicit signatures for any petition, nor shall any person, other than election officials discharging their duties, establish or set up any tables or booths on any day in which ballots are being cast:

          (1) Within 150 feet of the outer edge of any building within which a polling place is established;

          (2) Within any polling place; or

          (3) Within 25 feet of any voter standing in line to vote at any polling place. These restrictions shall not apply to conduct occurring in private offices or areas which cannot be seen or heard by such electors.

          (e) This Code section shall not be construed to prohibit a poll officer from distributing materials, as required by law, which are necessary for the purpose of instructing electors or from distributing materials prepared by the Secretary of State which are designed solely for the purpose of encouraging voter participation in the election being conducted or from making available self-service water from an unattended receptacle to an elector waiting in line to vote.

          Making available “self-service water” does not prohibit, in my reading, a poll officer from acquiring “self-service water” from said unattended receptical and giving it to a voter in need. As is often the case, it is a badly written statute, but since the whole thing is under “soliciting votes,” the context makes it clear that providing water that does not involve “gifts” (like plastic water bottles) is NOT prohibited.

          That’s how the law was intended, and that’s how I am certain it will be interpreted for enforcement purposes: a poll worker who brings a little old lady a cup of water will not be seen as violating the law, because that isn’t the purpose of the statute. “Making available’ is broad enough to cover that act. Do you doubt it?

          Moreover, having myself asked to leave the line to get something (though not water) and never had my place in line denied when I return, the “Unattended” water source is going to be practical and reasonable.

          Then, of course, we have the issue of why the water rule is “Jim Crow.”

          I apologize for my reaction, but I’m pretty sick of the use of general language to muddle issues. No poll worker who brings water from an “unattended receptacle” to a voter in need will be deemed to have violated the law. I guarantee it. Most laws require reasonable interpretations. “People” in this law does NOT mean “all people,” it means “people who have no business giving anything to voters.” That is not “sick,” and it is not “racist,” and therefore the attack on it is not honest or reasonable.

          If one wants to argue that the law should have been drafted more clearly, that’s fine, but it isn’t any of the President’s business, nor MLB’s, nor anyone other than Georgia citizens.

          • I think we’re in absolute agreement on that last paragraph.

            When the law first came out, I made a similar comment… parsing the law by how it was being characterized; Even when lying, not all of the changes that were on the books seemed bad, some seemed downright necessary. And in the week or so since, we’ve had time to parse and compare the law to other states. It bears note that literally nothing in that law puts a greater burden on voters than New York, as the perfect example already has in place. MLB took the game out of Georgia because it disagreed with their election laws and moved to…. Colorado, with, again…. objectively more restrictive laws. It’s all performative, and I get why it’s tiresome.

            But even when I was making the first comment, the water thing seemed exceptionally stupid and petty to me. It remains so. You’re probably right in that the rules probably won’t be used in the most absurd way possible, but I’ve learned never to underestimate the petty viciousness of small minded tyrants. I see it as an unnecessary rule that could either 1) never be used or 2) only be used poorly. And it fails to see the forest for the trees. Make elections like they are elsewhere in the world: With polls that move fast enough that voters don’t need water.

            • One thing to keep in mind is that long lines and lengthy waits are a function of local decision makers not State legislators or Governors. The state may provide some funding but the number and location of polling places is determined in the political subdivision.

              If DC, Chicago, Baltimore or Detroit have long lines the blame belongs to the decision makers in those jurisdictictions.

              I have only ever waited in line on November 11 2020 because the powers to be limited polling places due to covid.

            • And I agree with you on all counts, there. Yes, there are petty people in the world who might take the law to its absurdist extreme.

              • Not this law, though. A single episode of a poll worker bring someone a cup of water being prosecuted would be a PR disaster and get the officials involved fired. Being cynical is justified, assuming laws will be deliberately abused is just an excuse not to pass laws. Prosecutors have discretion, and should be expected to use it.

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