Waning Wednesday Ethics Wonders, 6/2/2021…

What’s the ethical reaction to this story? Angelia Mia Vargas, 24, has been charged with deadly conduct with a firearm after she accidentally shot her 5-year-old son while trying to shoot an over-enthusiastic 6-month-old boxer puppy that got loose from a neighbor and was running through her yard. Neither the dog nor the boy were seriously injured. My reflex reaction, I confess, was, “HA! That should teach this idiot something about gun safety!” and then I instantly regretted it. The child was innocent: what really would have been condign justice was if her shot hit her car’s gas tank and it blew up. Shooting herself in the foot would have been good. “She could have handled it differently,” said Bruno the puppy’s owner. Ya think? Here’s the terrifying beast that Angelia thought justified deadly force:


Should this woman have custody of a child? [Pointer: valkygrrl]

1. The rest of the story….There were a record number of Tulsa Race Massacre demonstrations on Memorial Day, as one might expect with “hate whitey” being the current fad. What was supposed to be the biggest one, in Tulsa of course, was cancelled after three survivors demanded $1 million each to appear. The May 31st Remember & Rise event was also supposed to feature John Legend and Stacey Abrams—boy, if only my sock drawer hadn’t been in such bad shape!– but it was called off because Viola Fletcher, 107, her brother Hughes Van Ellis, 100 and Lessie Benningfield Randle, 106, increased their appearance fee from $100,000 each to $1 million each. Their lawyers also demanded that a reparations fund be increased from the agreed-upon $2 million to $10 million. What does this tell us about how reparations would turn out if the U.S. were ever so unhinged as to agree to them?

I did learn that the young African-American, Dick Rowland, whose arrest after a white woman accused him of rape (or something) during an encounter in an elevator was the fuse for the violence wasn’t prosecuted. He was released, left Tulsa, and never returned.

I wonder why…

2. Here I go, obsessing about group identity again...In New York, the “Career Opportunities in the Accounting Profession” program, sponsored by the New York State Society of Certified Public Accountants and the Moynihan Scholarship Fund, will introduce 250 “promising underrepresented high school students” to the accounting profession. The program will include virtual sessions about forensic accounting, interviewing skills, public speaking, networking, and an “accounting profession overview” featuring a panel discussion with experts in the profession. What a great idea! Nine institutions, including Ithaca College, Medgar Evers College, Rochester Institute of Technology, St. John’s University, Siena College, SUNY New Paltz, SUNY Oswego, the University at Buffalo, and Westchester Community College co-host the program, which is free of charge for students.

Oh—white students may not apply. The online application for the program includes options for Hispanic, Black, Asian, and Native American students, but no option for white students. When confronted about the apparent discrimination involved, SUNY Oswego Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Scott Furlong huminahumina-ed that “SUNY Oswego participates in supporting the program and sees this as a beneficial service to the profession, but we strongly believe that all disadvantaged students would benefit from the COAP program.While we do not participate in recruiting the student participants in COAP or in the setting of policy for student membership, SUNY Oswego would prefer a more inclusive perspective regarding membership in COAP and the NYSSCPA policy…[which would] “align with SUNY Oswego’s ethos that is rooted in diversity of thought and people, equitable practices and policies, and inclusive experiences.” Furlong said that the matter “merits much future discussion for the purposes of having SUNY Oswego reassess our involvement and reconsider our sponsorship.”

Meanwhile, his institution will continue to participate in a program that discriminates against white students.

3. The semi-cancelling of Dr. Fauci. The CDC’s tarnished rock star, Anthony Fauci, has a book coming out. “Expect the Unexpected,” scheduled for a November release, will enlighten us regarding the good doctor’s “unique perspective on leadership, expecting the unexpected, and finding joy in difficult times.” But after attacks from critics who accused Fauci of profiting off of the pandemic and the dubious, stuttering U.S. response he has overseen, Amazon and Barnes and Noble stopped listing the book for pre-ordering. The book is still listed on the sites of some lesser- known vendors such as Booktopia. Fox News Channel contributor Joe Concha (who one wrote nice things about Ethics Alarms!) compared Fauci to New York Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s signing a seven-figure book deal about his efforts during the pandemic. Cuomo’s efforts killed people.

Fauci cashing in before his extended 15 minutes of fame runs out is “icky” but not unethical. I see little ethical difference between the Clintons and Obamas getting book deals and Fauci following their lead. Amazon and Barnes and Noble should let consumers make their own choices about whether to buy the book.

4. And speaking of Big Tech’s trustworthiness... Kamau Bobb, the Global Lead for Diversity Strategy and Research at Google and the founding Senior Director of the Constellations Center for Equity in Computing at Georgia Tech, wrote a 2007 blog post, still up on on his website, that says in part,

“If I were a Jew I would be concerned about my insatiable appetite for war and killing in defense of myself. Self defense is undoubtedly an instinct, but I would be afraid of my increasing insensitivity to the suffering of others….My reflections on Kristallnacht would lead me to feel that these are precisely the human sentiments that I as Jew would understand; that I ought to understand and feel compelled to help alleviate. It cannot be that the sum total of a history of suffering and slaughter places such a premium on my identity that I would be willing to damn others in defense of it.”

After this was revealed, The Simon Wiesenthal Centre tweeted: ‘Google must fire this #antisemite #KamauBobb.’

I’m not sure Bobb is an antisemite, and the blog post is 14 years old. However, Google’s competence in vetting its employees is certainly open to question.

20 thoughts on “Waning Wednesday Ethics Wonders, 6/2/2021…

  1. 2. I’m still having a hard time with this Asian thing. Are Asians people of color and therefore privileged, or are they greedy, overly studious automatons keeping people of color out of elite schools? Are they victims of hate crimes when they are sucker punched by mentally ill people of color on city streets or are they oppressed? Confusing, non?

  2. Does it make me a bad person if my first thought on the lead in is: “Maybe she should consider a future with the ATF”?

  3. Fauci is currently being run through the ringer by many extremely diligent citizens who are going through each and every email that was obtained in the FOIA dump of his emails late yesterday.
    Although the Wash Post and Buzzfeed spun them as positively as possible, they contain quite a bit of difficult to spin stuff. Masks are bullshit, Wuhan Virology Institute virus source probability, making sure his family has hydroxychloroquine, Bill Gates (he’s in charge of health?) apparently in bi-weekly touch, helping Mark Zuckerberg manage Facebook censorship of non-approved narratives, it’s a long list.
    I note with interest: “Criminal charges have been filed against Martin Ackermann, the head of the Swiss National Covid-19 Science Task Force and “possibly other parties involved”, for deliberately and successfully frightening the population in accordance with Art. 258 of the Criminal Code.” Source: https://www.pilatustoday.ch/coronavirus/strafanzeige-gegen-die-nationale-task-force-eingereicht-141907839 (must be translated).
    One can hope that the truth about the Covid 19 scam will eventually be public knowledge. At least for those who wish to know perhaps a bit more than Fauci reveals in his typical interview with a hand-picked sycophant.

    • There is speculation that his removal from various pre-order lists such as Amazon is a result of the expected backlash due to these emails being made public.

  4. #2: Ironically, their classifications, per the linked info, could give preference to a well-to-do Japanese family who served the emperor in WWII, an “Aryan” whose grandparents booked it to Argentina, or a descendent of Confederates in Brazil who still fly the flag and hold period costumed celebrations.

    Sorting out the worthy and unworthy is a tricky business. Yeah, I can’t wait for us to do reparations; will Kamala be a payer or a payee?

  5. I’ve been slogging through the Fauci emails, being unwilling to trust any news outlets’ framing or summary thereof. So far I’m only 1% through. Overall they’ve been pretty prosaic: preparation for meetings and presentations, doctors asking for advice, numerous media requests. He was sent innumerable hypotheses about everything from the virus’ origins to its treatment, from sources ranging from respectable scientists to raving crackpots. So I’m going to be wary of claims “Fauci knew about X back in <timeframe>!” – there’s a difference between hearing about a thing and knowing it to be true. The reversal on masks was clearly a major self-inflicted black eye, but we already knew that. So far, nothing really surprising.

    • It’s a serious undertaking to get through over 3,000 bureaucrat emails DaveL, should you manage to do so I will stand in admiration of your diligence.
      When the government allows a FOIA request to be fully or partially fulfilled and there is damaging information in the documents provided, I assume that the fall guy has been selected. In this case Fauci is ideal.

      • I’m about 20% through now. More of the same, still no smoking guns. His workload was apparently phenomenal, especially for a man of his age.

        • So more than 600 emails? Hmmm.
          What do you think about?:
          February 5-6, 2020 (000239) –
          Fauci asked to recommend names for WHO group with the broad mission to “look at the origins and evolution of 2019n-CoV.” Fauci responds by seeking to reframe the mission in a manner that would only look for natural and not lab-made origin.
          February 7, 2020 (000189) –
          Fauci sent an internal NIAID communication reflecting that it was unlikely that the SARS-CoV-2 virus originated in a wet market.
          February 16, 2020 (000447) –
          Fauci tells CBS reporter that if the mortality turns out to be 0.2% to 0.4%, then SARS-CoV-2 should be treated like a severe seasonal flu. But when the case fatality rate was later revised to between 0.2% and 0.4% by the CDC. Fauci continued to act as if the virus was something far more dangerous.
          February 17, 2020 (000422) –
          Fauci receives communication from a Chinese citizen that is part of an international student program in the United States stating that, based on his contacts back in Wuhan, including correspondence from a nurse working in a Wuhan hospital that there is far more spread of the virus and far more deaths than China is admitting.
          February 21, 2020 (000300) –
          Fauci asks a Deputy Director at NIAID to “Please handle” an email received by a group of doctors and scientists, including a virologist, that opined that “we think there is a possibility that the virus was released from a lab in wuhan (sic).”
          February 23, 2020 (000257) –
          Fauci states “Transmission is definitely by respiratory droplet” and that “Children have very low rate of infection.”
          February 22, 2020 (000274-277) –
          Fauci confirms that “The vast majority of people outside of China do not need to wear a mask. A mask is more appropriate for someone who is infected than for people trying to protect against infection.”

          Those are all within the first 600 emails, no smoking guns there at all?
          Compiled by icandecide.org, where all 3000+ emails from early Feb 2020-May 2020 are also available, with more to come as the FOIA orders are fulfilled.

    • I read months ago that Fauci funded “gain of function” research (i.e. making viruses more easily transmissible) at the Wuhan lab with CDC funds after the then Obama administration prohibited funding such research because it was too risky. I’m guessing that’s the reason Fauci is exiting, or being pulled, stage right. The hero of the “I believe in Science!” crowd likely brought the Wuhan flu to the world. Way to go, St. Anthony.

  6. The ethical implications for large book deals by politicians is that they are just legal bribes, like speaking fees or even worse, they are part of a quid pro quo. ‘Cancelling’ the book does nothing to change any of that. Fauci already has the money and not printing the books for sale will probably save the publisher money.


    Andrew Cuomo received about $200 for each copy of his* book that sold. It looks like Elizabeth Warren’s $4.4 million in book deals over the last decade (not counting royalties) is similar, although it is hard to find her actual book sales totals (but it looks like the 200,000 range). For fairness sake, I tried to find out how much Scott Walker and Paul Ryan made from their flop books, but I couldn’t find the numbers. It doesn’t look like their book deals account for almost 50% of their net worth, like they do for Warren.

    Many, if not most, of these books authored by politicians lose money for the publishers. Now, there are always the stories of the politician who orders their agency to buy a large numbers of the books they authored, or companies that buy large numbers of the book before giving the politician a big fee for speaking for and hour, but they mainly just lose money. So, why would publishers eagerly dole out these large sums for books that they know will never make the money back?

    *There are allegations that Cuomo forced staff members to ‘volunteer’ to work on the book.

  7. 3. “Amazon and Barnes and Noble should let consumers make their own choices about whether to buy the book.”
    Also, Amazon and Barnes and Noble should make their own choices about whether or not to sell a book.
    I think both of these things are happening.

  8. Re: #4
    How would you characterize it if not anti-Semitic?

    Saying the Israelis have an insatiable appetite for war is absurd, and that they should remember Kristallnacht to help “alleviate” it is nothing short of insulting – large swaths of Palestinians and all of their leadership crave the same end for the Jews as did the Nazis.

    It’s anti-Semitic on its face, couched in the same absurd aroma as the song “Imagine” to hide the reality of what it leads to.

    “If I were a Jew…” I’ve seen that play and know how it ends.

    • I didn’t say the statement wasn’t anti-Semitic. I said, “I’m not sure Bobb is an antisemite, and the blog post is 14 years old.” Meaning that I don’t assume 14-year odl statements necessarily define someone now. Nor is a statement about a national culture the same as a statement about Jews generally.

      • I think referencing hostilities, “if I were a Jew” and Kristallnacht in the same space is exactly that.

        As to “does he think that today” is fair, but I’ll make this generalization (ethics foul somewhere), he’s an exec (or was, or important to the org on some stripe) at Google, which we know is leftist, and we can make a fairly empirical statement that the left and it’s adherents have gotten bolder and crazier, to include Google, which knowingly helped the Chinese government spy on it’s own people when they started there, to putting it’s fingers on the scales of US content (YouTube) today. Leadership makes those decisions.

        I’ll stand by the assertion he was an anti-Semite then, and is arguably more so today.

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