Morning Ethics Warm-Up, 12/1/22: Getting December Off To An Unethical Start…[Corrected]

I’m preparing the annual Ethics Alarms Christmas music post, and thus thinking about holiday songs and performances. I think my top three performances in this realm of all time would be, first, Judy Garland’s rendition of “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” in “Meet Me in St. Louis,” then Bing Crosby’s recording of “Do You Hear What I Hear?,” and Harry’s contribution to the Christmas canon above. I had a long drive last week and listened to the Sirius “Christmas Traditions” station. It’s depressing—I know I’ve mentioned this before—everyone you hear is dead. That can’t be a good thing for getting people into the Christmas spirit. I started playing a game: how many songs with dead singers would play before a currently living singer would show up? Fourteen songs went by, and then jazz artist Nancy Wilson popped up. Oooh! I was pretty sure she was still alive! Nope. I checked; Nancy checked out in 2018. The one living singer who has been played repeatedly so far is Johnny Mathis. He’s 87.

Hang in there, Johnny.

1. It’s really kind of amazing…these people flagrantly display their double standards and cynicism, and pay no price for it. Integrity? What integrity? House Democrats just picked a new leader in the House, with Speaker Nancy Pelosi stpping down (finally!) at the end of this term. Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) is the new power. Apparently the fact that he has been an outspoken “election denier” in the past (at least that’s what Democrats call it when Republicans question an election’s legitimacy) and Jeffries has been tapped immediately after the party made “election denial” a litmus test for fascism going into the midterm elections doesn’t bother anyone at all. Jeffries repeatedly denied the results of the 2016 presidential election, claiming that it was illegitimate and stolen.

“The more we learn about 2016 election the more ILLEGITIMATE it becomes,” Jeffries tweeted in 2018, referencing Trump defeating Hillary Clinton. “America deserves to know whether we have a FAKE President in the Oval Office.” In 2020, he called out Trump, saying, “history will never accept you as a legitimate President.” That the Republican Party couldn’t wipe the metaphorical floor with these liars and incompetents last month shows its rank incompetence. No wonder Democrats don’t even try to hide their hypocrisy.

2. There have been bigger lies in 2022, but this is at least a nominee for the prize: On “Colbert,” which has become so smug and partisan that it’s unwatchable, the once funny Stephen Colbert cued guest Don Lemon with “The word on the street is that you guys aren’t allowed to be liberal anymore.” Lemon replied, “I don’t think we ever were liberal…We are doing what we do, and that’s good journalism.” Maybe he just got mixed up, and what he wanted to say was, “”I don’t think we ever do good journalism…We are doing what we do, and that’s liberal propaganda.”

3. Speaking of the 2022 Best and Worst of Ethics Awards, last night’s post about the Hogan law firm punishing and firing a partner for saying she approved of the Dobbs decision was anticipated six years ago on the 2022 Best Ethics TV Show, “The Good Fight.” A single partner in an all-black law firm admitted that he had voted for Trump over Hillary, and immediately found himself being subject to suspicion and distrust by the other attorneys.

4. KABOOM! How does an “educator” like this get hired? How does a university that hires such a charlatan live with itself? How could someone this obnoxious get through an interview without triggering an interviewer’s gag reflex? This is Chandler Purrity, whose to bio at UCSD says is a Ph.D. candidate in biology and “received the UCSD Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action and Diversity Award, nominated by the Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs as well as funding from the UC Office of the President’s UC-HBCU Initiative, the UCSD Competitive Edge Award, and the National Science Foundation’s Graduate Research Fellowship Program (NSFGRFP)”.” Ready?”

5. Well, this is one reason why the GOP couldn’t defeat the Democrats decisively… Only 12 Senate Republicans voted with Democrats on yesterday to pass the “Respect for Marriage Act,” designed to provide federal protections for same-sex and interracial marriages, which will now go to the House for quick approval. At least the GOP won’t be blamed for blocking the measure, which would have been spectacularly stupid in multiple ways. Democrats will be claiming that Republicans want to ban same sex marriages, inter-racial marriages and birth control as companion scare tactics in future election campaigns.

Look. I know many people feel deeply that marriage can only be between a man and a women, but when the logic of that entirely falls to “How do I know? The Bible tells me so!” or “Ew!” it’s a lost cause, and irretrievable. It’s also legally untenable. There’s nothing radical about the bill: we have to have a system where marriages in one state are recognized in the others, and as long as government is involved in marriages—and it has to be, perhaps unfortunately—Equal Protection is going to make banning same sex marriage untenable, and should. Ethics drives culture and culture drives ethics, but when the needle moves, it moves, and a whole party stamping its feet and screaming NONONONONO! is not only a bad look, it is futile, and creates a big cognitive dissonance problem.

I like Mark Tapscott and respect his passion and erudition, but the fact that he calls this anti-same-sex marriage screed persuasive is rampant confirmation bias. I found it poorly written, disorganized and hysterical, and the claim, a common one, that gay marriage threatens civilization immediately marks a critic as having lost perspective. Gay marriage is in, and the GOP staging a last ditch tantrum to protest it is bad politics and bad ethics.

6. Sam Brinton was fired. Good. Now fire that idiot that allowed him to be hired.

[Or not. I heard a TV news report that he was fired, but can’t find any source that confirms it.]

11 thoughts on “Morning Ethics Warm-Up, 12/1/22: Getting December Off To An Unethical Start…[Corrected]

  1. 5. And yesterday’s Ethics Hero, Josh Hawley, was one of those senators who voted against it. Hawley is a theocratic, entitled blowhard, but in your defense, I guess even a broken clock is correct twice a day.

    • The objections I have seen to the bill is over the fear that this will be used to eliminate all Christian nonprofits. It is not a stretch to believe that after this bill passes, the the politicized IRS with 80,000+ new agents will start revoking the nonprofit status of any group that does not conform. Christian adoption groups and nonprofits have been discriminated against in the past by the government and this looks like just another way to eliminate Christians from public life. I wouldn’t be surprised if this is used to remove Christian colleges from the federal student loan program or the federalized accreditation programs.

  2. 4. Impressive. Kirkland College pioneered evaluations in lieu of letter grades for all courses in the early ’70s for its ten-year existence. There were difficulties getting graduates into grad schools. Giving everyone an A certainly deals with that problem, don’t it?

  3. #5 – the argument I’ve heard relates to the purpose of governmental recognition of marriage. That recognition is forms the basis of benefits to encourage certain behaviors. Heterosexual couples by nature produce the next generation, and stable long lasting heterosexual marriages produce the best results for the next generation.
    However, society in America has long moved past that stable nuclear family idea.

  4. The link in #6 leads back to your original post about Brinton’s theft. Like Paul, I’m not finding any information that Brinton has actually been fired yet.

  5. #5: Tapscott is right on at least one point: the redefinition of “marriage”. As best I can tell, until recently there have throughout history been only three immutable factors in what societies considered necessary for “marriage”: male, female, human. Other conditions, such as age, consent, number of partners, etc., have varied considerably. I notice the new law mentions “two individuals”. Why just two? Do they have to be human? What if the recent seeming efforts to normalize pedophilia start to gain traction? Isn’t requiring “consent” just another subjective limitation currently in favor in this country?

    Don’t get me wrong, I think gay couples should have the same legal considerations as any other. Those who oppose this made a tactical mistake a while back in not accepting requests for equal status and treatment in “civil unions”, or some such. It may seem petty, but it irks me that resolving this took another disingenuous assault on language to facilitate a needed change. Now all dogs can have five legs.

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