Tardy Saturday Morning Ethics Warm-Up, 10/8/22: A Rigged Beauty Pageant, A Celebrity’s Lament, And Other Annoyances

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.

Journalism!

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.

11 thoughts on “Tardy Saturday Morning Ethics Warm-Up, 10/8/22: A Rigged Beauty Pageant, A Celebrity’s Lament, And Other Annoyances

    • Well, you have to read the story. I know that if I were a contestants who was not “of color,” I would compete in 2022 assuming that my skin shade at least guaranteed “rigging” to the extent that I couldn’t be chosen even if I resembled Jessica Rabbit and the other women Sancho Panza.

  1. I disagree about the BLM movement and Sharon’s naivety.

    Please understand that I write that, having been 100% certain it was at best a racist, grievance-peddling organization from day 1, and you couldn’t have given me $100,000 if you made me promise to give half of it to BLM.

    But many, many people, myself included, never would have guessed it would be such a blatant grift so soon after its inception. Usually, as has been noted here and other places, it turns into a racket eventually, usually after the enthusiasm wears off. I think most people who donated honestly believed their money would be going toward community events and helping build up inner cities, not directly into a mansion in CA and the owners’ pockets.

    I agree substantially with your thoughts about it, but I think few people could have been convinced it was a sham from the beginning, most of those people being the type to read this blog.

  2. 1–“Osbourne can give $900,000 to a Marxist, racist organization so it can finance riots and other disruptions in the United States”

    You forgetting BLM’s other notable accomplishments…like real estate investments, job creation for family-n-friends, Shalomyah Bowers’ “unjust enrichment” using its funds as his “personal piggy bank”……

  3. I keep a running list of “favorite quotes” with attribution. And you, Mt. Marshall, are quickly climbing to the top of most frequently mentioned.
    “Nothing will satisfy groups who are fueled by victimhood.” is your newest contribution, because, as with most of your statements it’s sentiment is obvious but succinctly stated.
    I’m putting my list of quotes in a binder for my daughters to mull over in the years ahead. 🙂

  4. Unfortunately, it appears that the stroke has affected Mr. Fetterman’s ability to make twitter posts. It’s almost certainly impossible for Hitler (or anyone else for that matter) to possess a figurative, metaphorical, or otherwise not physical car, the included literal is unnecessary and ruins the force of the statement. I had thought Mr. Fetterman was born before the generation that abuses the word literal, nearly as much as the Washington Post abuses the truth. Misuse of words do nothing but increase misunderstanding between fellow humans, causing more confusion and conflict.

  5. Please everyone, to take a closer look at the photo for #4, here it is again…

    https://ethicsalarms.files.wordpress.com/2022/10/hitler-car.webp

    Here are the details that many people might have missed:
    1. The car shown in both photos is physically in different locations in the same building, note the relationship to the staircase and the cross bar turnbuckles on the wall behind the staircase. The car was moved from it original location for this event. They don’t move large displays like this without a very good reason.

    2. The left photo has a small square description plaque in the photo and the photo on the right does not, and that includes that it’s not in the reflection off the door of the car.

    3. The vertical supports for the draping rope barriers are at different heights in the two photos. They reduced the height of these for a reason, was it to reduce possible obstruction views to the USA flag on the back wall?

    4. The photo on the right has a very prominent Nazi symbol above the right front fender well between the spare tire and the headlight, it looks like it’s a rigid “flag” emblem, now notice that that Nazi symbol is actually covered up on the photo to the right (you can still see the square outline).

    5. Notice what is in the door reflection on the right and what’s in the area in front of the door on the left, there is a tripod plaque in the door reflection on the right but not in the area photo on the left, there is the small square plaque in the photo on the right but that’s not in the reflection photo on the right. Why is this like this,, it was intentionally cropped out so people wouldn’t understand what’s happening.

    Now look at an uncropped museum photos of the car where it usually sits…

    These photos were taken at different times.

    Here is my take on this Hitler smear.

    It’s very clear to me that Dr. Oz, or someone on his campaign team, noticed the problem with Hitler’s car in the back ground and asked the Museum to cover up the Nazi symbol and remove the tripod plaque with Hitler’s photo and move the car to give a better straight on view of the American Flag on the back wall so the Hitler and fascism couldn’t be correlated to Dr. Oz.

    As I have said until I’m blue in the face, “The political left has shown its pattern of propaganda lies within their narratives so many times since 2016 that it’s beyond me why anyone would blindly accept any narrative that the political left and their lapdog media actively push?”

    Whoever produced this comparison photo failed to notice the details that counter the smear they fabricated. This dog whistle fascist smear of Dr. Oz, like all the other fabricated fascist propaganda smears the left and their liars produce, is false, in fact Dr. Oz and his staff went out of their way to shield the viewers and attendees from those fascism related things. As usual the political are a bunch of fucking liars.

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