Spring Clean-Up! Some Ethics Stories That Need Disposal Before The Weekend…

  • I have some major projects and stalled efforts percolating (Yes, Michael Ejercito, including that one!) so I need this post to make sure some interesting items don’t get left on the metaphorical rock…That’s my favorite Charles Addams cartoon above, and the only sad one he ever drew, I think. It was published well before this hit song by the Irish Rovers ( a really big hit in Boston), and I’ve often wondered if the cartoon inspired it. What do you think?
  • In the NYT workplace advice column “Work Friend,” Roxane Gay was asked by a reader about an office colleague who took up a collection to give condolence gifts to two fellow staffers who had lost their pets. Is this a common practice “in our pet-obsessed society,” she asked, or “is it, as I think, utterly bananas?”

This is, to begin with, an utterly bananas use of an advice columnist, assuming there is a good use. If that’s what she thinks, why does the writer need the confirmation of a stranger? Who is Roxane Gay, other than someone can’t spell “Roxanne”? The writer believes, obviously, in the “appeal to authority” fallacy, and is the kind of person who will tell you that her opinion is right because Charles Blow agrees with it. For the record, Roxane asked what was going on in the writer’s life that had her feeling so callous. In fact, this is an easy ethics call: the passwords are kindness and consideration. It doesn’t matter why a friend or colleague is emotionally devastated, or whether you would be as upset facing the same loss. The point is that your friend has suffered what he or she feels is a great loss, and the kind thing to do is to say, “I’m sorry. I care.”

It’s never occurred to me to send flowers or a card to someone who has lost an beloved animal companion, but thinking about it because of this column, I would have appreciated such a gesture after sweet Patience, our English Mastiff, had to be put down at 7 when her cancer became untreatable, or brilliant and brave Dickens, our first Jack Russell, who once saved our son from a malling by a larger dog, and whose heart and lungs gave out after 14 years, or Rugby, who for 16 years demonstrated how to love every living thing and who would sit on my desk with his head on my arm as I typed out Ethics Alarms posts. I can get choked up thinking about any of them still. It’s not “bananas” to be kind to someone suffering these kind of traumas. It’s called “being nice.”

  • What’s this? CNN is factchecking Joe Biden! Wow. I wonder if this is because he has been lying his head off so flagrantly that even that den of hackery is embarrassed. Moody’s Analytics estimated that the economy would add about 19 million jobs between the fourth quarter of 2020 and the fourth quarter of 2030 if the dishonest Biden infrastructure bill gets passed in comparison to 16.3 million jobs created over the same period if the infrastructure proposal does not get passed. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg claimed that the bill would create “19 million jobs.”  Wrong.  The infrastructure proposal itself adds about 2.7 million jobs to the Moody’s estimate. CNN’s Wolf Blitzer called out Buttigieg on the misinformation, and then the DOT head told the truth. Biden’s statement was pure deceit; the President said in a Friday speech: “Independent analysis shows that if we pass this plan, the economy will create 19 million jobs…” How many people hearing that will ask, “And how many will the economy create if “we” don’t pass it”? IIPTDXTTNMIAFB.
  • Who believes this? President Biden’s “border czar,” former Obama US ambassador to Mexico Roberta Jacobson,will, uh, retire at the end of the month as the crisis at the border, which the sworn-to-be-transparent Biden Administration denies is a crisis, appears to be out of control. An administration spokesman said her decision that the move is “consistent with her commitment at the outset to serve in the Administration’s first 100 days.”  And one heck of a job she did, too! Who signs on to a new administration for three months?  Let’s see…checking…yes, she’s not a “person of color,” so she can be safely fired.
  • Now THIS story, on the other hand, involves Yale Law School punishing a professor of color, indeed an Asian American, at the peak of “Asian hate” hyping, and it is not clear what she did that was so terrible. The professor retaliated with an accusatory letter to the campus yesterday. So far Old Eli hasn’t stated what she did. It appears to involve hosting social gatherings including students and other professors. Gee, I thought that was a good thing. Then there is Chua’s husband, Jed Rubenfeld, who is also a law professor at the school, but is suspended over allegations of  unwanted touching and kissing of students in the classroom and their home. Megyn Kelly, who is tweeting a lot these days, tweeted,

Whoa! Where did THAT come from? What’s going on here? I have no idea, but I’m sure it involves unethical conduct somewhere. Now, if I were Ann Althouse, I’d note here, as she now does after every post, that “there is no comments section anymore, but you can email me here. Unless you say otherwise, I will presume you’d enjoy an update to this post with a quote from your email.” But since I so often find the comments add details and perspective to the posts here,  it’s much easier for both of us if you just  post a comment. Right?

  • Though not like this one. Here’s an example from today of the kind of comments I moderate straight into “Spam,” on this post, for some reason…

EEEEEWWWWWW! Holy shite Lemon! Cover your ugly narcisssitic self up you CREEPY OLD MAN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  What a loser What a freak. So ugly and disgraceful. FU Don Lemon you liar phony puke mofukr. You have done so many evil things you PHONY. What an absolute disgusting sick freak, why don’t you go use your rich privilege to go grab another white man’s pee pee in a bar, don’t burden the world with your creepy skin you old degeneret rumored to like young boys…..quite pretending your’re normal… go f yourself creepo. WEIRDO FREAK!

I wonder why Ann Althouse gets tired of reading these things…

  • Now here is a misleading conservative media headline. See? It’s not just the New York Times!

Biden considering direct cash payments to illegals in Central America to stay home…

On the other hand, the real story, via Reuters, seems nuts..but that’s why I call this “The Great Stupid”:

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -The United States is considering a conditional cash transfer program to help address economic woes that lead migrants from certain Central American countries to trek north, as well as sending COVID-19 vaccines to those countries, a senior White House official told Reuters on Friday.


7 thoughts on “Spring Clean-Up! Some Ethics Stories That Need Disposal Before The Weekend…

  1. Regarding sending money to Central American countries: Why not save the wire transfer fees and simply wire the money direct to the Swiss or Singaporean bank accounts of the heads of those countries? Sheesh.

  2. Regarding the Don Lemon comment, did someone seriously dig up an 7 month old post to comment that idiocy? Why? No one is going to read the comments on a 7 month old post. Is that there some reason why people would want to post illiterate nonsense in old posts? It cannot possibly be to start a conversation.

    The internet amazes me, and worries me.

    • Well, I read the comments, because they arrive unconnected to the posts, in order of their posting, with anote in a column to the right telling me what post was the origin. Usually such comments are technical spam, either trying to get links to other sites on, or generated by robots. Here’s one from today, on a 5 year old post, from “Funcam Online”: “Hey! I’m at work browsing your blog from my new iphone 3gs! Just wanted to say I love reading through your blog and look forward to all your posts! Carry on the outstanding work!” But the one above had none of teh markers of spam. He’s just an idiot.

  3. I’ve received cards from relatives and friends on the deaths of both of my previous dogs. It was a kindness that helped during those difficult times. I have no problem with it at all.

    As for factchecking Joe Biden. It’s either
    A. Trying to prove they are trustworthy and unbiased when they are not. They’ll fact check some things, but not everything.
    B. Prepping us for when the Democrats sadly announce that the President is failing mentally and will need to step down.

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