Gray Afternoon Ethics, 3/24/2022: The Nose Edition

1. And I thought Navage was nuts…Those Navage commercials showing someone smiling like a zany while water is being forced up one nostril and out the other make me nauteous, but there are worse nose products for even bigger suckers. Since Tik-Tok viewers will probably believe anything, tanning nasal sprays are being advertised on the social media platform. They are supposed to be inhaled to boost the effects of sun exposure or a tanning bed. They haven’t been FDA approved, and nobody is quite sure what’s in them, but go ahead, shoot them up your nose.

Some of the products claim to contain melanotan or melanotan II, which are synthetic chemicals that act like hormones the body makes naturally. Both can have can have far-reaching side effects, like cancer and sexual reactions. Asked by reporters to comment, TikTok said, “Our community guidelines make clear what content is allowed on TikTok. Our policy on illegal activities and regulated goods prohibits the promotion of nasal tanning sprays, and we have removed the videos that you have shared with us.” In other words, TikTok doesn’t police advertising of quack drugs unless someone points them out. This is not a surprise.

You have to be exposed to ultra-violet rays for these sprays to work, so a target audience for the ads is anyone who would get in a tanning bed. That explains a lot. Remember this scene from ‘Final Destination 3″?

2. Then there is thisKhecarī Mudrā, the controversial yoga practice of sticking the tongue into the nasal cavity. Sounds fun, no? It involves gradually severing parts of the tongue and then curling it back until it enters parts of your head it was never meant to go. In the early stages of khecarī mudrā, practitioners curl back their tongues as far back as possible so that the tip touches the soft palate at the back of the mouth or even the uvula. Don’t worry, it gets easier as you practice. Khecarī mudrā is said to seal the energy of Bindu and give one supernatural powers, IF you can curl your tongue back far enough to then insert it into the nasal cavity to “lick the supreme nectar of immortality flowing there.”


3. I smell popcorn popping! Donald Trump is suing 2016 Democratic Presidential nominee Hillary Clinton,  accusing her of conspiring with dozens of others to topple his presidency. The new lawsuit, filed  in federal court in Fort Pierce, Fla., accuses Clinton, her campaign, various campaign aides, former FBI Director James Comey, the Democratic National Committee and others of racketeering conspiracy for allegedly joining in “an unthinkable plot” to falsely accuse Trump of colluding with Russia in the 2016 presidential election.

GOOD! I can’t wait to find out what turns up in discovery, although I’m hoping Sydney Powell isn’t Trump’s lawyer. “In the run-up to the 2016 Presidential Election, Hillary Clinton and her cohorts orchestrated an unthinkable plot – one that shocks the conscience and is an affront to this nation’s democracy,” the complaint says. “Acting in concert, the Defendants maliciously conspired to weave a false narrative that their Republican opponent, Donald J. Trump, was colluding with a hostile foreign sovereignty.” The suit accused the defendants of obstruction of justice and theft of trade secrets, as well as unlawful hacking into Trump’s private communications.

4. Let’s play “Sniff Out The Dissenter!” For some silly reason, Texas wouldn’t allow John Henry Ramirez, sentenced to die by lethal injection for the 2004 murder of a convenience store clerk and father of nine, to have his spiritual adviser pray aloud and lay hands on him at the moment of his execution.   Ramirez challenged the state ban on the practice, and Chief Justice John Roberts,  joined by seven other justices, wrote that there was not a compelling government interest in denying the religious exercises. “Ramirez is likely to suffer irreparable harm in the absence of injunctive relief because he will be unable to engage in protected religious exercise in the final moments of his life,” Roberts wrote. “Congress determined that prisoners like Ramirez have a strong interest in avoiding substantial burdens on their religious exercise, even while confined.”

Two questions: first, why does the Supreme Court have to waste time on a case like this? Texas is killing the guy: what’s the big deal in letting someone pray by him as he dies?

Question #2: Who was the dissenter? (See the end of the post—don’t peak!)

5. Volodymyr Zelenskyy “Nose” Best! Continuing on the discussion around the blog about how wonderful Ukraine is, Ethics Alarms takes note that the sainted Ukraine president, following Rahn Emanuel’s advice to never let a crisis go to waste, has banned Ukraine’s main opposition party and ten other parties. Of course, we all know that Zelenskyy will immediately restore democracy one the Russian crisis is over, right? Wanna bet? Before the current crisis, Political opponents like Viktor Medvedchuk were put under house arrest by Zelenskyy . Zelenskyy also previously banned opposing television channels.

6. The unethical stench that is MSNBC…MSNBC commentator and the Nation’s “Justice Correspondent” Elie Mystal, the race-obsessed angry black lawyer who has been going gradually and frighteningly insane for years, accused Sen. Josh Hawley of trying to kill Supreme Court nominee Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson. This is increasingly par for the course, as they say, for Mystal, who seems determined to spark a race war before his head blows up from extreme anti-white, anti-conservative hate and fury.

Mystal told mute, head-nodding MSNBC Tiffany Cross that Hawley’s criticism of Jackson’s positions on sentencing child porn offenders is literally an effort to have her murdered. Mystal ranted,

“What Josh Hawley is doing. Let’s be very clear. What Josh Hawley is doing when he tries to do this is he’s trying to get her killed. He is trying to get violence done against a Supreme Court nominee.”

Riiiight, Elie. Now take that duck off of your head, put your clothes back on, take this pill, and go along with the nice men with the butterfly nets…


And the dissenting Justice was….



25 thoughts on “Gray Afternoon Ethics, 3/24/2022: The Nose Edition

  1. Re: No. 4 and the Spiritual Advisor.

    Jack asked, “Two questions: first, why does the Supreme Court have to waste time on a case like this? Texas is killing the guy: what’s the big deal in letting someone pray by him as he dies?”

    Agreed that Texas should not waste too much time on these matters. Yet, if Texas doesn’t place some restrictions on this, then there is mostly likely going to be a huge delegation of Pastafarians serving pasta with marinara sauce to the entire viewing public watching death sentence criminals last rites to delay the execution as long as possible and make a mess out of everything. Think I am kidding? Texas used to allow those being executed their last meal. Then, some took advantage of the whole thing and spoiled it for the rest of them.


    • Imagine if at the time of execution something fails which is then attributable to divine intervention because of the laying of hands.

      • Imagine the person laying on hands suffering injury or death as a result of the physical contact.


        P.S. I’ve heard that it’s been in the Common Law for quite some time that if someone survives an execution, whatever the reason, then they are free to go, because the State has carried out the sentence and that’s that.

  2. Why are frivolous lawsuits “good?”

    Legal experts such as Ken White, Ari Cohn, and Adam Steinbaugh have already trashed this absurd suit on Twitter. This is just another attempt by Trump to abuse the legal system to settle political issues, as he has at least since 2020, and to soothe his ego, as he has done since at least the 80s.

    • I’ve followed Ken White for years, and he is generally a brilliant lawyer and educator of legal issues to the general public. Unfortunately, he is blinded by bias against Trump. He does a better job than most at sounding sane while talking about Trump, but he stretches logic to implicate Trump, and it is disappointing to hear his slanted commentary.

      As to why Jack thinks the lawsuit is “good”, he pretty clearly explains that the discovery process is likely to uncover many damaging or even illegal behaviors. Enough known and demonstrably false statements of fact have been stated on the public record about Trump by the accused parties (with actual malice by any legal standard), that at least some defamation claims with Trump’s suit are rather obviously viable.

      These viable claims will allow the discovery process to occur, giving Trump’s lawyers the ability to compel records, communications, and other evidence to help prove his case. It will allow uncover, and hopefully make public, evidence of wrong doing by primarily Democrats that is of compelling public interest.

      • Interesting, I often see Ken dispelling Democratic hopes that Trump is about to go down for some kind of illegal behavior, and explaining patiently why certain Trump actions are, if not perfectly legal, very hard to prosecute given the necessary intent requirements. So I’m curious what examples you have of him being “blinded by bias.”

        The problem with your discovery argument is that this RICO suit isn’t going to make it to discovery. You may have a point about specific instances of defamation (although again, I’d like examples that clearly go beyond protected opinion based on disclosed facts), but the lawsuit goes much further than that, to its peril.

        • His coverage of the Mueller investigation and the first impeachment were the most flagrant. He essentially gave Congress a free pass to impeach because it was not illegal for them to do so. He defended and excused unethical conduct by Democrats for staying within the technical red letter of the law, while excoriating Republics for unethical conduct despite staying within the letter of the law. It is essentially how he treated Trump, condemning everything he did, while also explaining why it wasn’t illegal. The podcast I am mostly referring to, All the President’s Lawyers, is here: “”

          • I’m a big fan of that podcast. Impeachment was, in my view, completely justified for Trump’s corrupt attempt to extort Ukraine into launching a baseless investigation into Trump’s chief political rival by withholding military aid that had already been authorized by Congress.

            I also remember Ken constantly shutting down Democrats who were certain the Mueller investigation would end with Trump in handcuffs.

  3. #1: This is a real thing:

    #4: Could Texas grant the request while briefly reinstating the use of the eletric chair?
    2: I guessed correctly.

    • Yes, I have one of those for my son. Thought it was super gross at first, but you can’t actually get anything in your mouth. It also works great.

  4. Regarding this: “ I’m hoping Sydney Powell isn’t Trump’s lawyer.”

    He seems to have literally just picked the law firm that was physically closest at the time:

    • Avika Cohen has a breakdown of the “lolsuit.” It’s worse than I thought. For starters, it alleges a RICO conspiracy that started in 2016, but the statute of limitations on RICO is four years. And it gets worse from there. Cohen confirms my statement the other day that this will not make it to discovery (nor would Donald Trump, of all people, ever want it to).

  5. Regarding #4:

    “Ramirez is likely to suffer irreparable harm in the absence of injunctive relief because he will be unable to engage in protected religious exercise in the final moments of his life,”

    I think the irreparable harm, if any, is the death penalty itself. Just seems like an odd context to discuss irreparable harm. yes, I know it is a central issue when it comes to injunctions, but, in this context, ANY injury is likely to constitute irreparable harm.


    • America was founded by people born in a deeply Christian worldview (and many of the Founders were deep believers themselves) – they fundamentally believed in an afterlife and therefore fundamentally believed that some level of good or some level of harm does move on to whatever comes next.

      For Christians – that’s heaven, hell, and for some purgatory.

      So yeah, of course it makes religious sense to give someone their 1st Amendment rights up until the final moment and of course it also makes sense that if a particular religious rite affects the afterlife – the absence of that right creates harm.

      Now, whatever religion Ramirez is (I didn’t read the article), Christian or not, as America diversified the 1st Amendment clearly protects more than just Christianity – and any religious rite then bears the notion of harm and as long as the death row inmate believes harm will accrue after death then YES that is an unfair harm *unrelated* to the crime he’s being punished for that then constitutes harm in this life.

      I don’t see the language as odd at all.

  6. Ukraine is no saintly entity and no polity having risen from the ashes of brutalization under soviets and attempts to heal from socialism are going to even remotely get democracy right for awhile.

    But “the Russian crisis” seems like quite a bit of an understatement of what’s happening in Ukraine that prompted Zelensky to suspend a handful *pro-Russian* opposition political parties while leaving all the other parties, many of whom are technically opposition parties untouched.

    I don’t think Zelensky will re-instate them. But let’s not pretend like they aren’t facing an existential crisis – and a lot of ethics calculations change then. Ukraine has a ways to go before fulling pulling itself out of its own corrupt semi-oligarchic post-socialist mess – but it is trying and has come a long way from where it was.

    • The banning of opposition in Ukraine has been a long time coming. A news channel was banned even before the war. Ukraine also has some troubling ideological underpinnings that are usually ignored by the West. Between 2005-2010, and after 2014, there has been the resurrection of WW2 era Ukrainian nationalists as heroes, and their fight against the Soviets. What is usually omitted, is that these nationalists came under Germany’s patronage, and were all to happy too kill and oppress Jews, Poles, Communists, and other enemies they could get their hands on.The nationalists’ motto “Glory to Ukraine, Glory to the Heroes” is repeated at high government levels for the past 5+ years. The motto is usually followed by “Glory to the Nation, Death to our Enemies”, and “Ukraine, above all!” When Putin justifies the invasion with taking out the Nazis, this is the kind of stuff he is referring to. Russia’s invasion is of course wrong, no matter the flimsy reasoning though.

      • I’m not convinced nationalism is a sin.

        As in all motives, things taken to far are bad. But there is nothing inherently wrong in having pride and confidence in your nation and its values. Nationalism is mostly being trashed by leftists in America because the best way to get Americans in a position to destroy American values is by labeling the love of one’s country as some sort of evil motive.

        Nah, I’m fine with Ukraine hearkening back to its predecessors. In a conflict between Nazis and Communists (equally evil regimes) Ukraine had to play sides and unfortunately the leaders also had to appease the leaders of one of the sides. What evil conduct they committed is reprehensible – but they were going to do it for one of the bad guys or the other to stave off a larger annihilation.

        George Washington and the Revolutionaries had to play friends with a monarchy in their bid to unshackle themselves from… a monarchy.

        Granted, Washington wasn’t placed in a position where he had to commit atrocities to appease the French, but all leaders stuck in existential crisis looking for some sort of help to stave off a larger defeat end up making utilitarian compromises.

        Ukraine’s mid-1900s leaders made some very atrocious choices – but it was either that or be abjectly murdered in even *greater* numbers by one or the other of the behemoths.

        Just as we don’t praise Washington for being a slave owner – I don’t think the Ukrainians praise their forebears for the bad things they did.

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