Monday Night Ethics Fights! 10/24/2022…

For your cultural literacy enlightenment of the day, the painting above is George Bellows’ “Jack Dempsey vs. Luis Firpo,” depicting the most dramatic moments in one of the most famous fights ever before professional boxing fell into corruption, disrepute, and irrelevance. The date was September 14, 1923; the place was the Polo Grounds in New York City. The fighters were National Boxing Association heavyweight champion Jack Dempsey and Luis Ángel Firpo, the heavyweight champion of South America known as the “Wild Bull of the Pampas.” The match only lasted two rounds of a scheduled 15, but the fight included 11 knockdowns, notably the one portrayed in the painting (which hangs in the Whitney), when “the “Manassa Mauler” actually knocked Firpo out of the ring.

1. Stacey Abrams, who once was thought to be Joe Biden’s likely VP pick (since he was limiting himself to unqualified black women) is proving herself to be the incompetent clown the aware and non-politically correct pegged her as long ago. Now running ten points behind in the polls behind the man she claims “stole” the governorship from her in their first meeting, Abrams decided to appeare on stage at Atlanta’s State Farm Arena during the Lizzo concert with opening act Latto, holding up a sign that read “My Body My Choice.” Abrams is determined to go down pimping for abortion even though all evidence shows that the issue is not one of those primarily on voters’ minds. Her stunt was particularly ill-considered since she held up the sign in front of a sign announcing Latto’s biggest hit, “Pussy”:

Stay classy, Stacey!

2. Another effort to target a Christian baker by gay activists has failed, though not before causing a lot of expense and wasted time to the baker. Cathy Miller is owner of Tastries Bakery in Bakersfield, California, and was asked in 2017 to bake a special same-sex wedding cake for Eileen Del Rio and her fiancé. Miller felt that doing so would be a violation of her religious beliefs. (I disagree, but I also object to customers setting out to bend others to their wills). Miller offered to refer the job to a competing bakery, or to sell the couple a pre-made cake they could have customized elsewhere. No, the same-sex couple wanted to punish the baker. After their complaint, which was the plan all along, California’s Department of Fair Housing and Employment filed legal action against Miller’s business under the Unruh Civil Rights Act, a state law aimed at protecting consumers from discrimination by businesses on the basis of race, ethnicity or religion. Last week, the Superior Court of California in Kern County ruled against the militant couple. Miller’s lawyer called the ruling ironic since a law intended to protect individuals from religious discrimination was used to discriminate against Cathy for her religious beliefs.”

I don’t know why both parties in such a controversy can’t be reasonable and compromise, but since they can’t while The Great Stupid runs amuck, this was the right, and most ethical, result.

3. The other New York Times race-baiting columnist, Charles M. Blow, chose to express his panic at the looming defeat of his client party by making a particularly disingenuous argument in his column titled, “The Battle Between Pocketbooks and Principles.” We should be grateful to Charles, because like a lot of the rhetoric vomited forth by the Left in their desperation of late (and watch: it will get worse), this entry is revealing. Essentially, the thesis of the column is that voters are shallow and selfish because they vote against policies that don’t work and the parties that enact them, rather than for the ideologies that seem so virtuous and wise in theory, even if they crash and burn in practice. Blow blows,

“I have seen repeatedly how people abandon their principles — whether they be voting rights, transgender issues, gun control, police reform, civil rights, climate change or the protection of our democracy itself — when their pocketbooks suffer. There is a core group of people who will feel singularly passionate about each of these problems, but the rest of the public adjusts itself to the outrage and the trauma, shuffling each issue back into the deck. They still care about these problems as issues in the world, but they don’t necessarily see them as urgent or imminent.”

What a vague and disingenuous collection of “principles” those are! What “voting rights” principles? Blow means opposing reasonable assurances of election integrity That’s a fake issue, and most American know it. “Transgender issues?” Who but transgender individuals, less than 1% of the population, regard these—many of which are misguided (I’m being nice) as more important than the cost of food? “Gun control?” Oh, as in “common sense gun reforms” that nobody can specify and that are mostly unconstitutional? “Police reform”? Meaning what exactly? Is Blow saying that the public is shallow to care more about the crimes police exist to prevent than de-funding the police or making them hesitant to do their jobs?

“Civil rights?” Oh, right, Charles, Republicans are racists: you keep saying so. “Climate change?” Wow, those stupid voters are reluctant to to cut off energy sources based on computer models that haven’t worked yet and speculative technology that is too expensive, unreliable, or doesn’t exist. And, of course, that “threat to democracy” thingy, which means “my party loses power.”

“In the closing days of this campaign cycle, Republicans are driving home perennial issues: the economy and crime. Democrats are arguing big issues of policy: abortion and protecting democracy. In this battle of pocketbooks and principles, which will win out?” Charles asks.

I’m just taking a wild guess, now, but I’m pretty certain the ability to legally kill nascent children in the womb at will and the phony “protecting democracy” from the Boogeyman will only outweigh the genuine”big issues” of policy like inflation, the national debt, public school education and indoctrination therein, open borders, the Left’s criminalization of politics and efforts to censor opinions and speech by corporations after nudges from the federal government for hard-core Alinskyite ideologues…like Charles Blow.

I don’t know that I’ve ever read a more fatuous and self-indicting last sentence, or a more obvious straw man, in any Times screed, including Blow’s than his final words here: “What is the point of a cheaper tank of gas, if it must be had in a failed democracy that polices people’s most intimate choices about their own bodies?”

Good point, Charles. The only way to avoid inflation is to remove the right to live from the unborn, and declare a single party government.

4. Not an ethics hero, just an old fashioned, run-of-the-mill hero, but still…when you attack a grizzly bear to rescue your friend, attention must be paid. Kendell Cummings was with his college wrestling teammates Brady Lowry, August Harrison and Orrin Jackson, in Shoshone National Forest in Wyoming. A grizzly bear attacked Lowry. When he couldn’t distract the bear from mauling his friend, Cummings grabbed the bear, distracting it enough to free him. Then the grizzly turned his attention on Cummings, as bear will do. Cummings played dead, and luckily, it worked. After the grizzly lumbered off, Cummings got up. One of his other friends had already called 911, and both Lowry and Cummings were taken to a hospital, where they were operated on. Both are expected to make a full recovery.

5. This is bumping another story, but I’ve been tough on Ann Althouse lately, and she posted a terrific takedown of Bob Woodward, now joining his comrades in an effort to somehow help the Democrats at the 11th hour. Woodward released all of the tapes of his interviews with Donald Trump, which the Post headlines, as “The Trump Tapes: 20 interviews that show why he is an unparalleled danger.” Althouse is unusually contemptuous:

Play the whole tape. Expose everything. You’ve been withholding the full tapes for 50 years, you say, and you’re only making this one, super-rare exception because something must be done about Trump. I don’t think this new revelation hurts Trump at all, and I suspect that if it did have the power to really hurt him, you’d have released the “tapes” long ago and that the only reason we’re getting them now is that you have reached a truly desperate dead end.


17 thoughts on “Monday Night Ethics Fights! 10/24/2022…

  1. 1. The photo reminds me of Beyonce’s tour a few years ago where she had a big sign as a backdrop saying, “Feminist.” All I could think of was, “If you say so.”

  2. Regarding numbers 1, 3, & 5…

    It seems to me that in the 11th hour before the upcoming mid-term elections, the political left seems to be pulling out all the stops on their ends justifies the means rhetoric.

    2. “Miller offered to refer the job to a competing bakery, or to sell the couple a pre-made cake they could have customized elsewhere. No, the same-sex couple wanted to punish the baker.”

    Even after the baker gave the couple other reasonable options they chose to peruse legal action. It’s quite clear that punishing the baker was the intent behind the whole fiasco, this was the cancel culture cult hunting down a dissident to destroy them. This is a very serious problem with totalitarian minded fools trying to use our legal system to persecute those that don’t bow to the hive mind.

    Does the baker have any reasonable counter suit options against the couple for their intentional targeting?

    4. Kendell Cummings is a true hero.

    • “Even after the baker gave the couple other reasonable options they chose to peruse legal action. It’s quite clear that punishing the baker was the intent behind the whole fiasco, this was the cancel culture cult hunting down a dissident to destroy them.”

      Indeed. If “Miracle on 34th Street” were made…again….the customers would sue Macy’s because Santa referred them to Gimbel’s.

      • Easy. A secretary isn’t responsible for the letters she types, a sign-maker doesn’t endorse the messages of the signs he makes, and a cake-maker doesn’t get to demand a background check on whether the recipient of a personalized “Happy Birthday” cake really is someone she approves of and would want to have a happy birthday. The position that making a cake for someone else that expresses the sentiment of someone else implicates the values of the cake-maker is petty, foolish, contrived, and flat-out wrong. You bake the damn cake: if your faith is so silly that it holds that you’ll be cast into the flames for simply being a cake scrivener, then it’s time to reevaluate that faith. No God worth following is that petty.

        These case all annoy the hell out of me. All parties are at fault.

        • So when you said “compromise,” I guess you actually mean just give up your personal convictions? She gave a perfectly reasonable compromise–she has lots of cakes and the couple could have bought any of them.

          Is it because you don’t consider it art? I’m sure you’ve covered it here before, but would you be okay with forcing a Jewish artist to be commissioned to draw a painting of the Last Supper? And the strawman about being “cast into the flames” isn’t helpful. My spouse would feel uncomfortable photographing a gay wedding and she isn’t concerned about whether it’s “sinful” to participate.

          • It’s in the gray area between art and commerce, but I explained why the message a cake carried at the request of the client isn’t forced expression of belief or opinion. The analogy would be an actor who refused to play a character whose beliefs the actor objects to. Nobody, including God thinks that a cake-maker writing what is requested on a cake expresses the maker’s beliefs. Her “compromise” illustrates the flaw in her reasoning. She was willing to contribute her “art” to the gay wedding; she just chose to be a jerk about making it specific. Sure, she shouldn’t have been placed in that position, but once there, she could have taken the high road. And should have.

  3. Re: No. 1; Democrats and their Candidates.

    It looks like AOC is not having such a great time with her re-election bid:

    Oh, and Stacey’s campaign chair seems to have used a voting rights initiative for her own benefit:


  4. 1. Abrams: The photo says it all. A true moron, and no ability at all to understand an audience. A tiny cardboard sign saying “My Body My Choice” in front of a huge ‘pussy’ sign? She choses to treat her body as a vagina? She should get a job at McDonald’s instead of running for office. Of course at McDonald’s she’d have to make change: not sure she can even do that.

    2. Christian baker. An obscene and yet another example of the LGBT community striving for special status. It wasn’t too long ago that they just wanted to be considered a respected part of the larger American population. So some success in that regard leads to ridiculous, dangerous, expensive efforts to become ‘special’ again. And if we treat them as ‘special,’ will they cry discrimination again?

    3. Charles Blow. (Or is it Blowhard?) This is the most ridiculous screed I’ve read in a long time. Please, please explain to me the connection between abortion and gas prices in some way Blow is unable to do. If we open the existing US drill sites for cheaper gas, will that mean more abortions? By all means, let’s stay in debt to Saudi Arabia when we have oil of our own. And if all the Democrats have to offer is abortion rights, they’ve lost already.

    4. The Grizzly. A noble act, if stupid. On the other hand, absent a weapon to use on the bear, how many of us would just stand by and watch a friend eaten by a bear? Or any other predator? We sit by when the predators are human, though, which brings up another issue, oft discussed but still no general ethics understanding on the part of most Americans.

    5. Althouse. Good for her, and good for you, Jack, for demonstrating that at least some left wingers can actually think.

    • “How many of us would just stand by and watch a friend eaten by a bear?”

      Well, there were four guys in the group. One was attacked, one defended him. So from this admittedly small sample, 66% of people will just watch a bear munch their friend…

      How awkward are interactions in that group going to be now? One guy risked his life to save the other guy, and the two other dudes didn’t. Talk about an elephant in the room…

  5. Regarding Abrams, it’s abundantly clear that she has no interest in actually being governor of Georgia. What she wants is to be a celebrity, an idol of the left wing. She wants a job on MSNBC or to be the head of a grifting non-profit, so she doesn’t have to do any real work for a living. Her floundering campaign has become her audition tape, and it will probably work.

  6. Regarding #2: I’m just gonna reiterate one of my former posts, which was a COTD.

    I was once in the position of creating something for a client (in my case, a web site) that I had serious ethical concerns about, and doing the work made me feel physically ill as I was doing it. There is no question in my mind (because I’ve been down this road) that this is compelled speech and Compelled ENDORSEMENT of what is being advertised.


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