Pre-Baseball Season Ethics Warm-Up, 4/6/2022 (Before I Am Distracted For the Next 7 Months)

The 2022 baseball season starts tomorrow; the Boston Red Sox will play the New York Yankees. This will elevate my mood and lessen my stress until the ned of October, absent unforeseen disasters. It will also provide yet undetermined fodder for ethics posts, for baseball is and ever has been an ethics cornucopia with relevance to the rest of the culture and society. I’ve often considered starting a baseball ethics blog—there isn’t one— but even fewer people would read that blog than this one.

1. The Times spreads misinformation about the Wuhan virus while accusing a doctor of spreading misinformation about the Wuhan virus. Apparently the news media fearmongering about the pandemic will never end. In a front page article earlier this week, the Times told readers that the virus and its close family members have “now killed nearly one million people in the United States.” That’s an inflated figure, how much so we may never know. It does not distinguish between those who died from the virus and those who died with the virus” to the CDC, which set out to maximize fear of the infection so the government could take liberty-squelching measures and get away with it. The next day, the Times had another front page article that provided clues to the previous article’s deliberate deceit: Covid and Diabetes, Colliding in a Public Health Train Wreck. A married couple both got the virus; the woman recovered easily, the man is now confined to a wheelchair. He has diabetes, and the article tells us ” several studies suggest that 30 to 40 percent of all coronavirus deaths in the United States have occurred among people with diabetes.” Other studies find that that being obese my triple the likelihood of death during the pandemic. Here is the photo from the article:

I find the comparison with how the news media handled AIDs in the 80s fascinating. AID crippled the immune system, and sufferers were often killed by opportunistic infections that they would have fought off before acquiring the HIV virus. Yet these people were always described as AID victims, and their names added to the list of those who had perished “from” AIDS. But when a Wuhan virus infection adds to the health risks of diabetes or obesity, it’s the virus that gets credit for the death—because that’s what the the new media wants the public to fear.2. Well, heck, why not another Times complaint?—Even though the labeling of the January 6 riot as an “insurrection” is factually and legally wrong, and even though the Times news stories have (mostly) avoided making that claim as a fact, the editors continue to permit articles in the Arts, Book Reviews—Opinions, of course– and other sections to refer to it as “the insurrection” I am convinced this is deliberate, and how the times and other partisan news media incrementally lead the public to believe what isn’t true, but that supports partisan agendas.

3. Was he masturbating on the recording? I don’t think so. Despite his years long exile after admitting to–Ew!—masturbating in front of women, including female comics, Louis C.K. gradually returned to stand-up appearances. Then, over the weekend, “Sincerely Louis CK,”  his first album since the scandal won the Grammy for best comedy album. The #MeToo crowd is furious. “Every woman who has been harassed and abused in the comedy business, I hear you and see you and I am so, so angry,”  podcast host Jesse Thorn wrote. The Grammys’ response (when C.K.’s nomination for the honor was announced):

“We won’t look back at people’s history, we won’t look at their criminal record, we won’t look at anything other than the legality within our rules of, is this recording for this work eligible based on date and other criteria.”

That is as it should be. The art is what is being honored, not the character, past or flaws of the artist. The album isn’t less funny because the comedian is a sick creep (although it may be less funny to some), just as another comedy album isn’t made funnier because the comic works for popular charities.

4. Why is anybody defending Putin and Russia? The evidence that Russian soldiers have been engaged in massacres and “war crimes” is very strong, yet some conservatives, including some in EA’s comments, seem determined to deny them. The latest piece of evidence is verified drone footage showing Russian troops opening fire on a man riding a bicycle. (Presumably Putin will claim this was staged as well.) The important part is that this is all just poison frosting on an already radioactive cake. Let’s say (Arguendo!) that all of those corpses in shallow graves are Ukrainian hoaxes. So what? Nobody questions that many civilians have been killed in an illegal invasion. Hospitals and schools have been destroyed: those hundreds of thousands of refugees aren’t fleeing a hoax. The Russian leader, army and, by extension, people are engaging in an evil act. There is no defense.

And again, if Trump doesn’t change course and unequivocally condemn Putin, he’s a fool. Personally, I hope he doesn’t. I hope he cuts his own metaphorical throat. But the smart and ethical move now is to pile on.

Oh! One more related note: it was nice to see Ukraine’s gutsy president tell the United Nations to its face that it is useless, because, you know, it is. The organization was devised by, ugh, Woodrow Wilson to ensure world peace. If it can’t stop a prominent member from invading another nation based on contrived excuses and lies, why keep it around, much less fund it to the degree the U.S. does?

5. Civility watch: At the state Gridiron Dinner, NH Governor Chris Sununu started his comments by praising Donald Trump’s “experience,” “passion,” and “sense of integrity,” then said, “Nah, I’m just kidding. He’s fucking crazy.The press often will ask me if I think Donald Trump is crazy. And I’ll say it this way: I don’t think he’s so crazy that you could put him in a mental institution. But I think if he were in one, he ain’t getting out!”

Now I’ll say this: any Republican official who says Donald Trump is fucking crazy is fucking crazy., as well as an Ethics Corrupter, Civility Division. Sununu is now trying the Joke Excuse, he claiming that it was “all in fun.” 

There’s nothing quite so hypocritical as behaving like Trump while insulting Trump.

6. And now the good news: Researchers surveyed nearly 4,000 U.S. adults and only 45% agreed that tackle football is an “appropriate sport for kids to play.” Half disagreed, while the remaining 5% were unsure. (Those 5% played tackle football and may have closed head injuries.) The number of parents who are facing reality has been creeping up, meaning the NFL’s desperate cover-up campaign isn’t working well enough. Eventually, this will bring down pro football, which depends on significant and early participation by young boys.




17 thoughts on “Pre-Baseball Season Ethics Warm-Up, 4/6/2022 (Before I Am Distracted For the Next 7 Months)

  1. I sometimes wonder if the NFL will try to shift to flag football. It might work, but without the bloodsport element, I don’t think they’d be able to survive.

    • No, I’m not. The UN was just an extension of the League, using a new name because the League started out as a flop. It’s like Florida Air changing its name after the DC crash.

      • Actually, the UN grew out of the ashes of the failure of the League of Nations, mostly because the US Congress rejected US admission to the League. If someone can point to a UN success in preventing war, I would be interested in hearing about it. I will grant some leeway in humanitarian and disaster relief but on balance, the UN is a failure, too. I mean, Iran was on the Human Rights Commission. If that doesn’t wipe out the seriousness of the UN, then nothing will. Oh, and Russia is a permanent member of the Security Council with absolute veto powers, rendering any UN action meaningless unless Russia abstains from voting.


        • Well sure, but the whole idea of an international organization made up of member nations aimed at peace was Woody’s 14th Point in his grand scheme to make The Great War the Last War. In mission and structure, there’s little different between the League and the UN other than the name and the lack of the US.

  2. 4. – I think you may be a bit unfair in your assessment of the commentariat here regarding their defense of the Russian invasion and Putin. I have been reading them reasonably carefully and what I perceive is people that recognize that the same organizations that have been lying to us, pretty much without interruption, for as long as we can remember (especially since the day that Trump came down the escalator) are not expected to be believed without any hesitation?

    I keep looking at what a scumbag Zelensky was before the war, how he imprisoned his political enemies and lied about it; how he had and has no hesitation sending artillery against the Donbas, just because they believe they are more Russian than Ukrainian – now we are expected to believe him without question? Now he is a hero, when not that long ago he was anything but a democratically oriented leader – he was a prototypical strong-man who was going to get beat badly in the next election if he were foolish enough to let another election take place.

    The cell service has not been interrupted by the Russians, so where is all of the social media of all of these atrocities that the Russians are engaged in. I guarantee that some legitimate atrocities will be discovered (on both sides – we have seen video of Ukrainian troops kneecapping Russian soldiers), but we have seen so many legends from Ukraine that were found to be false after a few days – the hero Zelensky at the front in fatigues and a plate carrier – turned out to be him visiting troops a couple of years ago that were actually engaged in shelling the Donbas. The pilot who was shooting down Migs over Kiev – turned out to be video from a video game. The guys on the island who challenged the Russian Navy – turned out they surrendered, nope they were slaughtered to a man, oops, nope, they all surrendered. The heroic president of Ukraine who turns out to be hiding out in Poland much of the time.

    Those of us who have perceived these falsehoods have to preface all of our conversations with: “Of course Putin is evil and there is no excuse for Russia to invade Ukraine.” But we are still told that we are somehow supporting Putin because we refuse to be fooled again by our media. I am actually a bit surprised at you, Jack, since you do spend a good bit of your efforts in pointing out when we are being mislead by the media and by politicians. We are being mislead again in some degree – maybe a little, but probably by a lot – you can take that to the bank.

    • Wait? Then Ukrainians weren’t allowed to try to subdue the artificial rebellion manufacture by Russian infiltrators in Donbas??? Go back and read what happened in 2014. “Little green men” by the hundreds came across the border and suddenly snap elections with 99% support for secession happened?

      Man, if you think the Ukrainian leadership was wrong fighting against that foreign instigated phony rebellion, you’re going to be really mad when you read what some American presidents did regarding an actual home grown rebellion.

      • Indeed – however, there is no doubt that they did not hesitate to shell their own along with the “little green men” – but you miss my point – I don’t believe anything that comes out of that area anymore because I can’t trust the motives of the people that are telling me the stories. I am fine if you want to believe that Z is a hero or a heel. Just as long as that opinion is not getting us into a hot war over there.

        • Stating facts does not risk wars unless the other side wants a war anyway. Putin and Russia are the aggressors. They are in violation of international war. Ukraine, regardless of its own problems and flaws, is the victim. Those are facts. You can choose to ignore them because you don’t like their implications, but you cannot ethically deny them.

  3. Regarding media scare tactics. In the past week WHO published the absurd statistic that 99% of the world population is breathing air polluted with particles caused by a number of industries. This mandates that we must do something about climate change now. Two questions, first, why is there not a worldwide pandemic of coughing, hacking, and sneezing? Second, where do the 1% live?

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