Sunrise Ethics Serenade, June 30, 2021: Rot, Tragedy, Justice, Arrogance, And Irony

DC Sunrise2

1. Evidence that The Great Stupid was upon us in 2019 if only we had been paying attention...My wife, a World War II history buff, was watching the ending credits most recent movie version of “Midway”(2019) when I heard her emit the sound of a wounded animal. This message had flashed across the screen:

“The film is dedicated to the American and Japanese sailors who fought at Midway. The sea remembers its own.”

What…The…Hell? Those Japanese sailors wouldn’t have had to fight at all if their nation hadn’t killed 3,000 American servicemen is a sneak attack six months earlier. Since when do American films salute those who killed Americans? Now I have to check and see whether there was a tribute at the end of “Flight 93” commemorating the brave Al Qida terrorists who died trying to crash a plane into the Capitol.

Equally disturbing is that I recall no mention at all of “Midway’s” offensive coda in reviews of the film, and could find only one mention of it online. I know, I know, American film studios are desperate to pander to foreign markets. That’s not a good enough reason for that disgusting suck-up to a ruthless and racist enemy.

2. This reminds me of my ethical objection to “bucket lists”...Susan Montoya, 65, an assistant principal at Georgia O’Keefe Elementary School in Albuquerque, New Mexico, died when the hot air balloon she was riding in hit power lines and crashed. It was reported that the ride was an item on her “bucket list.” I don’t know who first came up with the idea that human life was just a collection of enumerated experiences and accomplishments like getting a merit badge, or how it became popular, but it’s a narcissistic and wasteful mindset. If you can’t think of anything more productive to do with your life than to treat it like a grocery list, you’ve missed the point.

3. Museum ethics. The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York holds one of the largest collections in the U.S. of Benin Bronzes, a group of objects looted by British soldiers in 1897 from the Kingdom of Benin in what is now Nigeria. The museum announced this month that it will return to Nigeria two of the bronzes, like this one,

Benin Bronze

….along with a brass head produced in the ancient Yoruba city of Ife, also in Nigeria. It is rare for U.S. museums to commit to returning Benin Bronzes, and it is hoped by ethicists that other institutions may follow the Met’s lead….like the Met itself. It is believed to hold around between 160 and 300 works from the Court of Benin. I don’t know why, if the right thing to do is to return a few of them, it it isn’t more ethical still to return them all. Then they can move on to returning artifacts stolen from Greece, Italy, Egypt, and other nations.

The only excuse for not doing so offered through the years doesn’t even rise to the level of a rationalization: “We don’t want to.”

4. How did California become so ethically warped? William Golding, the novelist most famous for writing “Lord of the Flies,” wrote a very different but still disturbing novel in 1959 called “Free Fall,” in which the narrator tries to trace through his life to discover when he lost control. “Was that it?” he keeps asking? “Was it then that I lost my way?'” California should consider the same kind of retrospective. The state’s Attorney General, Rob Banta, announced the addition of five states to the list of places banned from state-funded travel because they dare to disagree with the Great Arbiter of Right and Wrong, California, regarding their policies. Specifically, the new states on the black list—can you use “black list” in California? —have recently passed statutes prohibiting male to female trans athletes from competing against biological women in sports competition. You know…

Cycling trans

..like that. Bonta added Florida, Arkansas, Montana, North Dakota and West Virginia to the now 17 state list, saying, “Make no mistake: We’re in the midst of an unprecedented wave of bigotry and discrimination in this country — and the State of California is not going to support it.”

No, in fact we’re not, and making the decision that former men who have gone through puberty as males should not be competing in women’s athletic competitions is neither bigotry nor discrimination. It is a reasonable resolution of an ethical dilemma, and states should not be punishing other states for not agreeing with their positions.

5. How ironic. Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, the African American law and order candidate in the Big Apple’s Democratic primary for mayor, maintained a lead in the preliminary vote count but has called the preliminary results into question, saying yesterday,

“The vote total just released by the Board of Elections is 100,000-plus more than the total announced on election night, raising serious questions. We have asked the Board of Elections to explain such a massive increase and other irregularities before we comment on the Ranked Choice Voting projection.”

Obviously, this is a lie and he is trying to sow civil discord. After all, as he wrote last November, “It shouldn’t matter which side of the aisle you’re on — if you believe in our Democracy and in the peaceful transition of power, then you have an obligation to speak out against Donald Trump’s dangerous, unsubstantiated claims of voter fraud.”

In related news, Al Gore went on CNN to try to cement the false narrative that he gracefully conceded the 2000 election when he did nothing of the sort. He challenged the results for more than a month, and several Democrats in Congress refused to certify Bush’s victory. After finally issuing a momentarily gracious concession after the Supreme Court gave him no choice, Gore (and his running mate Joe Lieberman) continued to tell partisan audiences that he was swindled out of the Presidency. His actual posture is preserved, fortunately, in his 2006 climate change propaganda film, “An Inconvenient Truth,” which he introduces by saying, “I’m Al Gore, I used to be the next president of the United States of America.”

44 thoughts on “Sunrise Ethics Serenade, June 30, 2021: Rot, Tragedy, Justice, Arrogance, And Irony

  1. 1. I remember seeing that too when I went to see it in the theater, quite possibly the last time I actually saw a movie in a theater, Veterans Day weekend 2019. I was surprised not only because it placed the two sides on equivalent footing, but because I am sure it was intended to be released in China, which still has a major grudge against the Japanese for what happened then. I don’t think you’d see an equivalent card at the end of a civil war movie saluting both sides, even though both sides were Americans. At one time you might have seen something like it at the end of a film about the Battle of Britain, saluting the pilots on both sides, since there was a certain belief that the pilots on both sides were honorable men fighting in an honorable way, never mind let the German pilots were fighting for a racist and genocidal regime where official policy was liquidation of undesirable people. There was another movie a few years back about the special forces battling the Taliban in Afghanistan with Chris Hemsworth (Thor) in the lead role. Now I’m going to have to check back and see if they added some card saluting the Taliban and maybe adding on some comment about how one man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter. Unfortunately, salute for the good old-fashioned red white and blue is very low in Hollywood right now. However, I warned that that would probably be the case at the beginning of 2017 when Trump took office. I think we can look forward to at least three or four more years of films devoted to woke ideas and critical race theory. That should be great…not.

    2. I see nothing wrong with establishing goals in one’s life. I also see nothing wrong with listing experiences that one would like to have. The problem arises when they are foolish or dangerous, and unnecessary. Also, one should not hesitate to jettison items from the list when it becomes clear that they are not a net positive. As much as I like aviation, going up in a hot air balloon, subject to where the wind takes you and with nothing between you and death except a basket, just doesn’t do anything for me.

    3. The problem with this mindset is that if all museums returned all the ancient artifacts they have, there wouldn’t be much left of a lot of those museums.

    4. Dunno. Somewhere between the surfer era and the Manson murders, I guess? Let the Golden State be as warped as it wants, I really have no interest in going there or in hearing what its leaders have to say. The last guy out of there to have any real value was Reagan. It should tell you something that so far California accounts for half the governor recalls in this nation. It should also tell you something that people were legitimately talking about “Calexit” and the founding of the Republic of Pacifica on the West Coast, following the election of Trump. It should also tell you something that Gavin Newsom was one of the most prominent state voices for open borders and two of the most prominent district attorneys who seem to view their role as enabling criminal behavior rather than prosecuting it are in California.

    5. Another Democratic Big Lie, unfortunately, in this case a very durable one. I wonder if in a former life all Democrats were Catholic school principals and abusive parents who got to scream at and beat those they accused of doing wrong, while those they accused couldn’t say one word in their own defense at the risk of being struck again. That said, I’ll take him over any of the other wackos in that race. New York needs to get its act together and it needs to get its act together soon, or this time it will fall back to the bad old days of the 1970s and it will not recover. I used to go into the city all the time for concerts, to visit museums, or just to walk around. Even though it looks like this fall’s parades are a go and the major entertainment venues will be running a Christmas series of concerts this time out, I am having serious doubts about whether I will resume attendance. I don’t want to have to walk through blade runner to get from a SoHo restaurant to a midtown show, and the idea of having dinner in Chinatown and then having dessert at Ferrara’s bakery is out the window. None of this stuff is worth getting mugged or killed for. I will not have my life, my health, or anything else of mine sacrificed on the altar of black lives matter.

    • #2: You really call going on a hot air balloon ride a “goal”? I sure don’t. I remember a depressed college classmate who said that he had decided he could feel like a success by setting an easy “goal” for the day, like putting on his socks, or having a meal. Paying to take a balloon ride, which a serial killer, a pederast or a con artist could do, helps nobody, contributes nothing to society, and hardly makes one a better person. Most bucket lists consist entirely of such “goals.” They are a way to make an empty life seem substantial.

      • No, that falls under “experiences one would like to have.” If a bucket list consists of just experiences like that, then it’s no different than a list of things one would like to acquire. It’s nice to acquire them, but it doesn’t make me a better person or better lawyer.

        • I’m with you here, and I don’t really understand where Jack is coming from. Wanting to experience a certain number of experiences before you die might not improve the world, but what is that the metric for? Should we not do anything unless it makes the world better? Is doing anything for personal enjoyment unacceptable decadence? Once a pederast has done something, does that mean that no one should do that thing as well? The individual items on the bucket list might be unethical, illegal or dumb, and can be judged on their merits, but unless taking a ride on a balloon is in and of itself unethical, I can’t imagine getting worked up about it.

          • Not “worked up about it” at all. It’s just that having a list of things one must do before one dies that consists of experiences is a mark of essential shallowness. The tragically idealistic Abbie Hoffman, so well-portrayed by Baron Sasha Cohen in “The Trial of the Chicago Seven,” wanted to change the world, and did the best he could, however misguided. That’s a goal. “Taking a hot air balloon ride” would just waste time.

            • One man’s trash is another man’s treasure,” right? I have no interest in hot air balloons or zip lines or parachuting out of a perfectly sound airplane – I would rather have my fingers chewed by rats than get on or in one. But, others find them exciting. To each his own. Risky behavior is different, though, because it may actually result in harm or injury to others. I never get that expression, “he died doing what he loved.” I mean, where is the glory in dying doing what you love?

              jvb

              • When I hear someone use the expression “he died doing what he loved” I always relate a story or two about guys who died of a heart attack while doing blow with a pair of hookers, or maybe a pedophile killed by the police while raping a child. People who died “doing what they loved”… It really livens up the conversation, which I love doing.

            • I think it’s Sasha Baron Cohen, no? Sorry Supreme Moral Judge Zack Sheriff… (please don’t get mad, I’m not mocking you, just trying to butcher the name they way his Borat character would, who also called the then president “Supreme Warlord Premier George Walter Bush.”)

      • I hate the term Bucket List and blame the movie for popularizing it.

        But, Bucket Lists are formally neutral; it is their substance that determines their value.

        When I was 12, I would say I was pretty well traveled in the US. I had been to 20 or more states. I figured that I will visit all 50 states by the time I am 50. Well, I am 50 and I still have about 16 more to go.

        Going into 11th Grade, I had finally gotten a taste for reading. I asked my teacher for suggestions on summer reading and Great Expectation was one of the suggestions. After 100 pages (about 25%), I told him I just was not getting it. He said that was enough to know whether or not I liked it and I should just go on to something else. It had always kind of bugged me that I never finished it. Last year, in the beginning of the lockdown, I read Great Expectations and found it enjoyable. I think I can actually appreciate Dickens’ writing.

        I know some people who try to attend a Major League Baseball game in every state. It is not my thing, but it seems innocuous enough, yet would probably involve some interesting travel.

        Wife? Check.

        Kids? Check.

        Career as a Judge? Not yet. And, at this point, it does not really matter. I could probably take it off my list.

        Writing a book? I promise I have started it.

        Visit Ireland again? Hopefully.

        My mother is 86 and recently said she wanted to visit Santa Fe again. She visited there when I was in school, but would like to visit the Georgia O’Keefe museum.

        My dad is 86 and for the last 18 months he has been talking about his next trip to Cuba, once it opens back up. Recently, he has begun talking about “if he goes back to Cuba.”

        As the ultimate lawyer dad field trip, I would like to subject my children to is a trip to East Liverpool, Ohio to see the obelisk:

        https://www.waymarking.com/waymarks/WMM8YH_Beginning_Point_of_the_US_Public_Land_Survey_East_Liverpool_OH_Beaver_Co_PA#:~:text=Long%20Description%3A,%C2%B0%2031.140)%20and%20unfortunately%20lost.

        (Equally good if you are a land surveyor dad.)

        Life is filled with goals and should be filled with goals. Some goals are good, some are innocuous, some are bad. Some of it (even a lot of it) is just vanity. To some extent, we need these goals to avoid having an empty life, though having goals does not guarantee a meaningful life.

        I just hate the term “Bucket List.”

        -Jut

        • Of late I’ve been trying to finish my high school summer reading list. I graduated from high school in 1969. “Great Expectations” is probably my second most popular Dickens, “David Copperfield” being my favorite. The title would be better as “My Great Expectations.” And by the way, I finished “Tale of Two Cities” a year or so ago. Too bad that’s the Dickens on so many high school reading lists. It’s a handful, but I made it through. I guess the French Revolution scared the hell out of Britishers. Currently working on “Little Dorrit.” Good thing we have the Bankruptcy Code. Debtor’s prisons. What a concept. Yikes.

  2. “You also had people who were very fine people on both sides.”
    Roland Emmerich, raised in Germany in the aftermath of Naziism, may have had personal reasons for alluding to that idea in the production of “Midway” and in the dedication. Were there good Germans in uniform in WWII? Were there good Japanese sailors in the battle of Midway? Of course there were.
    There is truth in the idea that soldiers in war (and marines and airmen and sailors) are victims. It is possible to refuse to serve, but at what cost, and especially at what cost in Nazi Germany or Imperial Japan? Neither Roosevelt nor Hirohito died in battle, but several thousand sailors and airmen did at Midway.
    The dedication is not to those who initiated the war. It is not to those on either side who fanned the flames of racism, nor to those who committed atrocities. It is not to those who ordered sneak attacks or firebombings.
    The dedication is to those who fought at Midway.

    • Don’t you dare equate that to Trump’s talk about what happened in Charlottesville. There’s a big difference between two groups of Americans, both with extreme opinions (Antifa much?) and equating American sailors fighting to push tyranny back with Japanese sailors and officers, steeped in Bushido and cruelty, trying to push it forward. BTW, “those who fought at Midway” includes the officers and crew of IJN Makigumo and Arashi. The latter plucked USN Ensign Wesley Osmus from the sea, where his torpedo bomber had ditched, only to shoot him dead and dump his body in the ocean. The former pulled USN Ensign Frank O’Flaherty and his radioman Bruno Gaido from the ocean, only to tie them to weighted fuel cans and throw them back to drown when it became clear that the battle had gone against them.

      War combatants aren’t victims, certainly not those who join by choice, certainly not the career officers.

      P.S. If it’s no longer ok to excuse the Confederates, it’s DEFINITELY not ok to honor these folks.

    • I would say “You can’t be serious,” but since you are, I’ll say “you can’t be awake!’ The protesters with a leagl right to protest were in Charlottesville to object to historical airbrushing and statue-toppling in the case of General Lee. Some were racists and “Lost Cause” idiots—some were not: I’d join a protest against taking down a Lee statue. The other side were opposition protesters without a permit that were allowed by the police to spark a confrontation. Neither side had much moral weight on their side, but they were all Americans, and they weren’t killing our soldiers. I don’t know what tortuous route you followed to get to that analogy, but you missed a DETOUR sign somewhere.

      • Don’t forget that some of those “opposition protestors” came with bats and body armor. They were looking for trouble.

      • It’s pretty clear that Emmerich was pushing back against the kind of nationalism reflected here, the kind that helped fuel German and Japanese imperialism in the 1930s and that by others in other times. It also is clear that while the U.S. had the moral high ground in WWII, there were good and bad actors on both sides.
        I wasn’t trying to draw an equivalency between Charlottesville and Midway, and given the blindingly obvious differences, I can’t imagine anyone would. But, just as Trump’s words were taken out of context and twisted to damn him as supporting white supremacy, Emmerich’s dedication can be taken, wrongly, as support of the worst of Imperial Japan.
        Examples of Japanese brutality and what may well be considered war crimes are easily found, but they do not support the damning of a nation’s military force, no more so than examples of American brutality or war crimes support a damning of the greatest generation. As has been said on this site, “Terror is a legitimate weapon in warfare, when the objective is to destroy the enemy’s will to fight.”
        And even those who join by choice may be victims; members of what may be called an all-volunteer force are not exactly free to leave any time they want.

        • Anyone who would even dance around the edges of comparing the systemic culture of cruelty that was embraced by the Imperial Japanese military, at astonishing scale, with whatever examples of American military cruelty which could be fairly cited is either deliberately ignoring the known facts, or too ignorant of the historic record to be taken seriously. There is no comparison, the record is clear. This is not a matter of the winner gets to write history; the history is written by the Chinese, Burmese, Koreans, Australians, New Guinea tribal peoples, British, Formosans, Philipinos, and many others as well as the Americans.

  3. 1. Yep, I saw the dedication, too, and was annoyed by it. They made a lot of effort to show the suffering of the Chinese people in a film that was about Americans and thought was appropriate to mention the sacrifice of the Japanese.

    No wonder movies these days are so schizophrenic in their messaging. The filmmakers have no principles they are willing to stick to.

    • The Chinese people DID suffer for helping the vast majority of Doolittle’s crews (72 out of 80) escape capture by the Japanese.

      In addition, the story of Midway CANNOT be told without mentioning the Doolittle raid – it was what ended any opposition to Yamamoto’s desire to draw the American carriers into battle and destroy them.

      • My Dear late FIL, who trained pilots for the Doolittle Raid, claimed instructors/trainees weren’t apprised of why they were teaching/being taught short take-off/landing techniques.

      • Yes, they did suffer horribly under the Japanese and I am not nor will I ever claim otherwise.

        But the inclusion of the China scenes, and I am willing to consider the possibility that the Great Stupid has caused a knee-jerk reaction in me every time I see time spent on suffering by people of color in a film that is supposed to be about American military personnel, most of whom were white, screams to me how Hollywood wants those Chinese movie receipts and needs its films to pass muster with the CCP.

        All the more reason why honoring Japanese Air and naval servicemen in such a movie seems incomprehensible to me.

        It’s almost as if they don’t know or care how the Chinese were treated by the Japanese and are afraid that not acknowledging the Japanese dead is the equivalent of the worst kind of anti-Japanese war propaganda.

    • Actually they have 2 – stay woke, and bring in the numbers. It’s not even about money, money they have. It’s about who still gets invited to the “right” cocktail parties.

  4. 1. Historically, the Japanese warlords didn’t really think about those who would bear the brunt of their decisions. The fact is, an 18-year-old sailor has very little choice as to whether he fights or not. The one man who could have prevented war by resigning – Yamamoto – didn’t, and went along with the sneak attack. He personally paid for that at the hands of Tom Lanphier on April 18, 1943. With that account settled, and the war having been over for over seven decades, the dedication is not objectionable to me.

    2. I’m not sure I’d say having a “bucket list” reduces one’s life to a grocery list. I think it is good to have a way to make sure you live your life and to have goals. I’d like to catch a Brewers game at home (I’ve seen them six times in person, all on the road). I’d like to visit a few places before I die.

    4. California is engaging in a form of economic sanctions against states who don’t go along with California’s policy demands. I wonder how California would react to a travel ban over their anti-Second Amendment laws from Texas… it does seem to make the case that America is careening towards a national divorce – or that we are in a Cold Civil War.

    5. The party of “selected, not elected,” “Diebold,” and “Russia collusion” has no ethical standing to criticize Trump over the 2020 election.

    “Today in America, a despised minority that is really no minority is the target of an establishment that considers this minority unworthy of respect, unworthy of rights, and unworthy of having a say in the direction of this country. It’s an establishment that has one law for itself, and another for its enemies. It’s an establishment that inflicts an ever-increasing series of petty humiliations on its opponents and considers this all hilarious.”

    That was written in 2015 by Kurt Schlichter, who Jack’s mentioned here before. Kurt was not wrong, and I always felt that his column that was discussed on February 7, 2017 was mislabeled as “unethical.” If anything, events have shown that Schlichter was acting ethically by warning us of what was to come.

    Was he wrong?
    * Lois Lerner quarterbacked IRS abuses of the Tea Party – and retired with her six-figure pension.
    * The Obama Administration not only lied about Benghazi, they imprisoned a filmmaker to back up their lie.
    * In Wisconsin, there was “John Doe.”
    * In 2016, Democratic state attorneys general sought to silence opponents of the Obama/Biden environmental policies.
    * Look at what Andrew Cuomo and Letitia James are doing to the NRA over its Second Amendment advocacy.
    * Silicon Valley now censors conservatives – with a lot of former staffers for Democratic politicians working for them.
    * We have Spygate.
    * Tucker Carlson claims he is being spied on by the NSA
    * In Loudoun County, school board members were part of a secret Facebook group where opponents of critical race theory were targeting for doxxing and harassment.
    * There’s the cases of Jack Phillips, Baronelle Stutzman, Tanner Cross… all people targeted for speaking out.
    * California’s economic sanctions against states who don’t agree with California’s LGBTQ policies.
    * Parler was kneecapped by Apple, Google, and Amazon – and only returned when it bent the knee to Apple’s demands.
    * Figure a similar clock is ticking for Rumble, a free-speech competitor to Youtube.
    * Then there is the risk of financial deplatforming.
    * A former Reddit CEO boasted that “deplatforming works.”

    The preponderance of the evidence points to an effort to rig things against Red America… and Red America is not going to take it lying down. Quite frankly, they’ve sown the wind and question is when they will have to reap the whirlwind. The thing is… the longer they try to squelch or suppress their opposition, the higher the bill will be.

    • “He personally paid for that at the hands of Tom Lanphier on April 18, 1943.”

      Also at the hands of Rex Barber – some say only at his hands. Either way, he was shot dead, and deserved it.

  5. “The film is dedicated to the American and Japanese sailors who fought at Midway. The sea remembers its own.”

    Brought to you by the same people who considering remembering Confederate war veterans to be a hate crime.

  6. #1 This immediately popped into my head…

    “The film is dedicated to the American and Japanese sailors who fought at Midway. The sea remembers its own.”

    I wonder if the people that wrote that would also be so bold to write the following at the end of the movie “Gettysburg”.

    “The film is dedicated to the Union and Confederate soldiers who fought at Gettysburg. The ground remembers its own.”

    The same said be written about any Civil War battlefield.

    This also brings up arguments around the removal of statues of Confederate soldiers, etc.

    • “This film is dedicated to the Allied and German soldiers who perished in the Ardennes. The forest will remember its own.”

      “This film is dedicated to all who fought at Yorktown, the Continentals fighting for their freedom, the British fighting for king and country, the French fighting for revenge, and the Hessians, fighting in a cause few of them understood.”

      “This film is devoted to all who perished on 9/11, the first responders, doing their duty, the hijackers, for one man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter, and the ordinary people caught in the middle, who paid the ultimate price for decades of American policy in the Middle East.”

  7. #2 Jack, I don’t agree that bucket lists are unethical or a narcissistic and wasteful mindset, it’s literally just a list of things a person would like to do, goals if you choose to call it that.

    You wanted to create an ethics commentary blog on current events and issues and you did so, in a very real way that was a bucket list item for you, you just don’t call it that. I wanted a new motorcycle that I could ride through retirement, I made that happen; I wanted to get a job in Engineering so I got the schooling that I needed to achieve that goal; I grew up wanting to be part of the military so eventually I made that happen and also used that to help pay for college; my wife and I wanted to see Acadia National Park, the Grand Canyon and go to Hawaii so we made those things happen, etc, etc. The point is that all those things could easily be called part of a “bucket list” and I see absolutely nothing unethical about making such a list.

    • That said, some of these things don’t give you much except memories. There’s a difference between wanting to see some place or experience some event and wanting to increase your wealth, acquire new skills, and so on. That said, I don’t think the Captain of All Ships is going to ask for either list when we reach the place where the sea finally meets the sky.

      • Steve-O-in-NJ wrote, “some of these things don’t give you much except memories. There’s a difference between wanting to see some place or experience some event and wanting to increase your wealth, acquire new skills, and so on.”

        So what, they’re all still essentially goals and any goal could be considered part of a bucket list. The value of the goal is in the eyes of the beholder.

    • But it was never a bucket list item. It was something I decided to do when the opportunity and motivation arose, that’s all, just like starting a theater company, just like writing a play about Clarence Darrow. I don’t think there is a single thing I have done in my life that I would have written on a list as a goal before I did it. And thus I don’t pat myself on the back for checking of boxes. You do what you can, when you can.

  8. Re#2, Presupposing Jack is correct, is it moral luck or condign justice that she died checking off a bucket list item?

    Many choose certain things in life that they enjoy doing and which others find objectionable or pointless, and I’m a car guy, so I don’t say too much. To indict myself further, if given a gift and having to choose, for their own sake and nothing more, between a 12 cylinder Ferrari or a tricked out Cal Bug, I’d probably take the Cal Bug.

    If I got t- boned by a bus on the way home, would it be moral luck, or condign justice for choosing a Cal Bug over a Ferrari?

  9. #1. I confess myself unconcerned… well, as an American I do. As an interpretative artist, I gag a little at the pomposity of the line, but that’s a tale for another day.
    The references to the American Civil War remind me of the origins of our Memorial Day. The nature of the “first” Memorial Day is in dispute, but it’s clear that shortly after the end of the Civil War, there were commemorations in New York, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Georgia, Illinois, and Mississippi… at least. What most if not all of these ceremonies honoring the dead had in common was a respect for the erstwhile enemy soldiers.
    The Japanese admirals who orchestrated the attack on Pearl Harbor deserve neither respect nor sympathy. Teenaged kids who died because someone with political power sent them into harm’s way to perform their “patriotic duty” do. That applies to all such soldiers and sailors in all wars.

  10. Apropos of absolutely nothing on this post, but the Pennsylvania Supreme Court vacated Bill Cosby’s conviction and sentencing:

    Wow.

    jvb

  11. 1. My first reaction to the pandering credit at the end of “Midway” was similar to Grace’s, prompting my wife to rush in to the living room to see if I had injured myself somehow. This was six months ago, and has caused me to avoid seeing the movie again although it gets shown pretty regularly now.
    2. I have never really had a bucket list although there are a number of places I would like to visit -or revisit- before I shuffle off this mortal coil if the opportunity presents itself. I have no plan other than taking advantage of whatever travel possibilities I can fit in after my basic family obligations and the few remaining training and consulting commitments I have are met.
    3. I can remember in fifth-grade art class being shown color slides of the Elgin marbles and asking the teacher why they weren’t returned to Greece. I always thought the same thing about other cultural objects that were carted away by conquering nations and/or colonial powers. I once visited a “dinosaur fossil exhibit” that had not a single real fossil in it; the “fossils” were all copies of actual bones, teeth, etc. and even included impressive full-scale assembled skeletons of several dinosaur varieties. I doubt that anyone other than an expert could tell the difference. The same technology could scan and reproduce exact copies of these purloined artifacts and allow the originals to be returned to their places of origin.
    4. California, most of it at least, is a lost cause, I fear. The liberal metro areas have all the number and political power and the conservative rural areas have to suffer the consequences.
    5. It is always illuminating to observe how principles change when the shoe is on the other foot.

  12. To mess with Jack, my bucket list includes watching, for the first time, such movies like Gone with the Wind and Singing in the Rain. I’ll get to them before I’m dead…well, at least that’s my goal.

    I’d also like to visit certain places like war memorials and national landmarks. I’ve never been to Boston (or Massachusetts for that matter!) I’ll also put on my list a desire to make amends with a couple people who probably hate me and don’t talk to me anymore.

    A bucket list is simply a reminder that your time on this earth is limited and should you find yourself lost in the mundane daily happenings that consume the majority of a life, take a moment and realize that there is more out there than what is in your immediate reach. I’m sure there are tons of people out there that would love to see a concert at Red Rocks and put that on their bucket list. I go a couple of times a year.

    Anyway, I know the comments are supposed to be “on topic” or provide some sort of ethical analysis. Unfortunately, my brain has been completely f’d up the past couple months, so I can only provide this meandering …. whatever it is. (Have to log an occasional comment, otherwise Jack emails to make sure I’m still alive.)

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