Sorry…late start today. One reason was that I had to call perhaps my best and longest-lasting friend to wish him a happy birthday, then discovered that I missed the actual date by three days. And learned that he had celebrated a rather significant birthday by taking himself to dinner alone.
I’ve always been terrible about birthdays, indeed dates in general, a serious deficiency for someone as devoted to American history as I am. I never quite mastered my parents’ birthdays. At this point, the list I am certain of include mine, my sister’s (because it’s the day before Halloween), a dear freind whose birthday falls on Halloween, my son’s birthday, because the Red Sox broke their 86 year World Series Championship drought on the same day, Lincoln’s birthday, Washington’s birthday, and that’s about it. My friend whose birthday I missed was very gracious about my stupidity, but the fact is that I had it within my power to make a lonely day for him less so—he is prone to depression as it is—and failed.
1. From the “Celebrities are ethics corrupters” files: Sharon Osbourne is a cut below the miserable “people who are famous for being famous” level of celebrities. She is someone who has exploited being married to someone who was famous, and he, aging B-list heavy metal rocker Ozzie Osbourne, only became really famous to non-acid-heads due to a sad reality show exploiting his drug-addled stumbles through family life. Sharon is neither smart, wise, worldly or witty, but eh parlayed that show into multiple lucrative celebrity gigs, including a “The View” rip-off in which she offered her inexpert opinions on politics, mores and world affairs. Now back in Great Britain, Sharon just made the news again yesterday by offering a defense of “Ye,” aka Kanye West’s wearing of a “White Lives Matter” T-shirt at a Paris fashion show. West defended himself later by declaring Black Lives Matter as a scam, which, as we all know by now, it was and is.
“We gave $900,000 dollars to that,” Osbourne sais in response week, “and I’d like my money back! I wish [West] could have said that before,” she added, laughing, according to TMZ. Hahahahaha! Osbourne can give $900,000 to a Marxist, racist organization so it can finance riots and other disruptions in the United States just to signal her virtue to the idiots that are influenced by useless figures like her and Ozzie. She didn’t research the group or think very much about what its leadership was or how they represented themselves on its website. The money helped BLM scam others, but she can just laugh it off: it’s just money, after all, and she can always earn more because she’s famous.
2. Let’s play “Fair point!, Grow up! or Who cares?“! The Chicago Marathon will be run tomorrow, with 40,000 runners expected to participate. This year, the organizers established a special “nonbinary” category for those who couldn’t qualify as either men or women, or who weren’t sure, or whatever. As painfully woke as the decision is, it has promise; the Ethics Alarms position is that such a third category is the best and least harmful way to deal with the Lia Thomases of the athletic world. [Aside: I am determined to complete a parody of the “La Cage Au Fou” gay pride anthem by Jerry Herman, “I Am What I Am.” It’s called “I Am What I’m Not.” The parody almost writes itself, and I’m amazed it hasn’t been written and recorded already...] But nothing will satisfy groups who are fueled by victimhood. Some of the competitors on the new category have complained to the media that the marathon should have made a much bigger deal about the addition. “As a trans athlete, showing up and registering for these races is a hard thing to do, because there’s not usually space,” runner Cal Calamia told reporters. “What makes it easier is when big organizations with a lot of power say, ‘We’re adding this category, and we’re proud of it, and we’re doing what it takes to celebrate these runners who are now being invited to our event.”
I think the category was devised as matter of necessity, not celebration. Nevertheless, I wish the organizers had made a bigger deal of it so the NCAA and the Olympics, among others, were sure to take notice. On the other hand, separate, as we all know, is not equal, so I’m sure the non-binary/trans/transitioning/still-figuring-it-all-out athletes will eventually complain about the new class, but it should have been publicized more anyway!
3. As the November oh-so-deserved Democratic wipe-out becomes more inevitable, the news media and progressive online commentators are becoming more blatantly unethical, Part A: the Sen Mark Kelly-Blake Masters battle in Arizona. It still looks like Kelly will hold on, but Masters, a Trump-endorsed Republican who is therefore evil, is making it close. In the recent debate between the two, Kelly was forced into huminahumina mode when he claimed to oppose the Biden open border policies (obviously a big issue in Arizona) and was asked by Masters, “Did you or did you not vote to reject 18,000 more Border Patrol agents in the Inflation Reduction Act passage?” Kelly: “You know, we – there are votes that happen in D.C. …”
So it’s the media to the rescue. Vanity Fair devoted a feature to a straight cognitive dissonance attack, listing alleged “white supremacists” who support Masters (and Trump, of course), always a cheap shot. The Arizona Mirror, meanwhile, had been digging deep to trigger Mastersphobia. In this story, it highlighted veterans who were angry about what Masters had tweeted about the military leadership in Iraq while he was a college student. They also were offended that he has questioned the competence of the Biden Defense Department’s obsession with wokifying the armed services. You see, Mark Kelly is a veteran, and this is essentially the credential his entire argument for remaining a Senator rests upon. He flew combat missions in the Gulf War, and holds the seat held by the late Sen. John McCain, so the paper quotes Sue Ritz, a retired National Guard Master Sergeant with 24 years of service, as saying, “Listening to a guy like Blake Masters insult our military while running against Mark Kelly, a Navy combat pilot, for the seat once occupied by the great Senator John McCain – well that’s an insult to everyone.” Someone ask her if she voted for Bill Clinton or President George H.W. Bush. For the next hit piece, the paper went to a group of Blake Masters’ former classmates at Green Fields Country Day School in Tucson who had negative things to say about him. So far, they apparently haven’t been able to dig up some former high school classmate who claims he tried to mount her during some party nobody else can remember.
I have no particular affection for Masters or animus towards Kelly, but voters deserve to get a fair representation of both candidates, and not contrived partisan attacks by media sources pretending to be objective.
4. As the November oh-so-deserved Democratic wipe-out becomes more inevitable, the news media and progressive online commentators are becoming more blatantly unethical, Part B: See this photo?
That’s Pennsylvania GOP Senate candidate Dr. Mehmet Oz speaking at a campaign event held at a World War II museum, the Lyon Air Museum. Some careless staffer decided the best place to speak was what looks like about 50 feet from an exhibited car used by Adolf Hitler, so this, according to the Huffington Post and Jezebel among others, shows that Oz is cleverly signaling to all those MAGA Nazis Joe Biden talked about that he’s their guy. Oz’s Democratic opponent. Oz’s Democratic opponent, John Fetterman, tweeted that “if you’re asking donors for money in front of Hitler’s literal car, then you shouldn’t be running for U.S. Senate.” Nice. That’s how we “protect democracy,” by making sure that voters make up their minds based on slurs, lies and cheap shots.
5. I was going to write a whole post on this, but claiming a beauty pageant is “rigged” just doesn’t justify the time. Here’s a short version: the losing contestants in the recently held 2022 Miss USA pageant claim that the winner of the contest, Miss Texas R’Bonney Gabriel, was predetermined. In fact, all the contestants walked off the stage after Gabriel’s victory was announced, in stark contrast to the usual weeping, hugging, applauding support that winner traditionally get. You can read all of the conspiracy theories here, if your sock drawers are in order, but this is the ethics point: since all beauty contests are 100% subjective and there is no “integrity” involved, they can’t be “rigged’ in the proper sense of the word. Bias is baked into the whole process. As soon as I saw the headline, I said to myself, “The winner must have been a beauty ‘of color.'” And what do you know? Gabriel, 28, is the first Filipina American to win the Miss USA title, as well as the first Asian American contestant to earn the Miss Texas USA state title. She’s historic! Like Kamala Harris! Like Ketanji Brown Jackson! If those selections were decided by factors that had nothing to do with the credentials that the honors were supposed to be based upon, why wouldn’t something as trivial and arbitrary as a 2022 beauty contest winner not be determined by similar criteria? Sure the contest was rigged. Whether it was rigged in quite the way some of the contestants claim is a separate issue, but rigged is rigged.