Saturday Morning Ethics Warm-Up, 7/30/2022: A Flipped Bird, Another Will Smith Apology, Mid-West Shark Alert…Life Is A Cartoon!

I owe my outlook on life to Saturday morning cartoons. How sad is that?

I also note that last year on this date, Ethics Alarms included this in the warm-up:

[On] “This Day in History,” the headline on a note reads, “1976: Caitlyn Jenner wins Olympic decathlon.” That may be politically correct, but it’s cowardly (would the trans activist mob pounce if the event was stated straight?) and absurd on its face. Bruce Jenner won the Olympic decathlon, and it was a men’s event. Caitlyn was, as far as we know, not even a twinkle in his eye. Bruce fathered children after winning the gold; the event and the other events in his life when he was a he were not magically altered by his later transgender journey, like “Back to the Future.”

Wow, I thought that was crazy. Look how far the trans madness and the “It isn’t what it is!” mania have progressed in just a year!

In related developments, I noticed yesterday that my gay Facebook friends are aggressively (and often ignorantly) attacking the Dobbs decision with canned abortion activist talking points and obnoxious memes. I find their knee-jerk abortion support damning, especially since they know that if it were medically possible to determine if a fetus was going to develop into a gay adult, many of them would have been snuffed out n the womb just like many Down Syndrome children. I don’t think they are thinking very hard about the issue; I think they are just deciding on their position based on whose “team” they have joined. Progressives include LGBTQ rights on their ideological agenda as well as abortion on demand, so my gay friends are just voting a straight ticket, metaphorically speaking.

What a lazy and irresponsible way to make up one’s mind on a controversy involving the lives of millions of people…

1. Two—TWO!—two fearmongering and irresponsible predictions in one headline! The clickbait is “Shark Week Hysteria” meets “Climate Change Hysteria, just like “Dracula Meets the Wolf Man”!  UPI’s headline: “Shark sightings in the Midwest could become more common, experts say.” It wouldn’t be hard for such sightings to be more common, since they virtually never happen at all. But bull sharks swimming down Chicago streets are a real possibility, “experts” say, because “summers could warm by as much as 11 degrees Fahrenheit by the end of the century due to climate change.”

Or they might not…

2. Did you know President Trump exaggerated and lied all the time? Here is how the current President, with full support of the news media, characterized the House’s grandstanding bill banning semiautomatic weapons yesterday:

“Today, House Democrats acted by unifying to pass an assault weapons ban to keep weapons of war off our streets, save lives in this country, and reduce crime in our communities,” President Joe Biden said in a statement. “The Senate should move quickly to get this bill to my desk, and I will not stop fighting until it does.”

Let’s see:

  • It was a bi-partisan bill, barely, because enough Democrats voted against it that the measure needed its two GOP supporters to pass.
  • “Assault weapons” is one more deliberate linguistic obfuscation used by progressives and Democrats to mislead the public. It is the same trick used to represent illegal immigrants as “immigrants.”
  • Semi-automatic weapons are no more “weapons of war” than any gun.
  • The bill, if passed, would not keep such guns off the streets. It would just prevent law-abiding citizens from being able to buy such weapons to protest themselves from those who would wield the guns illegally. The bill, if passed, is also unlikely to reduce crime.
  • The chances of the bill moving at all in the Senate are nil.

Otherwise, a completely honest and informative statement from the President.

3. An example of what a petty and divisive ex-President Barack Obama is that I missed…The AP reports that Barack Obama’s official presidential portrait will be unveiled at a White House ceremony in September. It’s been ready for a while, and should have been formally unveiled in 2020. However, but sources close to Obama say that he had “no interest in participating in the post-presidency rite of passage” while Trump was in office, though former Presidents have allowed their successors to preside over the such White House unveilings for decades. Of course, Obama also refused to follow post-Presidency tradition, decency and etiquette by constantly criticizing Trump, unlike George W. Bush, Obama’s predecessor, whom he blamed for all manner of problems Barack proved incapable of handling, yet remained respectfully silent for all eight, bumbling years of the Obama Administration. The official portrait insult was just another in a long series of Democratic snubs and slaps designed to undermine Trump’s position and influence. Having been shattered by Obama, the tradition of extending formal respect to a successor President has been further shredded by Trump. That’s because, as historians kept telling us during his administration, Trump, unlike Obama, dangerously defies “democratic norms.”

4. Oh look! Will Smith tried another apology for slapping Chris Rock at the Oscars! And this one, a video, is no better than the first two—or was it three? In this version, Smith still manages to take a little swipe at Rock, making sure he mentions that Rock’s  “not ready to talk“ even though Smith “reached out” to him. Smith again terms his violent outburst as “unacceptable” (the correct term would be “criminal”), adding that“There’s no part of me that thinks that’s the optimal way to handle a feeling of disrespect or insults.” Is it “not optimal,” or is it just about the worst way imaginable short of shooting the comedian on national TV, Will? And see how Smith reminds us that he felt disrespected and insulted?

At another point, Smith says, “It’s like, you know, I made a choice on my own, from my own experiences, from my history with Chris. Jada had nothing to do with it. I’m sorry, babe. I want to say sorry to my kids and my family for the heat that I brought on all of us.” So it was partially Rock’s fault for his “history” with Will, whatever that’s supposed to mean, and Smith is spending time in an apology that should be going to—let’s see—the colleague he slapped and embarrassed, the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences, whose big night he soiled with his tantrum, the Oscars attendees and TV audience with an apology to his wife, whom he presumably has had a lot of opportunities to apologize to in the five months since his outburst. This is just more gratuitous deflection.

Smith should stop apologizing; he’s really bad at it. The time when a heartfelt apology would have done some good was right after the incident, but Smith couldn’t muster that. My guess is that he expected the whole thing to have blown over by now—he is, after all, an idiot—but the offers aren’t coming in, so he thinks yet another apology will get him back in the public’s good graces. All this one proves, however, is that Will Smith doesn’t comprehend, well, anything.

But hey, maybe it will work! Then we can expect new apologies from Harvey Weinstein, Anthony Weiner, Michael Richards, Mel Gibson, and O.J. Simpson. [Pointer: Fred Davison]

5. Back to “democratic norms”…The Congressional Baseball Game is an annual contest for charity that pits Democratic and Republican members of Congress against each other. It was first played in 1909, and has symbolized Congressional comity, civility, and professional respect. The fact that the game this year supported the Boys and Girls Club of DC., Rep. Linda Sanchez (D-Cal) couldn’t restrain herself from giving a middle finger to the Republicans.

Late yesterday, she claimed that she was responding to “sexist” comments. Even if that is true (and who knows?) her conduct was, as Will Smith would say, “unacceptable” for a high elected official in public. Baseball players get fined and suspended if they do that on the field no matter what the alleged provocation is.

21 thoughts on “Saturday Morning Ethics Warm-Up, 7/30/2022: A Flipped Bird, Another Will Smith Apology, Mid-West Shark Alert…Life Is A Cartoon!

  1. #1: A favorite tactic of Climate Change fear mongers is to issue a prediction with a massive uncertainty bar stretching an order of magnitude out more. They then use the sensationalism of the upper bound for attention, fundraising, and policy arguments, while retaining the lower bound as the bar for judging the prediction’s accuracy. So summer temperatures could rise “as much as 11°F”… but if they rise as little as 1°F it still counts as a “hit”.

  2. 1. The linked article is ridiculous. Definitely worth reading for all its inanity.

    Steve Berthiaume, a very engaging (former ESPN host) baseball play by play guy currently working in Phoenix, made a comparable but really funny comment a few nights ago. He was talking about some stat and said of it, “If the season were to end today …” Then he paused before concluding, “that would be really big news!”

  3. From an article:

    Sánchez later said she was flipping off a specific fan who she said was heckling her, telling NBC News reporter Frank Thorp that “it’s the same guy” every year.

    “It wasn’t the team. It was an obnoxious fan who shouts misogynistic shit at me every single year,” Sánchez told Thorp.

  4. Will Smith is physically imposing but also an emotional/mental emasculated weenie as each apology confirms.
    Is there no one in his life who will explain reality to him and thereby decrease the rate at which he digs his own professional grave?
    Each apology has him coming off as increasingly pathetic and clueless.
    I wonder if he’s always been like that or if all the years with Jada have reduced him to a phony sniveling fool.
    Secretly, Jada thrives on her husband’s public decline…

    • Long ago I saw Smith on a talk show and it was depressingly obvious that he is one of those actors who is far dumber than his characters suggest. He needed a competent publicist.

        • That’s a good one. On par with Mike Tyson’s line: Everybody has a plan ’til they get punched in the mouth.
          Will Smith is confused.

      • Thanks Jack.
        He also needs at least one genuine friend (Oprah?) who is truly looking out for him.
        Someone he respects enough to listen to equally or more than Jada.
        Those kinds of friends are not easy to find, especially in Hollywood.
        It is painfully obvious that Will isn’t making any healing/growing progress but he’s still very rich.

  5. Jack, I had to smile at your cartoon montage when I saw the picture of Hector Heathcoat, The Minute-And-A-Half Man. Hector was one of my favorites from childhood; although he frequently screwed up, it all worked out okay in the end. (Unlike real life!)

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