Morning Ethics Warm-Up, 5/28/2021: Memorial Day Weekend Edition

Jack Marshall Sr Army portrait

I’ll be visiting the Major (and Mom) at Arlington National Cemetery this weekend.

1. Well, let’s start the morning and end the week with evidence of progress…Mickey Callaway, the former manager of the New York Mets and recently fired pitching coach of the California Angels, has seen his baseball career implode because of what appears to be a habit of harrassing women in his workplace, which is Major League Baseball. Callaway, who has been banned from the game at least through 2022 after an investigation of the complaints made by more than five women, released a statement that is as close to a Level One apology on the Ethics Alarms Apology Scale as one is likely to see. That’s this one:

An apology motivated by the realization that one’s past conduct was unjust, unfair, and wrong, constituting an unequivocal admission of wrongdoing as well as regret, remorse and contrition, as part of a sincere effort to make amends and seek forgiveness.

Here’s Callaway’s version:

“My family and I fully support MLB’s strong stance against harassment and discrimination and are grateful to the Commissioner and his office for their thorough investigation. I apologize to the women who shared with investigators any interaction that made them feel uncomfortable. To be clear, I never intended to make anyone feel this way and didn’t understand that these interactions might do that or violate MLB policies. However, those are my own blind spots, and I take responsibility for the consequences.In my 25 years in professional baseball I have never taken for granted the privilege of being even a small part of this great game of ours. To say I regret my past poor choices would be an understatement. I remain hopeful that I can return to baseball when eligible at the conclusion of next season, but for now, I plan to work on my own shortcomings and repairing any damage I have caused with my colleagues and, particularly, my family.”

Joe Biden could have made that exact apology, without the baseball reference, of course. He never had to.

2. Incompetent question, perfect answer:

Monica tweet

Those are eye-roll emojis. Monica also gets points for brevity. She just missed tying author Victor Hugo for the record for shortest published message, in his case, a telegram to his publisher regarding the fate of his submitted manuscript for “Les Miserables.” Hugo wrote “?“. The publisher replied, “!“.

I won’t even take away ethics points from Monica for pandering to the Worst of the Woke by listing her preferred pronouns.

3. Decisions, decisions. I’m still trying to decide whether it’s worth it to be candid on Facebook in response to a friend—a real one, unlike most of those who theoretically see me on Facebook— who has repeatedly written sneering and condescending posts about anyone so gullible as to believe Donald Trump’s “lies” about the 2020 election being stolen.

This trope is now tied with calling the January 6 riot an insurrection as signature significance for a Trump Deranged asshole, at least in the case of a propagandist with an IQ above 80, which my friend, a lawyer, definitely has. If I am candid, I’m not going to be nice: I’m sick of the “lies” narrative, which I see somewhere literally every day. The real lie is that the mainstream media, “resistance” and Democrats didn’t set out to steal the Presidency, and if that failed, the election, from Donald Trump with four years of wrongful, destructive, dishonest, unprecedented democracy-rotting tactics, including a contrived accusation of Russian collusion and two unethical impeachments, all while the Left’s captive media distorted what the American people were allowed to know.

If I do respond, it will be clear: people like my deranged friend (and those who “like” and “love” his posts) are complicit in what this plot has done to the country, and not only does he have nothing to be smug about, he is a bad citizen, and should be ashamed of himself.

In 2012, New York Times stated, “Votes cast by mail are less likely to be counted, more likely to be compromised and more likely to be contested than those cast in a voting booth…There is a bipartisan consensus that voting by mail, whatever its impact, is more easily abused than other forms,” referencing the 2005 Commission on Federal Election Reform report that concluded, “Absentee ballots remain the largest source of potential voter fraud.” We know—a court could justifiably take judicial notice of the fact, because it is a fact—that if there is a way to cheat in order to achieve a desired commodity or result, human beings (who don’t read Ethics Alarms) will cheat. The various changes to the election laws put in place by Democratic controlled states (using the pandemic as the excuse) made the 2020 election infinitely easier to steal. The assertion that it was stolen, in the absence of thorough investigations and good faith skepticism, is an opinion, not a lie, and the more the allies of the likely beneficiaries of the attempted theft protest, the more reasonable the opinion is.

To take one state as an example, Nevada, Governor Steve Sisolak signed a 100-page bill into law that changed Nevada election and voting laws three months before the election, saying it would “allow Nevadans to safely cast a ballot” during the pandemic. Under the new law, individuals could sign ballots on someone else’s behalf. They could include multiple ballots in one envelope. No signature was required on the ballots as long as the envelope was signed, and ballots received without a postmark were to be considered valid until proven otherwise. AB 4 also required that all active voters receive a ballot by mail even if they hadn’t requested one and allowed drop boxes to collect the ballots without a signature requirement.

Of course, Republicans allowed this to happen, failing their ethical duty to protect the integrity of the vote.

4. Nah, there’s no mainstream media bias! Over at Reason, law professor David Bernstein produces yet another smoking gun showing just how untrustworthy the most trustworthy mainstream media source is. He quotes a recent Times story about the surge in anti-Semitic rhetoric and violence:

“Until the latest surge, anti-Semitic violence in recent years was largely considered a right-wing phenomenon, driven by a white supremacist movement emboldened by rhetoric from former President Donald J. Trump, who often trafficked in stereotypes.Many of the most recent incidents, by contrast, have come from perpetrators expressing support for the Palestinian cause and criticism of Israel’s right-wing government.”

Bernstein writes in part,

Here is what the Times itself reported in February 2020: “Most of the anti-Semitic incidents in New York have not been perpetrated by jihadists or far-right extremists, but by young African-American men.” In fact, I believe that none of incidents were ultimately traced to “far-right extremists.” The Jersey City and Monsey murders, which were of course covered in the Times, were perpetrated by individuals who had imbibed hateful extremist black nationalist ideologies.

Do the Times’ reporters read their own paper, or do they just go with the prescribed narrative?

…The notion that the right-wing attacks were a product of being emboldened by Donald Trump is reported as a simple fact; there is, however, a lot of nuance involved (e.g., both attackers expressed anger and disappointment that Trump did not turn out to be an antisemite, not to mention several antisemitic murders by white supremacists during the Obama years, including at the Holocaust Museum and the Kansas City JCC).

Like much of the American media, the Times seems utterly incapable of acknowledging that radical anti-Israel activists, be they motivated by Islamism, pan-Arabism, Palestinian nationalism, self-described anti-colonialism, and/or antisemitism, are hostile to Israel’s very existence, not “Israel’s right-wing government.” It’s not uncommon to see Hamas, for example, described as objecting to Israel’s “occupation of the West Bank,” as if Hamas doesn’t explicitly and repeatedly announce that it considers all of “Palestine” (that is, including pre-1967 Israel) to be “occupied” and that it wants to destroy Israel. Does the Times really think that people attacking Jews on the street would be content if only Yair Lapid was PM of Israel?

As an aside, I’ve noticed on social media that many people who consume a lot of news haven’t even been aware of the big spike in antisemitic violence over the past two weeks. This is undoubtedly because media outlets like the Times have given it only a fraction of the attention they gave to a few hundred tiki-torch wielding white surpemacists in Charlottesville in 2017–and I’m referring to coverage before violence broke out, when the media descended on Charlottesville as if hundreds of thousands of white supremacists were gathering there.

5. Thomas Boswell retired. Good! Washington Post sports columnist Tom Boswell retired after 52 years opining on baseball and other sports to great accolades. In 2018, Boswell was inducted into the National Sports Media Association Hall of Fame. I read Boswell for about 30 of those years, until it became clear to me that he lied, and routinely. Yes, he wrote well (Peter Gammons was and is better), but he was frequently an advocate, and when he wanted to make a point, Boswell cheated. He would withhold key information that he knew cut against his arguments, and sometimes facts that disproved his arguments outright. In other words, he was just a typical, dishonest, untrustworthy journalist. I could catch him in his prevarications, because I knew his subject as well as he did. Typical readers did not, and those were the ones he deceived.

To his credit, Tom Boswell opened my eyes to just how corrupt his profession was. For a long time, though, I thought it was just him.

4 thoughts on “Morning Ethics Warm-Up, 5/28/2021: Memorial Day Weekend Edition

  1. 1. He apologized, but he still blew it.

    2. Haha, good one.

    3. You can say whatever you like, but I’m afraid you would be playing pigeon chess.

    4. Jews just aren’t as useful as victims.

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