Afternoon Over-Heated Ethics. 6/28/2021: On #MeToo, Barr, Teddy And Tuna

This date is another ethics milestone in American culture. On June 28, 1969, a police raid of the Stonewall Inn, a popular gay club located on New York City’s Christopher Street in Greenwich Village, sparked a violent protest among the club’s patrons and supporters of gay rights. It was a set of facts resembling the George Floyd rioting in which an event unrelated to the matter being protested proved to be a cultural catalyst. The club was illegally serving liquor without a license among other its other violations, so the police were legitimately enforcing the law, but the gay community had been harassed by law enforcement for too long, and for whatever reason, the anger and resentment boiled over. The crowd became a mob and began throwing bottles at the police as the demonstration spilled over into the neighboring streets. New York’s riot police quelled the uprising before dawn. Next came several days of demonstrations in the city, followed by the formation of the Gay Liberation Front as and other gay, lesbian and bisexual civil rights organizations. In 1970, New York’s first official gay pride parade was organized, and the gay rights movement became inexorable.

Sometimes riots work.

1. More evidence that #MeToo has lost all coherence and integrity. New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer finished fifth in the voting for New York mayor last week after at one point being regarded as one of the front-runners. His campaign was derailed by an ambush accusation by a woman, Jean Kim, who accused him of touching her without her consent in the back of taxis more than two decades ago. She admitted that she was moved to reveal her allegations now in order to discourage voters from favoring him in the primary. Her story did not include any contemporaneous corroboration, which Kim conceded didn’t exist, or a suggestion of a pattern. Nonetheless, the accusation alone was enough to undermine his candidacy. Stringer emphatically denied her claims. It didn’t matter.

In Washington, D.C., former major league baseball player F.P.Santangelo, who has provided color commentary on Washington Nationals broadcasts on MASN since 2011, was accused of sexual misconduct by a woman who will not identify herself publicly. Santangelo denied the allegation, but he has been suspended from the broadcasts for months. MASN, the local sports network ,investigated the matter initially before asking Major League Baseball for assistance. So far, nothing has emerged to suggest Santalgelo is guilty or that his accuser can back up her claims.

Yet President Joe Biden simply sidestepped a far more credible accusation from a named former employee, and the Governor of New York, Andrew Cuomo, remains in office despite multiple accusations of sexual harassment, also by alleged victims whose stories are far better supported than those of Santangelo’s or Stringer’s accusers. Meanwhile—not to be the proverbial “broken record,” whatever that was, none of the Democratic Senators who styled themselves as feminist avengers while denigrating SCOTUS nominee Bret Kavanaugh as a juvenile rapist on the basis of another uncorroborated accusation have demanded any accountability for Biden or Cuomo.

2. Suddenly, Bill Barr is a man of principle to the Left and a traitor to the Right. The mainstream media is crowing over Barr’s pronouncement in a feature in The Atlantic that Trump’s claims of election fraud were and are “bullshit.” The forner U.S. Attorney General revealed that when Trump confronted him for publicly saying the voter fraud claims could not be substantiated, he told Trump,

“You know, you only have five weeks, Mr. President, after an election to make legal challenges.This would have taken a crackerjack team with a really coherent and disciplined strategy. Instead, you have a clown show. No self-respecting lawyer is going anywhere near it. It’s just a joke. That’s why you are where you are.”

So when Barr concluded that the highly conflicted and partisan Mueller Report had found no evidence of impeachable conduct by the President, he was a Trump-licking hack, but when he refused to engage in partisan use of the Justice Department, like his successor, he was a principled public servant. At least, that’s the current progressive narrative. Conservatives viewed him as a heroic figure opposing an obvious coup attempt from Democrats during “Russiagate,” but now are calling him a traitor.

The truth is that Bill Barr has always been the same: he calls it as he sees it, as a good lawyer should, and deserves our respect for that, whether he’s right or wrong.

3. This seems a bit more serious than advertising a foot-long sub that is only eleven inches…That was the previous Subway ethics story, but now a lab report has found there’s no tuna DNA in the chain’s tuna sandwiches and wraps. So WHAT IS IT???? The New York Times had 60 inches of Subway tuna sandwiches from three different restaurants in Los Angeles lab-tested after the chain was accused in a lawsuit alleging that the fish is made from “a mixture of various concoctions.” Subway’s “tuna” could have revealed any of 15 species of fish that can be labeled tuna, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Seafood List, but did not. The lab offered two explanations of why no tuna DNA was detected in the sample: “One, it’s so heavily processed that whatever we could pull out, we couldn’t make an identification … Or we got some and there’s just nothing there that’s tuna.”

Gotcha. I will not being ordering Subway tuna products in the future.

4. Goodbye, Teddy! The impressive bronze statue of Theodore Roosevelt on horseback and flanked by a Native American man and an African man, which has presided over the entrance to the American Museum of Natural History in New York since 1940, is finally being removed after years of controversy. The removal was proposed by the museum and agreed to by New York City, which owns the building and property. Teddy’s dishonoring comes as part of the Confederate Statuary Ethics Train Wreck, which, as I sagely predicted, expanded to include the toppling of statues of the Founders and even Abraham Lincoln. This one is also being linked to George Floyd. Yes, statues of a lifetime criminal whose only accomplishment was sparking race riots by his death, which had nothing to do with race, are going up, and a statue honoring one of our greatest leaders is coming down.

I don’t call it “The Great Stupid” for nothing.

In fairness, I have to concede that this particular statue…

TR statue

…is redolent of white supremacy and colonialism; let’s face it: Teddy, like Winston Churchill, was a white supremacist and colonialist. Having a statue like that at the entrance of an important public institution is not exactly welcoming to “visitors of color.” However, Roosevelt, who was a naturalist among his other talents, is a national figure and prominent New Yorker who should be honored in front of that museum. The current statue should be replaced by a less offensive one.

But of course it won’t be.

20 thoughts on “Afternoon Over-Heated Ethics. 6/28/2021: On #MeToo, Barr, Teddy And Tuna

  1. “Sometimes riots work.”

    Maybe so. Still not the preferred way to change things. That said, the gay community in NYC came in for waaay too much abuse before that, and still plenty after it. I remember in high school a few of my classmates actually thought they were going to link up with one of the seniors who had a car, arm themselves with baseball bats and go into the Village and hunt for gay men. Thankfully that just turned out to be a lot of puffed-up adolescent talk. I once joked in college that I would walk through Provincetown with a club on my shoulder, which was more adolescent machismo. I also mentioned elsewhere here that I do some fantasy writing, and one of the heroes was going to defeat two warriors who were a gay couple and make a sneering comment about their lifestyle over their bodies. It’s also implied that another character, a grizzled anti-hero who trained one of the primary heroes, trained at least three other young noblemen out of ah, being insufficiently manly. Decided to cut the first element, since it wasn’t necessary to the plot and was just gratuitous hatred, the second element is likely to stay, minus the implication that he trained gay men to no longer be gay.

    1. This is just keeping score at this point. Promise to keep the right to choose alive, though, and you can grab all the ass you want.

    2. Personal integrity takes a back seat to partisanship every day and twice on Sundays.

    3. I thought Subway was a little better than THAT.

    4. (Shrug) maybe they can put a statue up of Eric Garner instead.

  2. I’d put more stock in the claims about lacking Tuna if it wasn’t already a cheap product or they had identified any other DNA of any kind. I won’t put much stock in the claims unless they can identify something else that is present.

  3. I made a decision to avoid Subway the instant I saw that they had signed the odious Megan Rapinoe as a spokesperson. This “tuna” story serves as a reinforcement of that decision…

  4. Re: 4; Defacing the Floyd is Heresy.

    Have our intrepid Ethics Alarmists seen the outrage over St. George the Floyd Murals being defaced? One on Houston has been defaced multiple times. Outrage has ensued. How dare someone deface or destroy or remove public art?!


  5. Robert Barnes on Bill Barr:
    “Barr saying that he investigated – meaningfully investigated – election fraud is itself a lie. Complete and utter lie. I had gathered all kinds of information. Others of us that were part of the cases had gathered major information. Barr refused to investigate any of it. He didn’t look at any of it. He’s lying to the world when he says he inve- he did as much of an investigation to uncover what happened with the election as he did Epstein’s death.”

    “Bill Barr’s first break in government was covering up for MK-Ultra and other illicit projects by the CIA when he was helping out the Bush family. … Corrupt to the core.”

    “Probably no one man is more responsible for the outcome of 2020 than Bill Barr. First Bill Barr covered up SpyGate by appointing Durham who had previously covered up CIA torture in Guantanamo. … made sure Clinesmith got a sweetheart deal, made sure it could go nowhere, gave immunity to a wide range of people. Didn’t even make a report, didn’t issue a report. … while misleading and lying to the world, including and especially Trump that something was imminent. Second, he’s the guy who covered up everything related to Hunter Biden. … who ordered that there’d be no public disclosure, that there’d be no public report of the investigation. …. The number one guy who covered up for the Biden corruption that should have been exposed … number three was doing nothing before or after the election to deal with any of this extraordinary processes taking place in the election. … It’s not just that Barr failed to investigate or drew the wrong conclusions, Barr actively covered up the key corruption that relates to this election. Covered up SpyGate, covered up Biden corruption, and covered up election irregularities.”

    “They had video footage of corruption in a key state and Bill Barr suppressed it. So Bill Barr is a liar, Bill Barr is a fraud, Bill Barr is a disgrace.”

    “I had people in the Department of Justice leaking information to my team of fraud and corruption that they had found and evidence of it because they couldn’t get their higher-ups to do anything about it, they were trying to suppress it. That’s what Bill Barr was doing. The big lie is that this was a free and fair election and the biggest liar in this election was Bill Barr.”

    from Barnes and Baris Episode 37: What Are the Odds?
    The entirety of their commentary spans from 40:36 (t=2436) to 1:11:10 (t=4264), but they go off-topic a few times, so I queued it up to the most substantive part.

    • Or I thought I queued it up. 56:55 (t=3415). If you hit play, it will start from the beginning. Which is a song with part of Dave Rubin’s interview with Trump playing over it..

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