End Of Week Ethics Bombs, 8/6/21

Hiroshima

August 6, 1945 is one of the most important ethics days of all, and among the most controversial. The United States bomber Enola Gay—now on exhibit in a hangar near Dulles Airport, dropped the first atomic bomb on the Japanese city of Hiroshima. Approximately 80,000 people were killed in seconds, and another 35,000 were injured. More than 60,000 would be dead by the end of the year from the effects of the fallout. Was the launching of the nuclear age by the United States ethically justified to save American lives (an invasion of the Japanese mainland had been estimated to risk a million U.S. casualties) and end the war? Was President Harry Truman guilty of a war crime, as non-combatants, including children, constituted most of the deaths? Did the horrible results of the new weapon prevent World War III, or make it more likely? These are still intensely debated questions by scholars, historians, theologians, military strategists, philosophers and peace activists.

1. Well, I’ve been spoiling for a fight, shopping around Northern Virginia and fining myself one of the few unmasked. So far, nobody’s said a word, but anyone who does is in for it. I’ve been vaccinated twice and probably had a mild, symptom-free infection before that. I have always been unusually resistant to viruses. Mask fog up my glasses and make me miserable. If you have chosen not to get your shots, swell, that’s your choice, but your exercise of personal liberty is not going to restrict mine without a fight. And don’t tell me I have to wear a mask so phobics feel “safe.” That’s not my problem either. I am not inclined to “social distance,” either. The mask fetish is going to strangle community, society and the joy of life unless we draw some hard lines. I’m drawing.

2. And while I’m feeling pugnacious, that commenter I banned yesterday took offense when I called his dishonest and deliberately misleading claim that Critical Race Theory was “only taught in law schools” a game, which it is, in the same category as progressives arguing that none of their number has advocated defunding the police, open borders or guns confiscation. Today, coincidentally, in my figurative backyard, the watchdog group Parents Defending Education. revealed that Fairfax County Public Schools includes links to video readings from a YouTube channel called “Woke Kindergarten” in its 2021 “Summer Learning Guide” for second graders.

In the first linked video, “Safe,” there is a series of slides showing young blacks, some of them displaying Black Lives Matter signs. “We all deserve to feel safe,” the narration begins. Later it says, “I feel safe when there are no police. And it’s no one’s job to tell me how I feel. But it’s everyone’s job to make sure that people who are being treated unfairly feel safe too.”

The second video, “Good Trouble,” instructs 7-year-olds the value of civil disobedience as exemplified by the late Democratic Congressman John Lewis. “Sometimes it’s good to get into trouble,” the narrator says. “John Lewis was a freedom fighter who got in a lot of good trouble … He knew that getting into good trouble would create unnecessary change, and necessary change has to happen in order for black and indigenous people to be free.”

This isn’t technical Critical Race Theory, but it is the offshoot of the CRT-based false narrative that holds that blacks in the United States are not “free,” and that police, being the institutional enforcement arm of an oppressive white society determined to keep blacks from fully participating in the Republic, make blacks unsafe. Fairfax is where a County official recently attacked parents opposing critical race theory last month, saying, “Let them die. Don’t let these uncomfortable people, don’t let these uncomfortable people deter us from our bold march forward.”

3. Let’s play “Who’s the Asshole?”! The elderly proprietor of a Star Wars fan shop in Aberdeen, Washington posted this sign in his window:

Star Wars sign

A trans individual of some undetermined variety (Dick? No dick?) and who also is on the city council took offense, and confronted the owner in the store. Naturally, someone recorded it. Now the thing has gone viral.

Who’s the asshole? Ethically, this is an easy call. The owner is the asshole. A good and ethical member of the community should never intentionally set out to offend, insult or annoy other members of the community. Nor does an ethical store owner post vulgar signs. He has no excuse. None.

4. To stay with a theme…The Gotham Awards, which I had not previously heard of as awards generally bore me stiff, has announced that beginning with its November 2021 ceremony, prizes for acting would no longer be divided by gender. The Gothams will replace its best actress and best actor categories with a single category for outstanding lead performance. Oh, fine. Go ahead. I’ve listed to this silly debate for decades. It means fewer awards, and pits the sexes against each other. I guess this means that there won’t be any more special awards for black performers and Hispanic performers? No? I don’t understand. What’s the principle at work here? If men and women are “the same,” then why do we have gender segregated sports?

“There are so many talented nonbinary individuals, and it’s not fair to force them into male and female boxes,” said Jeffrey Sharp, the executive director of the Gotham Film and Media Institute in New York. “We have a really proud history of inclusivity. It’s part of our DNA. But it was time for us to evolve, too.”

Oh, that’s what’s happening. Virtue-signaling and mindless “inclusivity.” Why not just add a third category, “Other”? Has any tiny minority ever provoked so much ferment as the ambiguously sexed?

15 thoughts on “End Of Week Ethics Bombs, 8/6/21

  1. On the mask issue, I am 100% in agreement.
    If masks were effective why did all those people wearing masks contract Covid? If the vaccines are so effective that governors and presidents now want to hold you as an economic hostage unless you prove you are vaccinated why are masks necessary?
    What really troubles me is that the Delta variant is so much less lethal than the original strain. Even the regular flu claims more hospitalizations and deaths. Transmissibility should not alone be the reason to invoke draconian measures to limit the number of cases. Will we be having to wear masks to avoid the common cold or seasonal flu? Both are Corona virus variants. It is also suspicious that real absolute numbers in cases let alone hospitalizations or deaths are rarely reported. Instead we get adjectives such as “spiking”, “surging”, “fourfold increase” and other designed to create the impression we are seeing cases of epidemic proportions. Never do they give the baseline data from which one can calculate exactly the increases. That alone makes me suspicious.
    I have seen reports that Biden’s only positive polls have his handling of the pandemic as the reason for the favorable rating. For the life of me I don’t have a clue as to what he did other than make unemployment more lucrative than working or forcing landlords to give away free housing whether the renter had the ability to pay it not.
    The mid terms will not come soon enough.

    • See, here is my thought: Last October I got the flu shot. The nurse said, “hey, man, this vaccine will protect you against the flu, but it doesn’t mean you ain’t gettin’ the flu. Everybody gets the flu. It’s a frickin’ virus and has been around a whole lot longer than we have, so those little bastards know how to adapt. The point of the vaccine is to shorten the time of the flu and to minimize its impact on your system. You’ll still get a fever, chills, and general aches and pains. But, it won’t lay you out for a week or more and possibly develop into chronic respiratory illnesses like pneumonia.”

      So, by that logic, why is it surprising that COVID-19 has mutated into some other strain? And, if it has mutated, why would we think the stupid vaccine is effective at stopping the virus? People understand stuff and make fairly educated decisions. I got the vaccine, based on my doctor’s recommendations, and did my own homework. I am surprised I haven’t been infected by the virus, but I may be wrong. I may have gotten the virus and just don’t know it. I am not living under a rock, though. Forget it.

      jvb

  2. “…then why do we have gender segregated sports?”

    Give it a few more years, and we won’t. We’ll still have men’s and women’s sports, but the “women’s” sports will be dominated by mentally-ill males.

  3. Using the term Critical Race Theory when addressing racist education that is generally related to CRT is a doublespeak trick which too many people fall for. This allows the racists promoting these programs to go straight for the “nuh uh!” argument to dismiss the claim.

    • Agreed. Critical Race proponents get to define what the theory is and isn’t and the definition changes according their whims. When you hold up a position and ask, “is this Critical Race Theory?” they will say it is or it isn’t based on whether it fits within their narrative.

      jvb

  4. I dropped the mask as soon we could here (GA), and don’t seem to lack company. They weren’t even required at this year’s Boy Scout summer camp.

    But not sure what to make of the fact that, at least in the places I frequent, the demographic that most seems to be clinging to the masks is black people. Is this somehow tied to them also being the least vaxxed group? is it because they listen more to scare-mongering democrat sources of information?

  5. The owner of the store was an asshole for putting up the sign. Some of the reports I read on the issue indicated that the owner had taken down the sign before the confrontation with the city council member. Other reports indicate that the sign was still up, though the only evidence shown is the same picture in this EA post. If that is accurate, would the city council member be the larger asshole?

    The city council member was the one who arranged for the recording of the incident and arranged to have it spread on social media, presumably to have the shop owner’s store closed. Additionally, the city council member was planning on organizing a protest in front of the shop. This was later cancelled. Would this now cancelled plan have made the city council member a larger asshole?

    • Good questions: Ethics Quiz-worthy! My answers:

      1. In the video, the owner says he took down the sign because of the pending argument, but after the councilwoman’s attitude, he was ready to put it up again. As a councilwoman, she had a justifiable reason to talk to the guy about his obligations to the community.

      2. Yes, using the web to try to intimidate the owner and take down his store by siccing activist on him is classic cancel culture bullying. She’s an asshole.

      3. Tough one on the protest. A sign like that almost rises to the level of fighting words. It’s gratuitous and ugly. A community protest would not be unreasonable. But, of course, a violent one with out-of-town activists would be unreasonable.

      He still wins the asshole laurels by starting the whole thing.

      • No, no, and, ah HELL no. The council member is the bigger asshole – and frankly should frighten everyone – by threatening to use government power to intimidate a local business owner’s exercise of the First Amendment. The council member should be run out of town on a rail for the totalitarian the council member is. Yeah, the business owner was a tool but that is part of the problem with freedom of speech – not everybody is going to use speech in a nice, respectful manner. This council member, though, entered the store with the intent to impose the government’s will on a private citizen for posting unpopular speech. To add further insult to injury, this council member brought along someone to film the entire episode and posted it on social media. Why? Why would a member of city council do that? Does anyone really think the city council will pass a resolution objecting to the council member’s action or make a statement that the council member did not and was not representing the city council at the time of the supposed confrontation? I will patiently to see if that happens, though I suspect any statement would be so watered down as to be useless.

        I say, “Kudos” to the business owner for not backing down to the council member’s bully and intimidation.

        jvb

        • I don’t see it. She didn’t threaten government action, because there’s nothing the government could do—she knew it, and the owner knew it. It is certainly within an elected official’s role to try to persuade a citizen not to pointlessly roil up the public or members of it and be a better member of the community—not that she did a particularly competent job of it.

  6. Has any tiny minority ever provoked so much ferment as the ambiguously sexed?

    Whew! You’ve got me there. As my mother often said, “The squeaky wheel gets the grease.” And that was back in the ‘sixties. When “advocacy groups” were called “pressure groups.” There are now so many well funded squeaky wheels being operated by professional grease seekers, I have no idea how to answer that question. What percentage of the population is of color? Gay/lesbian? Trans gender? Hispanic? Pacific Islander? Native American? Physically challenged? Anyone can play the game.

  7. Re: Ethics Preamble; The Enola Gay.

    In honor of August 6, I post Rush’s “Manhattan Project.” Oddly enough, the song is about the nuclear bomb but also speaks of the benefits of nuclear technology.

  8. Dr. Andrew B. Chung gives his opinion.

    https://groups.google.com/g/Sci.Med.Cardiology/c/DDwIqn_ve9I/m/rDFHvntSBQAJ

    The only *healthy* way to stop the pandemic, thereby saving lives, in
    the U.S. & elsewhere is by rapidly (Link removed)
    finding out at any given moment, including even while on-line, who
    among us are unwittingly contagious (i.e pre-symptomatic or
    asymptomatic) in order to (Link Removed) (John
    15:12) for them to call their doctor and self-quarantine per their
    doctor in hopes of stopping this pandemic. Thus, we’re hoping for the
    best while preparing for the worse-case scenario of the Alpha lineage
    mutations and others like the Gamma, Beta, Epsilon, Iota, Lambda &
    Delta lineage mutations combining to form hybrids that render current
    COVID vaccines no longer effective.

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