Morning Ethics Warm-Up, 12/15/21: Denial, Deception, Devolution, Discipline And Delusion

I would feel much better about the future of the country if Democrats and progressives would at least admit that the “anyone but Trump” President installed by the media with the assistance of some highly questionable voting procedures, along with the extreme pipe-dream policies that came along with Biden have been an unmitigated disaster. But they won’t; it’s amazing. Today’s New York Times letters section has a section called “Is Biden’s Presidency a Disappointment?” I would have answered, “No., because it was obvious that he would be terrible,” but that’s not what the Times readers think, no indeed. One wrote that he’s playing the hand he was dealt, and is “inspiring people to fight.” (“Inspiring people to fight” is what the Democrats in the House claimed justified impeaching him for causing “an insurrection”…) The next letter, which doesn’t appear to be from a madhouse, says “This has been an astonishingly successful 2021 so far.” It really does, and the Times printed it. The third letter says the writer is only disappointed that the Democrats under Biden haven’t “come together” sufficiently to prevent Republicans from “doing terrible damage to our country” because the GOP is clearly “bent on destroying democracy.” The responses end with a note of sanity, as J. Matthew McClone of Tyson Md. writes that a Times op-ed stating that there was a “growing fear” that the Republicans will gain power and “slam the doors of democracy behind them” confirms that “many on the left have lost perspective.”

Ya think?

1. Schadenfreude test! New York’s top ethics panel has ordered former Governor Andrew Cuomo to pay the state the $5.1 million in profits he made on a book celebrating his management of the Wuhan virus in New York. The book was a crock, since thousands of elderly New Yorkers died in nursing homes after Cuomo ordered them to accept contagious seniors. Over 9,000 coronavirus patients were sent into New York nursing homes by the “Luv Guv,”, and over 15,000 long-term care residents in New York’s nursing homes died, though Cuomo’s henchpeople did their best to cover it up. Yet none of that is why he has to pay back the money: the 12-to-1 vote by the Joint Commission on Public Ethics yesterday was based on its conclusion that Cuomo used state resources and government staff to write the book. Cuomo must pay the money to the state by next month.

Couldn’t happen to a nicer guy…

2. Are fake documentaries unethical? A 2009 docudrama called “The Fourth Kind” presents itself as a dramatization of actual creepy events in Nome, Alaska centering on a Dr. Abigail Tyler, a psychiatrist who begins encountering what she believes are alien abduction victims in her practice. The film purports to base its account on the doctor’s actual tapes and videos, which are sometimes shown simultaneously with the dramatization of them. Tyler is shown herself, and no actress is credited with playing her. Eventually the charade breaks down, but I bought it for most of the movie. The film is much scarier if you believe it is based on a real episode; like a magic trick, once you know how it’s done it seems obvious and a waste of time.

To fool the gullible and promote the film, Universal Pictures created a website including fake news stories supposedly taken from real Alaska newspapers like the Nome Nugget and the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner. The newspapers were not amused and sued Universal, which had to take down the site and pay $20,000 to the Alaska Press Club.

I could easily imagine audience members leaving this film convinced that aliens were stalking and abducting us. It’s sufficiently well-done to fool, or terrify, a lot of people. That’s deliberately causing harm for an entertainment dollar, and unethical.

3. This is real:

Families of Color Night

Yes, a Denver public elementary school sees nothing wrong with segregating students and their families by race, as long as it’s well-intentioned. Apparently the event is held on the second Wednesday of every month. This is illegal wokism, like New York City’s new provision allowing non-citizens to vote. Colo. Const. art. IX, sec. 8 says in part, “nor shall any distinction or classification of pupils be made on account of race or color.”

But ignoring laws is one of the ways progressives and Democrats are going to preserve democracy. Don’t ask me to explain that, but it’s still what they appear to think.

It is things like this that lead me to believe that eventually the whole woke construct will simply blow up like Krypton because the stresses, hypocrisy and contradictions will become too great. Or, in the alternative, we’re all doomed…[Pointer: Willem Reese]

4. And while we are on the topics of laws and progressive accountability…San Francisco Mayor London Breed—heretofore a strong candidate for the coveted title of Worst Big City Mayor in the U.S. in the tough field of Bill de Blasio (NYC), Lori Lightfoot (Chicago), Muriel Bowser (D.C.), Ted Wheeler (Portland) and Eric Garcetti (LA), announced that she was shocked–shocked!—that the city she has been responsible for since 2017 has turned into a filthy, lawless hell-hole. Why didn’t somebody tell her? Yesterday she announced initiatives aimed at curbing open drug use, brazen home break-ins and other criminal behavior. “What I’m proposing today, and what I will be proposing in the future will make a lot of people uncomfortable, and I don’t care,” said Breed, a famously social justice-minded Democrat. “We are past the point where what we see is even remotely acceptable.” She vowed to be “less tolerant of all the bullshit that has destroyed our city.”

Now we have a nice test of whether San Franciscans, which the Associated Press describe as famous for their “tolerance and compassion,” are also dumb as a box of yo-yos. If the city has been destroyed, Breed let it get destroyed. Will voters really let her get away with this audacious double back-flip grandstanding?

5. Is pro football a great sport or what? Former NFL cornerback Phillip Adams shot illed South Carolina physician Robert Lesslie; his wife, Barbara; two of their grandchildren, 9-year-old Adah Lesslie and 5-year-old Noah Lesslie; and two HVAC technicians working at the Lesslie home before killing himself last April. Autopsy results announced yesterday revealed that Adams had unusually severe brain disease in the frontal lobe. Yes, it’s CTE again, just as in the brain of the other infamous ex-NFL murderer Aaron Hernandez.

The 20 years that Adams spent playing football “definitely … gave rise” to a diagnosis of Stage 2 chronic traumatic encephalopathy, said Dr. Ann McKee, who examined his brain. He was 32. “Severe frontal lobe pathology might have contributed to Adams’s behavioral abnormalities, in addition to physical, psychiatric and psychosocial factors,” McKee said in a news conference. “Theoretically, the combination of poor impulse control, paranoia, poor decision-making, emotional volatility, rage and violent tendencies caused by frontal lobe damage could converge to lower an individual’s threshold for homicidal acts — yet such behaviors are usually multifactorial.”

Hey, that’s too complicated for the NFL and its slobbering fans to process. DE-fence, DE-fence!

The N.F.L. did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the findings of Adams’s examination.

11 thoughts on “Morning Ethics Warm-Up, 12/15/21: Denial, Deception, Devolution, Discipline And Delusion

  1. 5) Demaryius Thomas, 33, died 12/9/2021. He played in the NFL for 9 seasons and died at home from a seizure (from what I read). Not sure if there was an autopsy or check for CTE or if it’s pending.

    One source said he had “medical issues” but that’s pretty vague. CTE was mentioned but discounted as the primary cause by former players and family, but, that’s why I’d like to see his brain examined for CTE.

    • Of course not. And I didn’t write that or come close to writing it. A movie that tries to convince idiots that things that never happened did happen and producers that put up fake websites and news stories to do it are unethical. It doesn’t have to be a horror movie: “JFK” was the most unethical movie I’ve ever seen, and one of only 6 I’ve walked out of.

      • So you think The Fourth Kind is unethical because it pretends to be real?

        Do you think The Office is unethical because it pretends to be real?

        Or is the promotional material that looks like real news articles the qualifier here?

        • “The Office” didn’t pretend to be real. If this is your quality of argument, don’t bother. Have you seen the movie? If you haven’t, then you don’t know what you’re comparing. If you have, then you are either trolling or an idiot. It begins with the lead actress explaining that everything in the film is based on actual tapes and videos, which are used throughout the “documentary.” At the end, we are told about what became of the characters, and which ones refused to participate in the film. It was not a documentary, it was a sci-fi horror movie that wanted to deceive audiences into believing it was based on facts. If you want a comparison, then try “Paranormal Experience” or “The Blair Witch Project,” except that both of them were so obviously being performed by actors that the “found video” conceit wasn’t fooling anyone and didn’t attempt to.

          • ALERT! THIS GUY HAS BEEN BANNED, per my final response to him. Do not reply, but do email me if he tries to sneak back, as banned commenters usually do. JM

            The Office absolutely pretended to be real. It’s set up like they’re being interviewed and like it’s a real office.

            Do you think everyone who went to the movies to see this Universal Studios picture The Fourth Kind, starring Milla Jovovich, actually believed everything was real?

            Do you normally believe the things you’re told in movies are real actually are?

            Do you think there should have been a disclaimer at the beginning of the movie informing you that it was fictional?

            So the Blair Witch was okay because the acting wasn’t as good as this movie?

            You believed this alien story was real but not that there’s a global pandemic?

            • This comment proves you are an idiot or a troll. I don’t care which: I don’t have time for people this dim and/or obnoxious.

              1. No, “The Office” did not in any way try to convince anyone it was “real.” Its style was that of a documentary, but no effort was made to seriously represent itself as such. A similar exercise was Modern Family.

              2. As for your other dumb questions, which I’ll lwoer myself to answer since this is your final comment here:

              Do you think everyone who went to the movies to see this Universal Studios picture The Fourth Kind, starring Milla Jovovich, actually believed everything was real?

              I never said or implied that “everyone” thought it was real. Many people probably did.

              Do you normally believe the things you’re told in movies are real actually are?
              Non-serious question that would have gotten you banned if your tiny brain pan hadn’t already done the trick.

              Do you think there should have been a disclaimer at the beginning of the movie informing you that it was fictional?

              Of course not. But when a movie says “This is based on a true incident” or “All the incidents and characters represented in this film are real, though some have been fictionalized,” it is unethical if those claims are lies.

              So the Blair Witch was okay because the acting wasn’t as good as this movie?

              Actors are almost always easily distinguishable from non-actors (especially to me, since I am a professional director. The “found video” stuff always gives itself away by the fact that the one with the camera keeps shooting even when it makes no sense—like in BWP. Yes, the actress that the film claimed was the real psychiatrist was very convincing as a non-actor.

              You believed this alien story was real but not that there’s a global pandemic?

              Not deigning tp answer that snotty question either (and who said I don’t believe there’s a global pandemic)?

              You’re banned. Don’t come back.

    • I’m also used to graphic artists being too lazy to color the Nunavut Islands or Newfoundland when they’re coloring Canada… They also united Ireland, separated Tasmania from Australia, and sank most of the Caribbean Islands. But I have to contextualize that laziness with the deliberate effort to color a small independent nation that China is salivating over.

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