Sunday Ethics Affirmation, 6/27/2021: “Life Is Unfair, Suck It Up” Edition [Cont.]

[back to where we were before I was so rudely interrupted…by life, ironically enough…]

3. Baseball Ethics: Sticky stuff update! Baseball’s sudden emergency crack-down on pitchers using various versions of glue on the ball to make it go faster and be curvier caught its first cheater today: Seattle Mariners left-hander Héctor Santiago was ejected from today’s game against the White Sox by home plate umpire Phil Cuzzi after a between-innings foreign substance inspection. Santiago’s glove was confiscated. If the glove indeed shows the presence of a forbidden substance, the pitcher will be subject to a ten-day suspension under the terms of Major League Baseball’s new enforcement of the prohibition against ball doctoring. There is some skepitcism that the test will prove Santiago guilty, since it is believed that nobody could be so stupid as to try to keep using “sticky stuff” this week, knowing that they will be checked. On the other hand, Gerrit Cole, the 2019 Cy Young winner who has been widely suspected of being a “sticky stuff” addict, apparently went cold turkey. Today, against the Red Sox, his pitches were spinning much slower than usual, and he got clobbered, giving up 6 runs, 8 hits and 3 homer in just five innings. A coincidence, I’m sure…

4. Tales of The Great Stupid: Apparently the mainstream news media decided that this was just too embarrassing and might hurt the cause of mad wokism…because so far, it has managed to ignore it. A National Archives’ task force on racism determined that the structure, which houses the Declaration of Independence, the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights demonstrates “structural racism,” portraying the Founding Fathers and other “white men” too positively, since it “lauds wealthy White men in the nation’s founding while marginalizing BIPOC [Black, Indigenous and other People of Color], women, and other communities.” The report also calls for “trigger warnings” to be put in place with historical content to “forewarn audiences of content that may cause intense physiological and psychological symptoms.” Cassie Smedile, executive director of conservative group America Rising, called the report “the radical Left’s latest attempt to sow division and rewrite our history.” No, it’s the latest example of the progressive mainstream as it has metastasized to reject the idea of the United States of America. Blame Obama, who appointed National Archivist David Ferriero in 2009, and the Senate, which confirmed him, and President Trump, who didn’t have the foresight to fire him. He assembled and commissioned the task force, meaning he knew exactly what he would get. Ferriero claimed the task force was necessary in light of George Floyd’s death last year, the report notes. Yeah, that makes a lot of sense: an example of local police misconduct in Minneapolis without any demonstrable racial motive or animus mandates another trashing of Jefferson, Madison, Washington and the rest. [Pointer: A.S.]

Brilliant.

5. Sorry, but this is how the world works, kid...Bryce Dershem, the valedictorian at Eastern Regional High School in Voorhees, New Jersey, had his microphone cut off during his speech when he deliberately veered from the text that had been approved by the school. When he began to talk about his LGBTQ issues and mental health struggles, the school’s principal grabbed Dersham’ speech as the mic was turned off, crumpled it, and pointed to the text that they had agreed on previously, telling him to deliver that and nothing else. Naturally the student is being styled as a hero and the principal a villain, but teenage narcissists do not have a license to hijack what is a ceremony for all student and make it about them. School administrators have explained in a statement that students are guided by the principal through the speech writing process and all speeches are approved beforehand….as they should be. Once a student begins going rogue, his mic should be shut off. There should also be other penalties

Dershem complains that during the staff writing process, he was told the speech was not his “therapy session” and all mentions of his gay identity and mental health struggles were removed. If he did not want to agree to that, he should have passed on being valedictorian. Agreeing to give one speech and delivering another is unethical, and it doesn’t matter whether he was going to rant about a coming Apocalypse, climate change, or deliver undying prose equal to the Gettysburg address. He’s the ethics villain here, not the principal.

6. And explain this to Gwen Berry, too…Gwen Berry, a U.S. hammer thrower who had qualified for her second U.S. Olympic team during the current Olympic team trials, ostentatiously turned away from the American flag as the National Anthem played as she received her bronze medal on the podium with the two athletes who beat her .

“The anthem doesn’t speak for me. It never has,” the grandstanding jerk explained. “My purpose and my mission is bigger than sports. I’m here to represent those … who died due to systemic racism. That’s the important part. That’s why I’m going. That’s why I’m here today.”

Then she should be pulled off the team. The Olympics are not her personal political platform, nor is she entitled to represent the United States with the intent of embarrassing it should she have the opportunity. [Pointer: johnburger2013]

15 thoughts on “Sunday Ethics Affirmation, 6/27/2021: “Life Is Unfair, Suck It Up” Edition [Cont.]

  1. Gwen Berry should be ‘there’ solely to represent the US as a hammer thrower, hopefully a good one. If the press or the authorities want to question her on her views on anything else that is their business. It might usefully be explained that Berry and others are quite free to express their personal opinions whenever and wherever they want : a freedom many others don’t have. She speaks only for herself.

    • Andrew,
      No one has the right to represent the US. The US chooses its emissaries who are there to promote the US and what it stands for. As an individual professional hammer thrower she can do and say whatever she likes anywhere she wishes but when you choose to be a member of a team or representing someone else you have chosen to forego your rights of expression for the good of the team and those you represent. She becomes a distraction that affects the whole.

      When you say “It might usefully be explained that Berry and others are quite free to express their personal opinions whenever and wherever they want : a freedom many others don’t have. She speaks only for herself.” You cannot un-ring the bell and any statement to that effect would be drowned out by the sensationalism of her comments.

      • Nobody is “quite free to express their personal opinions whenever and wherever they want” if by free it is meant “without negative consequences.” A supermarket clerk who starts making political or religious pronouncements in the workplace gets suspended or fired—ditto bank tellers, auto mechanics, librarians, police officers, nurses, doctors, lawyers in court, and just about anyone who isn’t self-employed. In the latter’s case, it is customers who execute the punishment. A professional athlete who announced that his purpose was to protest against the team paying his salary would be fined, suspended or fired.

        It puzzles me that Andrew would write something so obviously wrong.

        • He wrote it because he has been told over and over again that it is the correct response, but only for opinions that are leftist or anti-American. In fact, some sports teams now virtually require you to be anti-American. Try standing for the national anthem in the NFL, you might get disciplined. Then try NOT standing for the Chinese anthem at an NBA game in China. He probably would have a different opinion if the person stood on the podium, went to the press conference, and stated that Islam was a terrorist death-cult founded by a racist, slave-owning pedophile. If someone did that, they would be escorted off the podium, out of the stadium, and banned from competing…and rightly so. Could you imagine if everyone did this and it was considered fine? What if every athlete thought their sport was there so they could push their pet personal agendas? The first person gives a pro Aryan nation statement. The second person said ‘kill Whitey’. The third person wants a blockade of Canada… What about burning flags? What if we allowed the athletes to burn any flag they wanted without repercussion? Could Oklahoma athletes burn the Texas state flag if they win a medal in the Olympics?

          I agree that personally held opinions shouldn’t be punished, but these aren’t personally held opinions. If they find out that this athlete thinks the US is racist and that whites should be enslaved to blacks as reparations because she told some friends that at a party once, that should be off-limits. If a ‘frind’ publishes an e-mail from 4 years ago where she states that gay marriage should be illegal, that should be off-limits. When you are talking to a reporter as a representative of the US (or your sports team, etc), that is where the line is drawn. And no, no reporter is talking to this woman because they believe she is somehow stupendously qualified to discuss these matters. If she wasn’t an athlete in the Olympic trials, they wouldn’t give her the time of day, so any microphone shoved in her face for just about any reason is because of her position as a prospective Olympic athlete.

      • Dangerous and to my mind inappropriate thinking. Do you want an ‘emissary’ or a hammer thrower? The Olympics is not, at least traditionally, a competition between countries. It is from its heart a competition between amateur athletes. Berry does not ‘represent’ the US; she represents only herself.

        It was the totalitarian states that originally threatened the original Olympic amateur ethos, demanding that athletes furthered the glory of the nation state, the Fuhrer or Glorious Leader. Yes, a Russian athlete (or musician or ballet dancer) couldn’t afford to adopt a stance other than being meekly in accordance with their government. Otherwise he or she was likely to be on the first plane home.

        If you want an ‘emissary’ rather than just the best hammer thrower , then maybe you need some political exam in the selection process, to make sure your ‘emissary’ agrees to follow the script. If you want to be ‘represented’ then how long will it be before you demand a properly ‘representative’ team with appropriate mix of black, white, Christian, atheist, LBGT, etc. members? Yuch!

        No, the US was to my mind so much better than that. ‘Freedom’ included the freedom to be against the Vietnam war, or hold that Nixon was a saint, or that Elvis lives etc etc.. and still win an Olympic medal.

        It follows that we should admire Berry, or not, solely because of her ability to hurl the hammer. She should be perfectly free to air her views (unlike her Chinese competitors ) because she is American. And no American should think she is talking for anyone other than herself.

        • I don’t understand your logic at all, AW, and it flies in the face of how the Olympics are organized: the Games are not individual competitions, and sponsored, unaffiliated athletes cannot compete. Each nation puts together a team. Medals are attributed to those nations. An athlete by definition competes under his or her nation’s flag. Moreover, the nation involved pays the travel. living and training expenses of that athlete. It’s not sort of like the issue over NFL players making political statements while on the field, it is exactly the same thing: the team has the right and, in my view, the obligation to make certain that athletes do not abuse the status provided by the team to make what is explicitly about sports about something else of their choosing.

          • Yes, that may be the way the Olympics are organised now – as a professional entertainment event to be monetised and traded, but that wasn’t how it was supposed to be, or how it started.

            There is still, thank God, no trophy for the ‘winning country’.

  2. Thank you Jack!

    My Way has mercifully replaced the previous ear worm that’s accompanied me on my daily 3.6 mile/5.79 km runs.

    Wait a minute.

    Now that I think about it, you may have had a hand in installing the one it thankfully displaced, which would be Afternoon Delight.

    • My friend Tom Fuller, who sometimes weighs in here regarding quotes, hates “My Way” with a passion, and regards Paul Anka’s lyrics as a low point in American text-setting.”without exemption:? “In not a shy way”? “of which I’m certain”? There may be clumsier lyrics, but none that have been sung so often.

  3. I’ve always heard the song about a man looking back on his life, proud that he stayed true to himself. Is the subject of the song too self centered? Maybe. But it’s his death bed. Let him reflect on his life. And maybe I’m reading too much into it, but he wants to imagine himself as perfect in his final moments. He knows he isn’t, he has regrets. But he doesn’t want them to spoil his last day. In the end, there’s nothing inherently wrong with wanting to be your own person.

    As an aside, I still find it interesting how for the past five years, it’s almost become a literary genre to fit Trump into something completely unrelated to him. Part of the reason the author hates My Way is because he can imagine Trump nodding along with it.

  4. (4) You shouldn’t be too hard on Trump on this one. It is clear that there were SOOOO many people in the federal government he should have fired that it just wasn’t physically possible.

    (5) From experience, I can say that this is how it has worked for a long time. I had to have my speech pre-approved and was told if I deviated even by 1 word, I wouldn’t receive my diploma. Of course, the principal didn’t mention HOW I had to deliver the speech. ;’) That was over 20 years ago.

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