Monday Morning Ethics Warm-Up: All Sorts Of Games, But Not The Fun Kind…

Wow, the ethics train wrecks that pulled out of the station on this date: Irag invading Kuwait in 1990, the conclusion of the disastrous Potsdam Conference in 1945, and the ascension of Adolf Hitler to dictator of Germany in 1934! Maybe we should just skip August 2 on the calendar like some buildings have no 13th floor…

1. This is good news, sort of…The American Civil Liberties Union of New Jersey announced that the obscenity charges against Andrea Dick for refusing to take down her “Fuck Biden” banners had been withdrawn by the town of Roselle Park, New Jersey. A municipal court judge had ordered Dick to take down the three flags, finding that they violated the town’s obscenity ordinance, which was ridiculous: the ordinance defines obscenity as anything that “appeals to the prurient interest; depicts or describes in a patently offensive way sexual conduct as hereinafter specifically defined, or depicts or exhibits offensive nakedness as hereinafter specifically defined; and lacks serious literary, artistic, political or scientific value.” Dick was not calling for a gang rape of Joe Biden. Moreover, his ruling was in direct opposition to the Supreme Court’s landmark 1971 ruling in Cohen v. California. We discussed the case here.

I say “sort of” from a Golden Rule perspective. I sure wouldn’t want her as a neighbor. This is squarely in the “right to be an unethical jerk” category. But the government tried to intimidate her out exercising her right to free speech, and whatever else she is, Dick is not a weenie.

She should give lessons.

2. Today’s American Olympics narcissists: Raven Saunders and Race Imboden. Even though they were directed by the nation they represent not to make political theater out award ceremonies in Tokyo, Saunders, a silver medal winner in the women’s shot put, and Imboden, a bronze winner in foil, went ahead with obnoxious grandstanding anyway. Imboden, who is a serial offender, had a symbol marked on his hand, while Saunders treated fans to this attractive display:

Raven protest

They were protesting injustice or something, as if anyone cares or should care what they think. It’s not their stage to abuse. Apparently there is a big debate over what the U.S. officials and Olympics authorities should do. Easy: send them home, take their medals, and ban them from representing the U.S. again. They were warned.

3. Oh, all RIGHT, since we’re on the topic of the Olympics anyway: Jason Whitlock was wrong about Simone Biles! In his most recent critical essay about Simone (whom he sarcastically dubbed “Black Girl Tragic”—he’s allowed because he’s black himself) the conservative sports pundit wrote, “Biles is done. If she competes in Monday’s floor competition or Tuesday’s beam and injures herself, USA Gymnastics, the United States Olympic Committee, the International Olympic Committee, and NBC could all face colossal lawsuits.”

I don’t know about that, but I am surprised that Biles is going to compete in the beam tomorrow. If her problem was really stress and pressure as she claimed, why would she do this, when her performance will be under more scrutiny than ever? It also will represent a mighty quick recovery from “the twisties,” the excuse her advisors arrived at for her failure to compete earlier. The whole episode is now firmly in the grip of moral luck. My advice: do NOT watch the gymnastics scene in “Final Destination 5.”

4. Most Superfluous News Report of the Year: “Why Trust Is in Short Supply on Capitol Hill” Most of the public doesn’t trust Congress for the best of reasons: its members lie, spin, change standards like underwear, show no courage or integrity, and its leaders—McConnell, Schumer, Pelosi and the rest—are thoroughly despicable. Of course they don’t trust each other.

5. When did Sarah Palin turn into Joan of Arc? The past-her-pull-date GOP celebrity told New Apostolic Reformation leader Ché Ahn on July 22 that she would run to become a U.S. Senator for Alaska “[i]f God wants me to do it.” The degree of narcissism and arrogance that kind of statement requires is staggering. There are few more glaring examples in U.S. history of a political figure having a spectacular opportunity drop into her lap only to prove that she lacked the character and ability to take advantage of her good fortune to benefit the public. Warren G. Harding, who died on this date in 1923, was another, but at least he tried.

6. The competition for most unethical Democratic big city mayor is heating up! Less than 24 hours after her new indoor face mask requirement took effect in Washington, D.C., Mayor Muriel Bowser violated her own mandate by gathering with hundreds of people and officiated a wedding at The Line DC, a four-star hotel in the Adams Morgan neighborhood of the city. Here’s the photo that was leaked to the press:

Bowser maskless2

When confronted by a reporter for the conservative Washington Examiner, Mayor Bowser confirmed that she officiated without a mask, but when she was asked why she was violating her own mask mandate, her security detail dragged her away. The answer was obvious anyway: laws are for the little people. Then, in a statement provided to WTTG-TV, Bowser’s office pulled a full Jumbo, saying in part,

“On Saturday, July 31st, Mayor Bowser officiated an outdoor, rooftop wedding ceremony, followed by an indoor dinner. The Mayor wore a mask indoors in compliance with the mandate, and the organizers and venue staff worked to create a safe environment for the staff and guests.

Photo? What photo?

This should give you some idea why it is that crack-smoking Mayor Marion Barry is still regarded as the best mayor D.C. ever had.

9 thoughts on “Monday Morning Ethics Warm-Up: All Sorts Of Games, But Not The Fun Kind…

  1. “This should give you some idea why it is that crack-smoking Mayor Marion Barry is still regarded as the best mayor D.C. ever had.”

    You know, that is some scary stuff right there, when you think of the ramifications involved in that sentence.


  2. Apropos of absolutely nothing related to this post, but I just learned that a local law firm does the following:

    The owner of the firm, who does collections, foreclosure, and eviction work for lenders and apartments has a habit of raiding other firms of their employees. Not unethical because law firms tend to be cannibals, but they kick it up a notch by doing this:

    The owner sends a letter to a lawyer, generally an associate, First Class United States Mail, confirming their recent job interview and states that after discussions with the other partners, an employment offer is made to the associate for a job, including a salary, sign-on bonus, other benefits, etc. This lawyer guy knows that the letter addressed to the associate will be opened by the front desk person, and put in a stack of mail for the owner of the target’s law firm to review and/or read, etc. There has not been an interview, any discussions with the associate, or any other formal contact between the associate and the owner of the other firm.

    Awful and disreputable.


    • John, this brings to mind certainly my favorite cartoon about the (alleged) profession in which I toiled for over twenty years.* A younger partner is sitting in the client chair while another not much older partner is gesticulating behind the desk. The young partner in the client chair is goggle-eyed and the guy behind the desk is completely amused as he blurts out, “Is it right? Is it fair? Get a grip, Hopkins. This is a law firm!”
      *My sentence was apparently twenty to life, which was hard time, of course, but I was granted early release by Mrs. OB’s hard earned and fabulously successful career in IT, which she actually enjoyed.

    • Yikes, that’s an incredibly evil and corrupt deception.

      That being said, isn’t it obvious on reflection that if the job interview had actually happened, the prospective employer would send a letter to the prospective employee at their home, not at their place of employment? That seems like a giant warning sign. Or is there some bizarre law or code of conduct mandating that law firms inform a lawyer’s current firm about any job offers?

      • There is no such code. The lawyer does it to mess with the associate and the firm. It is insidious.

        Post Script: today I received an email from that law firm telling me he will hire me immediately. I have never spoken to him.


  3. The raised crossed arms are supposed to symbolize the intersection of all that was, all that is, and all that will ever be. Or something. The green and yellow hair symbolizes her identification with the Incredible Hulk. Or something.


  4. Transgender weightlifter Laurel Hubbard failed to complete a lift last night. Good, I’m glad she failed. I’ll carry on cheering for the other 210 New Zealand athletes.

  5. 1. It’s a pity those poor U.S. athletes – the ones that seem so angry and unhappy at the Olympics and dislike so much that is America – are forced to represent a country they would rather not. It’s tragic. I hope they are able to somehow “emancipate” themselves from their oppressors so they never have to represent me again.

    6. In that photo, there’s a man sitting right across from her at the table…wearing a mask!! Wow. Clearly the pandemic isn’t nearly as serious as the mayor would want us to believe.

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