Saturday Morning Ethics Warm-Up, 4/17/2021: No Good, Good, Good, No Good, and Good

Some baseball ethics notes in italics, since a lot of you don’t care:

  • The Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport (TIDES) issued Major League Baseball an overall grade of C+ , with a B+ for racial hiring and a C for gender hiring. (There was nothing about competency and qualifications hiring, for some reason.) The report also praised MLB’s decision to pull the All-Star Game from Atlanta, proving that the organization is a partisan political group using “diversity” as a prop. Baseball should pay no attention to TIDES whatsoever. It is the Southern Poverty Law Center of sports.
  • There was a wonderful example of why baseball needs robo-umps in Wednesday’s game between the Red Sox and the Twins in Minneapolis. At a critical moment in a tie game with the bases loaded for the Twins, Sox pitcher Matt Andriese struck out the last Twins batter for out number three, ending the threat. The umpire, however, said the ball had been fouled into the dirt before bouncing into the Boston catcher’s mitt. The video showed that the bat had missed the ball by several inches, and no foul had occurred. When Red Sox manager Alex Cora came out to protest, the home plate umpire, also the crew chief said, “There’s no way I’ll be over-ruled on that call.” What he apparently meant was that the other three umpires would back him up even though he was obviously wrong, and after briefly caucusing, that’s what they did. Cora was thrown out of the game. Luckily for the umpires, Andriese struck the batter out with next pitch, so the mistake and cover-up didn’t matter. Moral luck!
  • Also Twins related: Twins shortstop Andrelton Simmons issued an articulate tweet about why he was declining to be vaccinated like his teammates, after considering the risks. He tested positive 24 hours later. Also moral luck!

1. NOW you’re telling us???. At 6:57 pm on April 15, I stumbled across this:

Americans still need to file their taxes by tonight at midnight, even though the IRS last month delayed the main deadline until May 17.

The exclusion mostly affects freelancers, gig workers and self-employed individuals, as well as those with small businesses including sole proprietors, partners and S-corporation shareholders. More than 9.5 million returns included estimated tax payments during the 2018 tax year, according to the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, an industry group.

The due date marks a change from last year, when the IRS extended the tax-filing deadline from April 15 to July 15 for individual returns and payments and eventually delayed the deadline for the first of four estimated payments until July 15 as well. But there was a catch: The agency did not push back the remaining three scheduled payment dates, meaning taxpayers had to make two quarterly payments on July 15.


Freelancers, gig workers and self-employed individuals—you know, like ME. Such details shouldn’t be left in the fine print: I had no idea that this was the requirement in 2021. All the news media stories just said that “tax day” had been pushed back to May 17.

2. Cognitive dissonance tales. Good, now I can watch Jennifer Lopez movies again. The talented and apparently ageless dancer/actress is no longer engaged to Alex Rodriguez, a certified ethics villain. On my scale,

Jennifer is at least in positive territory, while A-Rod, a proven cheater and probably a sociopath, is around negative 6,789. Jennifer lost some ground by even having a fling with the creep, but now that she’s seen the light, I won’t automatically avoid her movies.

3. Also goodAt Prince Phillip’s funeral, Prince William refused to walk next to his jelly-spined, family-betraying brother, Prince Harry, who participated in his Diana-wannabe wife’s suggesting that their late grandfather was a racist as the family scion was on his deathbed.

4. Why are they rewarding this guy? Colton Underwood starred on both “The Bachelor” and as a love interest of “The Bachelorette.” Now he is saying he was gay all the time. He told “Good Morning America” that he had been in denial, of course—getting paid a lot of money to fool people on two reality TV shows will do that—but deep, deep down, he knew he was gay, and had known since childhood.

In other words, both shows were frauds, ongoing lies to sell ads. When Underwood was “The Bachelor,” he chose the lovely Cassie Randolph, as his forever soulmate, but never got engaged–I wonde why?—and had a disturbing breakup. So in addition to Cassie, millions of Americans, admittedly with the entertainments tastes of the brain injured, watched week after week based on false pretenses. Why isn’t this the equivalent of the 1950’s quiz show scandal, when audiences learned that the popular shows were rigged? At very least Randolph should be a pariah, but no! He played victim on GMA, talked about his tortured life in “the closet,” and even said that he considered suicide. Poor thing! So now he is apparently being considered for a starring role in a gay spin-off of “The Bachelor.”

After which Colton will probably announce he’s trans for another payday.

If lying is this profitable, I don’t know what I’m doing with my life.

5. Then again…The U.S. Military Academy at West Point has eliminated a controversial 2015 policy dubbed “The Second Chance” program that provided a second chance to cadets who violated the honor code. The program provoked strong criticism by alumni and others in December of last year after officials disclosed that 73 cadets had been accused of cheating on a calculus exam. The program, officials said, had “not met its intended purpose” of increasing the self-reporting of honor code violations. As a result, the statement said, being expelled will now be “a potential punishment for any honor violation.” 51 of the cadets who were accused of cheating last year will have to repeat a full year at the academy. Two others must repeat half a year, and eight of the cheating cadets will be expelled.

17 thoughts on “Saturday Morning Ethics Warm-Up, 4/17/2021: No Good, Good, Good, No Good, and Good

  1. “why baseball needs robo-umps”

    I think “robo-ump” usually refers to automated ball-strike calls. I think what you describe would be an extension of the current instant replay system to foul tips.

  2. 4. “Coming out” always entitles anyone to adulation.

    5. So, sixty-five cheaters are on their way to becoming Army officers? If 73 cadets need to cheat on a calculus exam, what are they doing at the academy? Why is it required? If the second chance program has been scrapped, why are sixty-five cheaters being retained? I’m confused.

  3. 2. Does this mean that annoying woman softball player in the tacky dresses will be kicked out of the broadcast booth with ARod?

  4. 4. He is being rewarded because becoming an alphabet person is the epitome of virtue in our current culture. Everyone is encouraged to do so, even though statistically very few people are gay or transgender. Encouraging everyone to come out as an alphabet person means that most people will be lying, but that doesn’t seem to be relevant. There is no logic to the current virtue signaling priorities of society, and expecting that virtue signaling be logical is homophobic and transphobic, according to the people on social media.

    Reality television is all rigged and staged. The only reality shows I watch are MasterChef Junior, because it is rather impressive to watch small children cook like adult professionals. The show is extremely staged, and the kids are all coached and trained what to do before hand. The show itself pretends that they are not taught anything ahead of time, but in interviews the producers admit that isn’t true. Regardless of whether they teach the kids how to make Beef Wellington ahead of time, an 8 year old accomplishing the task is still impressive, and the show is wholesome in a way most television is not.

    Scandals aren’t what they were back in the day. It takes more than lying about a dating show to shock people. People know it is fake, they just don’t care.

    • Reality TV is a total non sequitur. How any of these dramatic scenes can unfold spontaneously when there happens to a full camera and production crew on hand is ridiculous. Surely they are scripted within an inch of their lives. Why people watch them is beyond me. Of course, I thought the same thing about TV wrestling when is was local and low budget when I was a kid.

  5. 1. Guess it depends on where you get your tax info. I did not have time to review ‘all the news media stories’, which I don’t trust anyway and would not rely on for tax info.
    Investopedia, Bloomberg, CNBC, and the TurboTax blog all noted in March that estimated tax payments are due 4/15.
    My favorite site for tax info, the IRS, announced March 17, 2021, that “This relief does not apply to estimated tax payments that are due on April 15, 2021. These payments are still due on April 15.”
    The Fox Business article said “Some unlucky Americans still need to file …”. So, just a case of bad luck, I guess.

    • Of course, you are right. Trusting any information from the news media is stupid and naive. I write about it constantly, yet I keep forgetting what I know. My fault, my responsibility. Bad luck that I was born a moron.

      • Gosh, Jack, wouldn’t there have to be a trend before we reach that ultimate conclusion? I don’t see that at all. 😉

  6. 1. I had exactly the same experience. At about 7:30 pm on April 15, I found out that the May 17 deadline didn’t apply to me and I had to scramble to file extensions before midnight, which I finally got done, despite software glitches and slow-moving government websites, around 11:00 pm. I had to wait until the next day before I got email confirmations that the extensions had actually been received by the government on time.

  7. Wait. So by mere accident I’m a tax rebel?


    Now I feel obligated to dump ALL the tea in the harbor since the redcoats through crappy communications made me dump some of it in.

  8. 1)Even self-employed people got an extension to file until May 17th. The IRS simply wants you to pay your estimated tax by April 15th — it doesn’t matter if you have filed your 2020 tax return yet or not. The same would be true if, in another year, you got an extension to October 15th — your estimated taxes would still be due and payable in April, June, and September.

    Last year, for the longest time the IRS was saying the filing deadline and the 1st quarter’s estimated tax payment had been extended until July 15th, but the 2nd quarter’s estimated tax was still due June 15th. Eventually they changed the 2Q estimated tax to July 15th, but there is no real requirement to do so — they are for separate years.

    On the other hand, your state may or may not conform to the federal changes — you would have to check with them to find out.

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