Observations On The Unethical Tweet Of The Month

I wasn’t exaggerating when I noted in the morning ethics horrors round-up today that March, 2022 was an ethics catastrophe speeding up, if anything, in the month’s waning hours.

The above revolting tweet was authored by Kychelle Del Rosario, a fourth-year medical student at Wake Forest School of Medicine. In answer to a tweet by someone complaining about “transphobia,” the future doctor—you know, “First, Do No Harm”?—appeared to admit—with pride!—that she deliberately caused pain and discomfort to a patient because he had mocked her (obnoxious) “preferred pronoun” pin. Then, when her despicable tweet was seen, circulated and justly condemned on social media, she courageously deleted the evidence in an attempted cover-up.

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Ethics Extraction, 3/31/2022: Ethically, March Is Not Going Out Like A Lamb

I just had a very infected tooth pulled, but it was considerably less painful than the ethics news of late. For example, the Oscars producers finally admitted that they asked post-slap Will Smith to leave the ceremony, and he refused….so they shrugged and let him stay. All righty then! One-way tiresome late night host Stephen Colbert told his audience that Fox News’ Peter Doocy should be “slapped” for daring to ask President Biden what he meant by the U.S. “responding in kind” if Russia used chemical weapons against Ukraine. Colbert and his allied Democrat propagandists claimed any Trump criticism of the news media, like Jim Acosta’s partisan and unprofessional harassment, was an attack on the First Amendment proving that Donald was “a threat to democracy; now Colbert wants to see journalists who ask Biden legitimate questions physically punished. And it was a legitimate question: what the heck does responding “in kind” mean? With more chemical warfare? With illegal weapons? Doocy’s question properly highlighted the unfortunate truth that Biden himself doesn’t know what he means much of the time. There would be a joke there, but comics like Colbert only mock Repubicans, apparently because they are terrified that a progressive will run up and slap them if they don’t follow the battle plan. More pain to come…

1 The words are “unprofessional,” “disrespectful,” and “irresponsible.” Country music superstar Eric Church announced this week that he was canceling his upcoming sold-out arena show on Saturday night at the AT&T Center in San Antonio. Is he ill? In mourning? No, the singer just wants to attend North Carolina’s Final Four basketball game against Duke. He wrote, through Ticketmaster,

“This Saturday, my family and I are going to stand together to cheer on the Tar Heels as the team has made it to the Final Four. As a lifelong Carolina basketball fan, I’ve watched Carolina and Duke battle over the years but to have them matchup in the Final Four for the first time in history of the NCAA Tournament is any sports enthusiast’s dream. This is also the most selfish thing I’ve ever asked the Choir to do: to give up your Saturday night plans with us so that I can have this moment with my family and sports community. However, it’s that same type of passion felt by the people who fill the seats at our concerts that makes us want to be part of a crowd at a game of this significance.”

What an asshole. He’s counting on The King’s Pass. He thinks he is owed the right to abandon his commitments. (As a professional stage director, I had several occasions when a performer asked to skip a performance to attend some event. In each case I said “No,” and added that if the performer abandoned the show for a single night, he or she would not be welcome back, to that production or any other.

The email is offensive: he isn’t asking the fans to do anything, its a fait accompli. The last sentence is really smarmy dodge. But that wasn’t all he ended his non-apology with a quote from UNC announcer Woody Durham: “Go where you go and do what you do,” an unethical motto if there ever was one. [Pointer: JutGory]

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Maryland Leaps On The Deadly Abortion Slippery Slope

When you think about it, this shouldn’t surprise us, as horrible and unethical as it is. The steps from abortion, to late-term abortion, to legal infanticide have always been smaller than abortion advocates have been willing to admit.

In one of the efforts underway in several Democratic-controlled legislatures to protect abortion rights if the Supreme Court alters or strikes down Roe v. Wade, Maryland is considering Senate Bill 669. The bill’s language states, in addition to protecting abortions themselves from prosecution, that no person can be investigated or charged for “experiencing a miscarriage, perinatal death related to failure to act, or stillbirth.”

The perinatal period consists of “the period shortly before and after birth, from the 20th to 29th week of gestation to one to four weeks after birth.” Mark Tapscott concludes,

In other words, it’s anywhere up to four weeks after the birth of the child you and your sexual partner conceived, and you decide you really don’t want the child, hey, no problem, just don’t feed it, don’t get medical care, don’t do a thing. Eventually, the child will die.

And that, under the meaning of the bill’s text, is OK.

The bill, which Tapscott believes is certain to pass and withstand a veto by Maryland’s Republican governor, also bans any investigations into perinatal infant death while creating the private right the right to sue for civil damages if one is investigated for causing a perinatal death through neglect. Continue reading

From The “My Mind’s Made Up, Don’t Confuse Me With Facts” Files

The above political cartoon is from Alas! A Blog, where Ethics Alarms exile Barry Deutsch reigns. Barry was formerly a stand-out advocate for the Left on Ethics Alarms until he self-banished for reasons not relevant here. He’s a smart, ethics-savvy, informed, articulate and passionate straight down-the-agenda progressive; he’s also a political cartoonist by trade, an art form I believe has passed its pull date, and that now mostly serves as a device to make dishonest or simplistic arguments for knee-jerk partisans, kind of a visual Charles M. Blow column. I check in on Barry’s blog periodically, and when I did yesterday I was greeted by the above cartoon, drawn by Barry and written by his occasional collaborator Rachel Moore.

It surprised me, not because of its routine anti-Second Amendment message, for as I said, Barry’s progressivism checks every box. It surprised me because I find it astounding that anyone as informed as Barry would pick this, of all times, to unveil that cartoon.

Two days ago, the New York Times reported that the Ukranians were fending off the Russians in part because of armed civilians:

Here, as elsewhere in the fighting around Kyiv, the Ukrainian military achieved its battlefield success by deploying small, fast-moving units largely on foot that staged ambushes or defended sites with the benefit of local knowledge. Many such units are based in central Kyiv, commuting to the war zone by car.

This is not a perfect analogy to the situation that would arise should the United States government decide to “wipe out freedom,” but it certainly ought to be food for thought for those gun-hating zealots who ridicule the very idea that self-defense and the ability to present armed resistance to government tyranny are basic liberties worth protecting in the U.S. Continuing to make the most crude and insulting version of that argument at this time appears to expose an ideological position that is no longer susceptible to modification or reason.

If you like political cartoons, Barry is certainly a talented one , and you can support his art on Patreon.

First Vice-Presidents And Supreme Court Justices, And Now NFL Offensive Assistant Coaches

The NFL’s near-complete dearth of ethics alarms is approaching comedic levels, if such a thing could be funny. This week the league that makes billions by paying young men to get a brain disease commanded all 32 NFL teams to hire a minority offensive assistant coach for the 2022 season, as, you’ve got it, another phase of the league’s “diversity” efforts.

The coach can be “a female or a member of an ethnic or racial minority,” according to the policy adopted by NFL owners during their annual meeting, and will be paid from a league-wide fund. That’s because they will all be tokens, you see, hired for PR purposes and to avoid lawsuits, so they really aren’t team hires. The new minority coaches “must work closely with the head coach and the offensive staff, with the goal of increasing minority participation in the pool of offensive coaches” that eventually produces the most sought-after candidates for head-coaching positions. In other words, they must receive remedial training because they would not have been hired based on their experience or demonstrated skills.

“It’s a recognition that at the moment, when you look at stepping stones for a head coach, they are the coordinator positions,” said Pittsburgh Steelers owner Art Rooney II, the chairman of the NFL Diversity, Equity and Inclusion committee. “We clearly have a trend where coaches are coming from the offensive side of the ball in recent years, and we clearly do not have as many minorities in the offensive coordinator [job].” A quota, he means.

And that’s what counts, not putting the best football team on the field. Or something.

In addition to the offensive assistant coach mandate, the new policies in “diversity” also added women to the language of the Rooney Rule at all levels. It will now read that women and/or people of color can satisfy the old Rooney Rule requirement to interview two external minorities for top positions, including head coach. Women are not required to be interviewed, but they are now included in the fulfillment process. It is possible that a team could interview two white women for an open head coach position to satisfy the Rooney Rule, and then make a hire without ever interviewing a person of color.

Why no “differently-abled” coaches? How about blind coaches? Gay coaches? Mentally ill coaches? Little people. Non-English speakers. Mentally-challenged. Surely a trans assistant coach would be historic. Can Lia Thomas play football? Continue reading

Ethics Hero: Chris Rock (Plus A Word About Bald Jokes And Snopes Joining The Ethics Train Wreck) [UPDATED!]

UPDATE: 11:45, 3/30/45: Rock briefly addressed the Smith attack during his concert in Boston tonight, but said nothing substantive about it. “Soooo, how was your weekend?”, he began. After the crowd responded with a standing ovation, Rock continued: “Let me be all misty and shit.I don’t have a bunch of shit to say about that, so if you came here for that…I had written a whole show before this weekend. I’m still processing what happened, so at some point I’ll talk about that shit. It’ll be serious. It’ll be funny, but right now I’m going to tell some jokes.”

And he did.

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Incredibly, Chris Rock has managed to stay off the Ethics Train Wreck that he unfairly was the catalyst for. Bravo, Chris. This alone makes him a worthy Ethics Hero. Consider:

  • He wisely and coolly resisted the impulse to defend himself physically when Will Smith ambushed him. It doesn’t matter that he’s a much smaller man and Smith had played Muhammad Ali. A couple months ago, Rock mused ruefully about his being bullied as a child, and regretted still letting people “walk all over him.” In the heat of the moment, he could have struck back at Smith, and might have even gained some support by doing so—and it would have wrecked the Oscars more than Smith, the fumbling, cowardly producers and the disgraceful audience in the auditorium wrecked it as it was.
  • He refused to file charges. He was well within his rights to do so, but withholding that indignity was a kindness to Smith and the Academy, neither of whom deserved it.
  • He has said nothing about the incident at all in public. Good. Literally nothing he said could do anything but make matters worse. Criticizing Smith would allow the media to promote a “feud,” obliterating the real issues. Accepting Smith’s bogus apology would be another example of letting bullies walk all over him: I’d criticize Rock for that, because it would validate Smith’s hypocrisy and attempt at an easy escape from accountability. Rocks brother says Smith has yet to contact Chris personally.
  • Chris Rock also wins the first Ethics Alarms “If” award, named for my father’s favorite poem.   So far, he has embodied the first verse to the finest detail:

If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or, being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or, being hated, don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise;

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Georgetown University Law Center Decides To Teach Systemic Racism Rather Than Law

Well, it looks like this is going to be All-Race Wednesday. Sorry: I wanted it to be “Don’t Say Gay” Wednesday, but I don’t completely control these things. Incidentally, I know everyone is thoroughly sick of the Will Smith matter. However, the cultural implications of what should have been a meaningless blip are significant, and both this morning’s first post the comments to it are worth reading.

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The last time I relied on the Washington Free Beacon, I was hoaxed by an inappropriate “satire” article that, was subsequent events have sadly proved, was too close to reality to signal that it was fake. So I checked this Free Beacon exposé on Georgetown Law Center, my disgraceful alma mater, particularly carefully, hoping it was a bad joke. It isn’t.

Ironically, just yesterday two old friends emailed me about whether I would be attending the class reunion next month, a major one. After reluctantly telling them that I could not, for the many reasons I have discussed here and here, most lately the Dean’s suspension of  professor Ilya Cohen for daring to suggest that limiting a Supreme Court nomination by race and gender was not the best way to ensure the most able jurist would replace Justice Breyer, I started having second thoughts. Was I just being an old poop, one of those alums who are bitter that things aren’t like the old days? Why not just accept it all and party with pals?

Then I saw the report. That graphic above is a slide from a First Year mandatory property course, one of many re-published by the Free Beacon. It reports in part, Continue reading

They Just Couldn’t Do It…Critic Wesley Morris And The New York Times Blow Up Standards, Ethics And My Head To Try To Excuse Will Smith

Two graphics are called for to introduce this ethics horror. This:

..because I had hoped against hope that I wouldn’t have to write another post about Will Smith’s attack on Chris Rock during the Oscars broadcast. But it is obviously and ethics train wreck now, and I have no choice. And this…

…because I am stunned, shocked, and disgusted, and think, or perhaps hope, that we have reached a tipping point where the sensible people in this nation say, “Enough!”

Spuds had woken me from a sound sleep up to go outside, good boy that he is, and though I was ready to go back to bed, I made the mistake of picking up the New York Times from my lawn. Then I made the bigger mistake of taking it to the bathroom with me, and the bigger mistake yet of turning to the Arts section. And there it was: an epic, head-exploding, all-in screed by Times critic Wesley Morris explaining why Will Smith was not really to blame for his astounding, incredible, unethical, unprofessional, unjust, infantile, and criminal attack on comedian Chris Rock (who will get his Ethics Hero award from me today). but just about everyone else and everything else was.

I’m taking a pause now because my head feels ready to go off again…

They just couldn’t do it, could they? The Left, the race-baiters, black activists, the news media and the opinion-making elite could not stop themselves from turning an attack by one black celebrity on another into another bigoted weapon in the “antiracism” war against American culture. I’m such an idiot. With everything we’ve seen, I just didn’t see it coming. Oh, I expected the racists and bigots on the right to try to make Smith actions symbolic of something rotten and predictable in black culture; except for the hypocrisy of its source, I agree with the assessment of Bernice A. King, the daughter of Martin Luther King Jr. and Coretta Scott King wrote, “Anybody who thinks ‘Black people look bad’ after the #Oscars already thought Black people look bad.” But I should have seen this stage coming, the desperate need to make Smith the victim instead of Rock, and someone, something, the wrongdoer instead of Smith. The big clue was the Oscar audience giving Smith a huge ovation after he had slapped Rock for an award he should not have been allowed to accept. I should read what I write sometimes: I already mused in one post about how different the response would have been if it had been Alec Baldwin slapping Rock.

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Tuesday Ethics Afterthoughts, 3/29/2022: A Cheat Sheet, Mask Mayhem, And More

(THERE IS NO GOOD GRAPHIC FOR “AFTERTHOUGHTS”)

The 29th is another of those ill-starred days in U.S. ethics, topped off in 1973 by the U.S. withdrawal from Vietnam, the half-way war that was an ethics train wreck for decades. Two years earlier, on the same date, Lt. William L. Calley was found guilty of premeditated murder by a U.S. Army court-martial at Fort Benning, Georgia. Calley, a platoon leader, had led his men in a massacre of Vietnamese civilians including women and children on March 16, 1968. Ten years before Calley’s conviction, Julius and Ethel Rosenberg were convicted of espionage for their role in passing atomic secrets to the Soviets during and after World War II. They were executed in 1953, a flashpoint in the schism between the American Left and Right that still is a sore point. (Ethel appears to have been a genuine villain.)

1. I thought this was a hoax. It’s not, unfortunately: someone got a photo of the cheat cheat for “talking points” that President Biden was holding when he massacred his explanation for his Russian regime change outburst in an exchange with Peter Doocy.

This does not fill me with confidence. You? The ethical value at issue is competence.

2. The propaganda and misinformation continues. Though some recently departed here could never grasp it, honest and trustworthy newspapers shouldn’t be publishing falsity and partisan propaganda in house opinion pieces. That’s when the opinion is offered using misleading or incomplete facts—deceit–and the New York Times does it almost every day. I can’t trust a group of editors who permit that. Examples:

It’s incredible how quickly we’ve normalized the fact that the last president tried to retain power despite losing the election and that a mob he incited stormed the Capitol. Many people took part in the effort to overturn the election — among them, we recently learned, the wife of a sitting Supreme Court justice, who hasn’t even recused himself in cases about the attempted coup.

The President in question wanted to challenge the results of an election he believed was the result of illegal manipulation, and as President, he had a duty to do that. I know Krugman isn’t a lawyer, but incitement is a term of art and a crime, and Trump did not “incite a mob” by addressing a crowd. Saying Justice Thomas “hasn’t even” recused himself because of the completely legal communications of his wife falsely implies that doing so is required or the justification for him to do so is undeniable. It isn’t. Editors should not allow such deliberately confusing and misleading opinion material Continue reading

The Great Smith-Rock Rumble Ethics Round-Up!, Part 2: “We Are All Rock Now”

Such episodes are often useful as a way to gauge the ethics alarms, values, common sense and IQs of the public figures and others who comment on them. So it was yesterday. Before a survey, however, there was this provocative note from conservative site “Not the Bee”:

Will Smith’s aggressive defense of his wife on the Oscars stage occurs alongside his complete and utter spousal neglect of her off the stage. Smith has already admitted that he and his wife are in an “open marriage.” In other words, he allows other men to have sex with his wife. There are few more potent and enduring symbols of emasculated weakness—and of bad husbandship—than a man standing by while other guys hook up with his wife and make a mockery of their wedding vows. We should note that Will Smith presumably hooks up with women in his own right, but of course that simply degrades his own personal integrity even further—if you can’t defend your wife and your marriage from the impulses and the ego of your own sexual appetites, you’re not much of a man or a husband, whatever else you may be.

Getting back to the Round-Up…I believe we were up to #4?

4. The Smith’s son, actor Jaden Smith, tweeted, “That’s how we do it.” Ah! Attack people who make jokes we don’t think are funny! It looks like Will is teaching his offspring not to be the man he wants to be.

5. Of course there was a Trump connection, imagined by Trump-Deranged CNN analyst Assah Rangappa (last seen making a fool of herself here). Her tweet:

Yes, such is the quality of thought one gets from CNN analysts. In what universe would the natural reaction of an audience to Smith’s solo meltdown be to walk out of the ceremony. Did she think it was staged? How does she lay the conduct of black, progressive, Hollywood star on Donald Trump? Well, obviously, if something is bad, it’s his fault. Continue reading