Morning Ethics Ketchup, 4/5/2022: Ten Ethics Tales, And More Are Still On The Shelf!

No ethics warm-up for two straight days leaves me with a big pile of stinking undiscussed and aging issues and events….

1. So much of “in sickness or in health”...Baseball Hall of Fame lock Albert Pujols, recently signed to another multi-million dollar contract to be the St. Louis Cardinals designated hitter, waited a couple of days after his wife Deidre underwent  surgery removing a brain tumor to announce he was divorcing her. “I realize this is not the most opportune time with Opening Day approaching and other family events that have recently taken place. These situations are never easy and isn’t something that just happened overnight,” he wrote in part.  Yeah, I’d put the baseball stuff after the family stuff, Albert. I’m sure this came as no surprise to his wife (at least I hope so), and whatever part of the $344 million he has been paid through the years will definitely help, but especially with five children, letting his wife at least recuperate from a traumatic operation before dumping her would seem to be the more ethical course. Pujols’ reputation is one of being a nice guy; you know, like Will Smith.

2. Watching free speech get “chilled” in real time...at the Grammys—who watches the Grammys?—host Trevor Noah began by promising that the he would be keeping “people’s names out of [his] mouth,” referring to Smith’s shouted demand after he went slap-happy. And he did. Today the New York Times critic approved of Noah not taking “meanspirited swipes.” If Chris Rock’s mild joke about a woman choosing to shave her head for a public appearance is now “mean-spirited,” the Left’s attempt to shut-down all comedy (except meanspirited swipes at men, whites and Republicans, of course, is nearing success.

3. Calling the Humane Society and the ASPCA! Martha Stewart announced that her four dogs killed her cat when they “mistook her for an interloper and killed her defenseless little self.” Did the dogs sign a statement to that effect? Her four dogs constituted a pack, and making a cat try to coexist with a pack of dogs is irresponsible. What really happened, I’s surmise, is that the cat and one of the dogs had what would have normally been a brief altercation, and the pack instinct kicked in for the other three.4. Now they have Sarah Palin to kick around again! The former Alaska governor and Vice-Presidential candidate has announced that she will vie for the open Alaska rep position vacated by the death of Republican Don Young.  So on “The View,” where not one of the hosts has performed a fraction of the public service Palin has in her career, whatever you think of her, the usual ethics- and brain-challenged pundits and goofs giggled their way through extended Palin bashing, including this exchange.

“When we look back she was like a sound byte machine and she said some interesting things,” co-host Sara Haines said, laughing

“I can see Russia from my house!” one of her colleagues shouted.

“‘I can see Russia from my house,’” Haines repeated.

That canard is more than a decade old, it is false, it has been debunked repeatedly, and ABC features its revival once again. Palin never said “I can see Russia from my house!”; Tina Fay did while doing her Palin impression on “Saturday Night Live.” Palin had once said, correctly, that you could see Russia from one of Alaska’s islands.

Fact Don’t Matter to these people. We have an actual Vice-President who says fatuous and ludicrous things almost daily, and The View has never joked about that; instead, the ladies have called any criticism of Kamala Harris as sexist and racist. But they will happily repeat old lies about Sarah Palin, whom the media called “unqualified” for VP in 2007—and she was far more qualified than Harris, just not the right skin shade or party.

4. KABOOM! My head doesn’t usually explode with these items, but this one is special. In California, the Palm Springs City Council voted unanimously to fund a pilot program that guarantees income for transgender and “nonbinary” residents. $200,000 (trans activists wanted $900,000) has been allotted for the hand-out, which will apparently have no strings attached. This is a good use of the city’s money because,according to David Brinkman, CEO and president of DAP Health,  transgender people are “one of the most marginalized populations in our city who face some of the highest levels of housing insecurity, joblessness and discrimination.” The program will  “provide between $600 and $900 a month to 20 people who live, work or otherwise spend the majority of their time in Palm Springs.”

Since anyone can declare themselves “non-binary” or “trans,” what’s stopping Palm Springs from being flooded by newly aware “marginalized” people? Or Ivy League swimmers?

5. On the Ketanji Brown Jackson front…Again, I don’t understand the GOP’s conduct on this matter at all. She’s qualified to sit on the Court. Nothing can stop her confirmation. Republicans look petty, vengeful, and obstructive by continuing to oppose her, and, naturally, set the party up nicely to be tarred as “racist.” What do they gain from this?

Meanwhile, the episode led Politico to raise questions about its reliability: it tweeted that Jackson would likely be confirmed as the “first Black Supreme Court justice” by the end of this week. The conservative media quickly called the statement “false.” That’s not a “false claim,” its a stupid, inexcusable mistake.

For what it’s worth, a now retired lawyer friend of long-standing and without much political passion at all, told me that in his long career as a litigator, Jackson wrote the most well-reasoned and thorough decision he ever read, understanding complex issues that would be beyond the typical judge. Of course, she also agreed with his brief, but nonetheless, his assessment is persuasive.

6. Why do we allow colleges to do this? How is this “college sports”?  NCAA basketball rules give player five years to complete four seasons of play. When the pandemic cancelled many conference tournaments and the entire 2020 national tournament, the NCAA added a yet another, special bonus year: Athletes who lost playing time during the 2019-20 season could extend their college careers by a full season.

Now every team participating in the Final Four this weekend, both in the men’s and women’s tournaments, includes so-called “super seniors,” or as they should be called, experienced ringers who have no business playing against genuine college students. The Final Four teams have players who are 23, 24, even 25.

7. You know…morons. Plastic bag bans and taxes like the previous Democratic regime inflicted on Virginia have always been flagrant virtue-signaling, and now some data shows that they may be self-defeating as well. A new study suggests that grocery bags are not single-use items as the legislators believe  but they often get repurposed as liners for small trash cans or, for dog owners, bags for the removal of pet droppings. Without the plastic shopping bags, consumers  buy more plastic bags. For example, the study measured plastic trash bag sales in counties with bans or fees and compared them to other counties without such policies. The study found that California communities with bag policies saw sales of four-gallon trash bags increase by 55%, to 75%, and sales of eight-gallon trash bags increase 87%, to 110%.

Yeah, but the important thing is to demonstrate you’re trying to fight climate change, or landfills, or something, not to actually accomplish  anything.

8. Sorry I missed this, but my sock drawer distracted me. Many media ethicists have pointed out that Biden paid liar Jen Psaki was taking questions from representatives of various news organizations while she was negotiating behind the scenes with the same organizations for lucrative contracts. (She finally settled on MSNBC.) Yes, that’s a blatant conflict of interest, but I would expect no better from her.

9. It isn’t as if the answer to such questions isn’t easy and obvious if you are a competent professional. Yet another gay teacher posted on TikTok his indignation over Florida’s new law limiting the introduction of sexual topics in schools. Before he deleted his tell-all video, “Mr. E” explained in it,

I ended up telling my students that I was gay. How it came up is one of the students [said] ‘My mom thinks you’re gay because of your voice.’” I answered,  “Maybe, maybe not.” I have the LGBT promotional, like, “this is a safe community” kind of stuff, the rainbow stuff all up in my room and I told them if you look around the room that should answer your question.They went berserk. So instead of teaching Social Studies today they just asked me a bunch of questions about being gay.

And he was apparently thrilled to talk about it. The proper answer to any student’s question about a teacher’s sex life is, and must be, “That’s not an appropriate question to ask me or any teacher. My private life is my business, and my job here is teaching you Social Studies.” The “Libs of TikTok” argue that any teacher who “comes out” to his students should be fired.  I think that’s excessive, but doing so shows poor judgment, narcissism and warped priorities.

10. MIT realizes that its students need to be proficient at math. This week the Massachusetts Institute of Technology announced that it would again require applicants to take standardized tests, after previously dropping them as a requirement in an earlier orgy of wokeness. ,“Our ability to accurately predict student academic success at MIT⁠ is significantly improved by considering standardized testing,” wrote the university’s dean of admissions, Stu Schmill.

Duh. Apparently recent admittees who had not demonstrated math wizardry, admitted while MIT was genuflecting to “diversity, equity and inclusion,” haven’t been doing so well. Somehow, the administration of one of the nation’s most elite technical institutions couldn’t see that coming.

25 thoughts on “Morning Ethics Ketchup, 4/5/2022: Ten Ethics Tales, And More Are Still On The Shelf!

  1. Well, we’re a long way from “what’s the difference between Hitler and [suspected gay teacher]?” About 40 degrees (if you extend your hand as you would for “Heil Hitler” then bend your wrist down about 40 degrees it looks like the stereotypical limp wrist of a gay man). .

    • Common sense left the court long ago – it’s how John Roberts determined that doing nothing was a taxable activity in the Obamacare case. People actually buy into such crap… and they vote.
      I agree that failing to answer the question is disqualifying. Legal reasoning that makes no sense seems a bad way settle complex issues. It’s how we get Mr. Lia Thomas labeled as the fastest woman, and to the extent actual women object, it’ll become illegal to challenge it.

      Re: Jack’s comment of opposition giving the Democrats a reason to tar Repubicans as racist, what wouldn’t?

      • “I agree that failing to answer the question is disqualifying.”
        Jackson did not just fail to answer, she said she *could not* because she ain’t no biologist hoping that would be enough to silence any follow up.

        That question and her answer should be a hill to die on for some courageous articulate senator(s).
        The more press the better!
        What a profound powerful and far-reaching case could be made on multiple levels that highlight how devastating to women — legal/cultural confusion over sex is.
        A huge missed opportunity by republicans (nosurprise) to publicly champion women’s rights in sports, the locker room, bathrooms, and prison, for starters.

        If Jackson cannot define woman then it follows she cannot define man.
        A vote for Jackson is a vote for wokism. Not good.

        • The confirmation vote is supposed to be for judicial qualifications and experience, period. The challenges to “wokism” properly come in elections. That’s the way the system was designed to work.

          • A strong reasonable case can be made that Jackson’s inability to define woman/man is disqualifying because of the relevant cases likely to reach the Supreme Court in the near future.

            Her dodge has profound implications and my point is that now is a perfect time for senator(s) to explain (publicly) their -No- vote starting with the reasons I already mentioned.

            I’m sure there are more. It is a winning legal strategy.

            • But it isn’t. A judge doesn’t have to have a position on what a woman is. A judge has to read the briefs, listen to the arguments, and decide the issue to the extent that a dispute requires it. It was an evasive answer to a “when did you stop beating your wife” question. Evasive questions aren’t disqualifying.

              • “A winning legal strategy” in that it is not illegal to explain publicly in painstaking detail the basis of one’s No vote. It is called politicking and is an opportunity to steal the dems thunder as the party that protects women’s rights.

                Intuitively it feels like being unable to define a male and female should be disqualifying, but presently I lack the energy to make that case.
                Perhaps grounds for recusal on cases where biological sex plays a role?

          • The confirmation process has become a political farce, completely coming from the Left. Which conservative group disrupted the hearings, dressing in Atwood Gowns, ridiculing her religion and religious practices, or accused the Soon-to-be-Confirmed Justice of a baseless 40 year old rape?

            jvb

    • Because it was a confirmation hearing “gotcha.” She’s a judge, and there are conflicting laws on teh subject. I blame her for not being prepared for the question and her “handlers” for not giving her a pat answer.

      I would have said, “I know one when I see one. Next question.”

  2. Jack wrote

    9. The “Libs of TikTok” argue that any teacher who “comes out” to his students should be fired. I think that’s excessive, but doing so shows poor judgment, narcissism and warped priorities.

    I would just like to point out that if any of my teachers in K-12 had a personal life of any kind and didn’t just vanish like holograms once school was over, I was blissfully unaware of it.

    As it should be.

    • Who can forgive Albert for signing another contract? And what Cardinals fan could forgive the Cardinals for signing him? He’ll be a painfully embarrassing albatross around their collective neck. Just go fishing, Albert. You’re done.

    • You owe me a keyboard.

      The Cards are the ones with the greater brain problem. I know they brought Albert back for nostalgia, but even at 2.5 million for this season, it’s literally throwing money away. Statistically, he was less valuable than a typical minor league qualified to take his place.

  3. On the Jackson confirmation…. I’m genuinely confused by this as well.

    What’s the angle? Republicans don’t have the votes to stop it entirely, so is the play to try to drag it out to the midterms when they do, or is this just entirely performative and stupid?

      • Yeah, I think this is largely it.

        A vote for Jackson would be radioactive with many of the more ideological in the party, especially after the Kavanaugh attempted assassination. Romney and Collins do not care if the rabid dogs of the party get upset at them, because in Collins’ case she’s probably the only electable statewide Republican in Maine, and Romney is just… Romney. He probably won’t withstand a primary challenge anyway.

        Bottom line, neither of them have to worry much about their future, either because there are no viable alternatives or because it is likely a fait accompi.

        There is nothing to be gained by voting for her anyway, to be honest, except in Collins’ case — she needs the pro-abortion street cred voting for Jackson gives her. And to be honest, if you think about it, there is no percentage in today’s political environment for either party to back off SCOTUS political virtue signalling. Asking any of them to do the ethical thing is a waste of time. Even Collins and Romney are pushing an agenda, such as it is — Romney to extend a middle finger to Trump supporters, and Collins to protect her senate seat.

  4. Regarding the extra year of college eligibility: The age of college athletes is irrelevant and is not a factor in participation. There are many former military members who complete a four year enlistment, then enroll in college and compete in college athletics. College eligibility is based on the years you have competed. A 30 year old who has never competed could enter college, qualify for a team and compete for 5 years.

    • And my original question stands. Everyone is up in arms (correctly) about biological man swimming against women, but shrug off adults competing against kids. It is unfair. How it is rationalized doesn’t persuade me.

      • Once a person has achieved biological “adulthood” aging does not provide an automatic advantage. In fact, as a person ages it becomes harder to recover from strenuous physical activity. In college sports, a 22 y/o athlete is much more likely to lose a starting position to an 18 y/o recruit than vice-versa. The 18 y/o has less wear on his/her body and takes less time to recover. The 22 y/o (or 25, 30, 35) has more experience but may not be able to keep up with the younger athlete.

        • Depends on the sport, of course. There’s a reason there are almost no 18,19, 20 year olds in pro sports. Baseball players, for example, reach their peak from ages 26-29. An older baseball player will always have an advantage over a younger one of equal ability, until after 30.

  5. http://kenoshacountydems.org/kcdp-blog/rep-bryan-steil-compares-deadly-capitol-insurrection-black-lives-matter-protests-social-justice/

    In his press release about the impending impeachment of Donald Trump, Congressman Bryan Steil compared the deadly and treasonous insurrection at our nation’s Capitol building this week with Black Lives Matter marches calling for police reform in the wake of deadly police killings and shootings of Black Americans this summer.

    The purpose of Steil’s press release was to oppose the planned impeachment attempt of Donald Trump by Congress. Steil also voted against Trump’s first impeachment. The House impeached Trump for abuse of power but Republican Senators blocked his removal from office.

    The Capitol insurrection, incited by Trump and his allies just prior to the storming of the Capitol building, was fuelled by a lie about election integrity. That insurrection left 5 people dead, including a Capitol police officer, as well as 50 officers and an unknown number of civilians injured. The action by Trump’s supporters put the lives of the Vice President of the United States and members of Congress at risk, and they needed to be evacuated from the Capitol.

    It is the first time the Capitol has been breached and damaged by a mob of American citizens in its more than 220 year history.

    Steil is comparing that conspiracy-fueled, deadly insurrection with the Black Lives Matter protests for social justice and police reform. The protests this summer came after the police killings of an unarmed George Floyd by kneeling on his neck for nine minutes, the police shooting of an unarmed Brionna Taylor in her own apartment and the police shooting of Steil’s own constituent, Jacob Blake, who was shot in the back seven times in the presence of his children.

    Former officer Derek Chauvin faces charges of second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter in Floyd’s on May 25 death. A police officer involved in the killing of Breonna Taylor has been charged with endangerment. No charges were filed in the shooting of Jacob Blake.

    If you would like to contact Rep. Steil about his comparison of a deadly and treasonous attempt to overthrow the American government with people marching for justice and police reform, you may reach him here.

    You can also express your feelings about the impending impeachment attempt and his desire to keep a dangerous, conspiracy propagating, riot-inciting president in office.

    Anyone care to guess what Steil’s actual words were?

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