Morning Ethics Warm-Up, 7/12/2022: Hispandering, Self-Checkout, And Other Adventures…

Today is the anniversary of a regrettable ethics precedent: Walter Mondale chose the forgettable and undistinguished Congresswoman Geraldine Ferraro as his running-mate on the 1984 Democratic Presidential ticket to vie against President Reagan in his bid for re-election Literally nothing qualified Ferraro for the position except her lack of a Y chromosome, but that was enough, in the early raisingof the ugly head of “equity, diversity and inclusion,” to justify placing a mediocrity “a heartbeat from the Presidency.” It was historic, you see. Well, at least she was a more responsible choice than Kamala Harris.

I am also reminded (Pointer to JutGory) that on this date in 1979, Major League Baseball had one of its more irresponsible and idiotic episodes. Chicago White Sox executive Mike Veeck, in the spirit of his father Bill Veeck who was best known in baseball lore for sending little person Eddie Gaedel up to the plate in an official game, agreed to schedule “Disco Demolition Night,” in which two Chicago disc jockeys would blow up a pile of disco records on the Comiskey Park field between games of a double header. Fans were urged to bring disco records to add to the pile, but the team never collected the platters as promised. First, members of the 40,000+ crowd began flinging the records like killer Frisbees. Then, after the promised detonation., thousands of the disco-haters rushed onto the field, tearing up the grass, lighting bonfires on the diamond, and generally engaging in what Democrats call “an insurrection.” Efforts to clear the field failed, and the visiting Detroit Tigers were awarded a win over the ChiSox by forfeit.

1. More school ignorance of that First Amendment thingy…The Cherry Creek School District in Denver suspended, then expelled, 15-year-old “C.G.” over a Snapchat post showing him in a Nazi military cap with the caption “Me and the boys bout to exterminate the Jews.” C.G. deleted the post and apologized for it within an hour, but it had already been seen by a classmate and shared with parents, who forwarded it to the Cherry Creek School District, resulting in the discipline. His parents sued. The Snapchat message was sent off campus outside of school hours, did not identify the school or target any student, and was sent on a personal cellphone to a private circle of followers. Nevertheless, federal judge dismissed the case in August 2020, finding the school properly disciplined him. For an obviously facetious social media post. That was none of the school’s business. Appropriately a 10th Circuit panel ruled last week that the suit should go forward after all. “Plaintiff has properly alleged that defendants’ discipline of C.G. for his off-campus speech is a First Amendment violation that cannot be dismissed at this stage,” Senior U.S. Circuit Judge Paul Kelly wrote in a 21-page opinion.

Quite right. There needs to be a special place in hell for people who seize on obviously foolish posts, emails and texts by others and distribute them to authorities who are primed to use them to punish and scar. These are the proverbial “Good Germans,” ironically enough, who will come in handy to the totalitarian regime, if and when it arrives.

2. Why yes, I’d say this is an abuse of trust...41-year-old Wilbert Calhoun was the janitor at Children’s Museum of Northern Nevada, and his wife was the museum manager. Unbeknownst to the rest of the museum’s management, the couple had set up house in a storage room. Their imaginative and rent-free living arrangements were discovered after one of their two children, a 2-year-old, walked outside the museum unsupervised. A search of the room by police found sleeping bags, mattresses, clothes, food…and an AK-47, handguns, ammunition, knives, silencers, a Taser, and drug paraphernalia.

3. Oh good: another reason not to use self-checkout. I almost never use self-checkout machines. They are not at all the equal of human clerks; they regularly have problems requiring assistance; the process takes longer, and they cost jobs. I would pay extra for a human being to interact with. Now criminal defense attorney Carrie Jernigan, has alleged that some merchants are using security footage at the checkouts to accuse customers of theft after reviewing security video. At risk are confused users who forget to check an item through, and worse, those placed under suspicion when someone in the asset protection department of a store starts counting inventory, perhaps after days, weeks or months, and “later comes up short.” “So they will begin watching hours of video to see the last person who checked out with the Mario Lego set because they’re two short or an Xbox game. And, for some reason, they pinpoint that they think you did it,” Jernigan explains. “The charges could land you up to a year in jail. You have to spend thousands of dollars hiring a lawyer and we have to go through grainy video footage to try to determine what all you bought that day.”

4. A First Lady IPTDXTTNMIAFB! IIPTDXTTNMIAFB is the Ethics Alarms category encompassing episodes summed up in the sentence, “Imagine if President Trump did X that the news media is accepting from Biden.” Yesterday, the First Lady told a Hispanic-American audience that “the diversity of this community – as distinct as the “bogedas”of the Bronx, as beautiful as the blossoms of Miami, and as unique as the breakfast tacos here in San Antonio – is your strength.” Yes, Dr. Jill pronounced “bodegas” as “BO-geh-das.” This was aptly described by one web wag as “Hispandering,” but the coverage of the incident is, and will remain, mostly a conservative media affair. If Donald Trump had called Hispanics “breakfast tacos,” it would have been widely heralded a more proof of his “racism.” I remember when Ross Perot was roasted in the mainstream media and by black activists for at one point referring to an NAACP audience as “you people.” Still, he did not say they were as unique as crispy-fried collard greens. But he wasn’t a Democrat…

At least the National Association of Hispanic Journalists noticed:

5. And this is how irrationally biased the New York Times opinion writers arefrom Michelle Goldberg, arguably the worst of the worst:

[Biden] emerged from semiretirement to save the country from a second Trump term, and for that we all owe him a great debt.

Helluva job saving the country there, Joe! This is such self-evident gaslighting that it is an indictment of the Times and its editors that they allow such nonsense to be printed. Someone with a stronger stomach than mine please check the Times reader comments, which departed New York Times defender “A Friend” regularly claimed cleansed the paper of responsibility for such outright Baghdad Bob-level propaganda

22 thoughts on “Morning Ethics Warm-Up, 7/12/2022: Hispandering, Self-Checkout, And Other Adventures…

  1. We watched the chaos at Comiskey live from the comfort of our home in South Bend, IN on WGN. I have to ask whether having the ChiSox don unis with short pants that season was really less outrageous than hosting Disco Demolition Night. By the way, my great uncle took my father to opening day (that is, the first game played) at what I guess is now known as Old Comisky. But maybe they’ve sold the naming rights to “New” Comisky. Mrs. OB and I played hooky one spring afternoon and drove to Comisky for opening day, perhaps earlier in the ’79 season. The place was packed, it was a beautiful but crisp day, and the crowd was essentially simply roaring, letting out a large, communal “fuck you” to winter. The guys sitting next to us had been buying (and downing) entire racks of beers since before we had even got to our seats. By about the third inning they started quieting down and by the fifth inning they were so stewed they could hardly sit up and next thing we knew, they were gone. It was a great day at the ballpark.

    • By the way, I think the formal name of “Disco Demolition Night” was pushed to the side by “Disco Sucks Night” among the participants and fans. This was during a time when “sucks” was still not really part of accepted parlance, as it is, unfortunately, now.

    • It might be legal; its Nevada. Its a bit of a strange place, once you get away from town… Area 51 and all that.

  2. 5. I’m not sure this sort of thing can be called propaganda. I think people like Michelle Goldberg really believe they saved the country from being destroyed by a second Trump term. No matter how terrible things get, they will still firmly believe the fact Trump is no longer in the White House is an existential improvement over this four-year term or a possible second term. They are truly nuts. I don’t get it, but they are truly deranged.

  3. Michelle Goldberg really is one of the worst journalists in America….

    I don’t understand how people like her continue to get gigs… What she’s saying is not intelligent, unique, well delivered, or packaged appropriately, even if you wanted someone to spout brainworm takes all day, is it really so hard to find someone who can spin it adequately? Or is this entirely a melanin thing?

    • Simple. She might as well be a Ron Klain Administration or DNC or Democratic Congressional Caucus spokesperson. All she does is spin. Sure, it’s propaganda, but it’s for a good cause: the Revolution!

  4. #4. OK, I’m confused. The mispronunciation of “bodegas” is a gaffe worthy of her husband (or his predecessor), but what’s so offensive about “breakfast tacos”? Virtually every restaurant around here that serves breakfast has them on the menu (breakfast burritos are more common here, but I can’t speak for San Antonio).
    FLOTUS isn’t calling anyone tacos, any more than she’s calling them bodegas or flowers. She’s describing, with apparent (even if feigned) appreciation, distinctive elements from three different Hispanic heritages: Puerto Ricans in New York, Cubans in Miami, Mexicans in San Antonio.
    This is anything but condescension or stereotyping. It’s just another example of people who are never happier than they can claim to be offended.

    • People find poseurs like “Dr” Jill Biden insincere and truly ignorant of cultural differences. That is why they reacted as they did, and I don’t blame them. They did the same thing to Trump when he wished everyone a happy Cinco de Mayo and then made a reference to the best Taco Bowls were found at a restaurant in one of his buildings. I have no idea how the reference to blossoms of Miami relates to the Hispanic culture. The only reference I could find was that it was the registered trade name of an inactive non-profit in Florida. The other references related to orange blossoms which are not uniquely Cuban.

      Why use stereotypical references when you could find hundreds of other characteristics to better reflect the unique differences among the various cultures. Why not associate the culture with the vibrancy of the colors of the fabrics they create or the sounds of the music they make or talk about the work ethic of the Mexican people. There are many positive characteristics you can use if you take the time to learn about other cultures.

    • As for me, my immediately reaction was “Oh no, she didn’t really say that!” I knew it would be seen as offensive. To me, “breakfast tacos” is also naive: it’s a US invention that I associate with fast food. To my ear, it feels like saying Italian-Americans are as unique as pineapple pizza.

      • Just for the record, most of us Italian-Americans hate the idea of pineapple pizza. Admittedly, we ourselves have some combinations that might not appeal to everyone, and more than a few that are unique to America (the same is true of Chinese fortune cookies, they were invented here), but pizza with pineapple should only be eaten while watching hula dancers, and washed down with a mai tai. 😀

    • C’mon, man. Don’t be obtuse. You know fully well why the whole comment was a stupid thing to say. She was equating Latin American culture to poorly and sloppily pronounced bodega, some odd flower and breakfast tacos, as if these are all those have to offer the world. Then, she topped it all off by slaughtering “puedes”. Remember when they told us she was brilliant beyond compare, a scholar and intellectual? Her doctoral dissertation may have dispossessed us of that notion. This is cringeworthy and embarrassing and she is rightly being ridiculed for it. They media had a field day with convfefe. What’s good for the goose is sauce for the gander, ¿no?


  5. #4: Maybe just as bad as “Dr.” Jill’s posing was that the event was titled “LatinX IncluXion Luncheon”, employing the term favored by woke white women, though not much by actual Latinos

    But what’s the big deal, anyway? Our house cleaners told us they love them some Latinx tacos. Then they did that hat dance thing and sang “La Cucaracha” for us. That was a little odd, since they’re from Brazil, but hey….

  6. (1) Why would you think the school is ignorant of the first amendment? For my entire life,I have been told by the press, by textbooks, by educational authorities, and by lawyers that judges decide what the Constitution is and what it says. A federal judge agreed with the school that their actions were permitted. In addition, the judge cited federal appellate court decisions that the schools’ actions were constitutionally correct. The school was acting in a way that numerous federal judges view as constitutionally correct behavior. Even the Supreme Court has ruled that the school can punish a student for off-campus speech if it materially affects school functions. You don’t have to be a genius to see how an administrator would think that a student posting the Nazi picture could have an impact at school. So, why do school district continue to be so confused about First Amendment Rights? They are confused because they are doing what lawyers and judges have told them. Until the judges and the legal profession start honoring the First Amendment, no one else will either.

    As for the First Amendment, remember, the Supreme Court recently ruled that religious groups could be restricted more stringently than non-religious groups. A room that at a casino that is OK for the Lion’s club to rent and put 200 people in becomes a violation if a church rents it and puts 75 people in it. Ruth Bader Ginsberg said that is OK and not a violation of the First Amendment. Do you really expect a high-school principal to take a more pro-liberty stance than Ruth Bader Ginsberg?

    Yes the school administrators were little tyrants. However, they felt justified in this because the judges who claim their job is to interpret the Constitution told them it was OK,

    • I know this is somewhat tongue in cheek, but before a school does this (they will lose the lawsuit) they should read the applicable law. It shouldn’t take a genius to figure out that when speech takes place off campus, doesn’t mention the school or anyone in the school and has no connection to the school whatsoever, isn’t a threat and is obviously a joke, that this is speech out of their power to address. I figured this out before any of the Facebook/social media SCOTUS cases were decided as a matter of ethics, and I’m no genius. This one was easy, or should have been. If the school administrators read Ethics Alarms, the right course would have been obvious even to them.

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