Mid-Day Ethics Missives, 1/5/23: Fakes, Ghouls, Creeps, Hacks And Liars

Finally! I had fallen hopelessly behind in my efforts to compile the various Twitter Files releases in readable form, because, as they used to say, “the hits just keep on coming.” Now Matt Taibbi helpfully has compiled them all on his substack site, here: Capsule Summaries of all Twitter Files Threads to Date, With Links and a Glossary.”

I suppose I shouldn’t feel too bad about falling down on the job since it isn’t my job, though it is the news media’s. Those disgraceful full-time propagandists have made the disturbing revelations about how Twitter was manipulated into censoring conservatives, Republicans and actual news by Democrats and the FBI the Jumbo of all Jumbos: “Censorship? What censorship?”

Among the revelations this week was that Rep. Adam Schiff hectored Twitter to suspend journalist Paul Sperry. I’d call a House member conspiring with social media to silence a journalist a First Amendment violation, but that’s just me. (As the original reporter of the hunter Biden laptop story, the New York Post is an exception to the “mainstream media” slur. The New York Times—you know, the iconic newspaper in the city—hasn’t mentioned this story at all.)

1. Oops! Sorry we wrecked the economy, our children’s education and social development, the travel industry, the entertainment industry, the restaurant industry, and so on, and so on, but we had to DO somethingA new research paper indicates that the pre-vaccination case fatality rate was extremely low in the non-elderly population, meaning that the reaction to the pandemic was hysterical, irresponsible and unsupported by reality. At a global level, the pre-vaccination infection fatality rate may have been as low as 0.03% and 0.07% respectively for 0–59 and 0–69 year old people, respectively, with rates in the U.S. lower still.

The frustrating aspect of this is that there was no practical and politically feasible way for policy makers to resist the panic and hysteria deliberately created by health care professionals and the news media.

2. These are the kind of people our young regards as role models and “influencers.” Here’s actress and ethics dunce Gabriel Union explaining on the “Armchair Expert” podcast why she was “entitled” to cheat on Chris Howard during their “dysfunctional” marriage:

“I was paying all the bills, I was working my ass off and I felt like that’s what comes [with it]…Like my dad before me, whoever has the most gets to do whatever the hell they want, is what I thought.”

Nice explication of “The King’s Pass,” there, Gabriel!3. One positive note in today’s morass of corruption: It’s always reassuring when someone whose opinion I respect agrees with me. Commenter Curmie posted about the “Romeo and Juliet” lawsuit on his blog, and his piece is excellent (as usual). You should read it. I swear, neither of us had consulted the other….

4. If I cared more about bodice-ripping pulp novels, I might make a bigger deal out of this: Susan Meachen, a  romance novelist, revealed that she didn’t really commit suicide and hasn’t been dead for more than two years after all. The resurrected writer wrote on a private Facebook group called “The Ward,” “I debated on how to do this a million times and still not sure if it’s right or not…There’s going to be tons of questions and a lot of people leaving the group I’d guess. But my family did what they thought was best for me and I can’t fault them for it. I almost died again at my own hand and they had to go through all that hell again. Returning to The Ward doesn’t mean much but I am in a good place now and I am hoping to write again. Let the fun begin.”

Fun! In October 2020, a post on  Meachen’s Facebook page allegedly written by her daughter announced that the author had tragically died by suicide a month earlier. Further posts suggested that Meachen killed herself because others in the online indie book community had been mean to her. Authors and online friends, awash with guilt and sorrow, helped fund Meachen’s “funeral,” launched an anti-bullying anthology in her memory, and offered to help her daughter edit her mother’s final book free of charge.

But now she’s back, it was all big misunderstanding, and let the fun begin!

5. Speaking of dishonest ghouls, this story reflects a bit back on this recent EA post: Former Colorado funeral home owner Megan Hess was sentenced to 20 years in federal prison this week for defrauding relatives of the dead placed in her care by secretly selling body parts from 560 corpses. She conveniently operated a funeral home, Sunset Mesa, and a body parts company, Donor Services, from the same building in Montrose, Colorado. Her mother, Shirley Koch, also pleaded guilty to fraud and was sentenced to 15 years. Shirley’s job was to chop up the bodies and extract that useful spare parts.

6. Signature significance? Newly-elected California Congressman Robert Garcia will swear his oath to be admitted into the United States House of Representatives, he says, on a copy of 1939’s Superman #1 along with the Constitution and other documents. He has often boasted  on social media that he is a comic book fanatic, and appears to be especially obsessed with Superman. This is approximately the same as if I were elected to Congress and decided to take the oath on my 1975 Game Six World Series program.

Which I would not do, since I have more respect for our government institutions than that…

7. Yecchh. After Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin collapsed on the field following a play and had to be revived twice  by paramedics with oxygen, CPR, and an AED machine, ESPN’s “NFL Tonight” hosts ostentatiously prayed on the air…

This is nauseating grandstanding and virtue-signaling. Public prayer isn’t part of their job; reporting is. Walter Cronkite didn’t pray on the air as we waited to learn whether President Kennedy had survived his assassination attempt. Prayer is a personal choice and conduct not meant to be imposed on an audience. The stunt was nothing more nor less than pandering hackery. They should all be disciplined, but won’t be, of course.


35 thoughts on “Mid-Day Ethics Missives, 1/5/23: Fakes, Ghouls, Creeps, Hacks And Liars

  1. We already knew during the pandemic that the pre-vaccination case fatality rate was low in the non-elderly population.

    It was a lot higher for the elderly and people with comorbities. Covid has killed almost 7 million people worldwide.

    • We knew it was low-er, but the logic behind the lockdown was that the virus was dangerously high in other groups as well. Hence shutting down the schools. You can’t revise history to get out of this botch, another example of “doing something” without adequate information.

      • What’s your criteria for “Dangerously high”

        The fatality rate numbers have never fluctuated too much. Even in the study you posted the numbers are still low and only changed slightly.

        • High enough to justify wrecking the economy, paralyzing society, hyping the deaths, encouraging elected officials to suspend personal liberties and killing other people who would not have died without the lockdown.

          • Yes, it was high enough to justify all those things. Also don’t forget the strain on the health care system for non-fatal infections we were trying to prevent as well.

            The “dangerously high” fatality numbers haven’t change much according to the study you posted.

            • No, they really were not. Focus on the school closings, just as one example. Meanwhile, the “fatalities” were inflated by the CDC making no distinction between dying with the virus and dying OF the virus. The vast number of fatalities cane from the very old, already ill, and obese, who were going to die soon anyway. Terrible policy, born of bad data, politics and panic.

              • The fatalities numbers weren’t inflated, and the infection rate, along with the fatality rate, were high enough to justify the lockdown.

                Also, wow:

                The vast number of fatalities cane from the very old, already ill, and obese, who were going to die soon anyway.

                You feel good about that comment?

                • Good? Absolutely. The elderly and vulnerable could have sheltered and taken precautions while life went on for everyone else. Some would have perished of the virus. Many were on the way out anyway. Crippling the nation for a marginal benefit was outrageous, and obviously so early on. The Westward expansion had about a 30% fatality rate, and most of the victims were relatively young. It was still worth it, and necessary, just as it was necessary to keep society and life moving during the pandemic. The lock-down was one of the most destructive and idiotic things this nation has ever talked itself into.

                  By definition, if fatalities were based on whether someone died while having the virus, and they were, they were inflated. If someone had diabetes, cancer and Covid and died, it was listed as a Covid—I means Wuhan—death. Look it up. I asked my father’s doctor specifically as a hypothetical: Dad had cancer, hypertension, bad kidneys and was 89 years old…and died in his sleep. The cause of death was listed as “natural causes.” If he had been diagnosed with Covid, I asked, would he be counted as a Covid fatality? “Definitely” was the answer

                  • “The elderly and vulnerable could have sheltered and taken precautions while life went on for everyone else.”

                    Well, first of all, everyone is vulnerable, so that comment does even make sense. And we live in a society here…the more “non-vulnerable” people who are infected, the greater the chances of the vulnerable being infected.

                    Also, the more people who are infected, the greater chance there is of mutations. Treatments are less effective, leading to even more deaths.

                    What about the strain on the health care system? Even people who don’t die from Covid…sorry Wuhan virus, can still put a huge strain on the health care system.

                    Also…this comment is “Many were on the way out anyway.” Is pretty sick honestly. The nation wasn’t “crippled” and death is way more crippling than any lockdown.

                    “The lock-down was one of the most destructive and idiotic things this nation has ever talked itself into.”

                    No it wasn’t.

                    “The cause of death was listed as “natural causes.” If he had been diagnosed with Covid, I asked, would he be counted as a Covid fatality? ”

                    This is what we call an anecdote and isn’t based on reality.

                    • I know what an anecdote is. I also know what CDC policy was. One more time: look it up. “The nation wasn’t crippled” isn’t an argument, it’s just denial. Here is one of many, many analyses of the cost/benefits of the lockdown, this one using Canada, applying the (excessive, in my opinion) value of each life “saved” as 20,000,000, that reaches the conclusion that the “lockdown will go down as one of the greatest peacetime policy failures in modern history.” In the US most estimates pin the economic costs so far as around 16 trillion dollars. Losing that much in assets and output is indeed crippling by any reasonable measure. We know that children were set back disastrously in their mental development and learning that will affect their lives going forward. We know over 200,000 businesses were destroyed by the lockdown with corresponding effects on many more families and their welfare. We know that those enterprises that remained in business cut jobs. Whole cities were ravaged beyond repair. It is estimated credibly that the lockdown killed up to 250,000 Americans via drug addiction, suicide and other causes while it was saving others. It also further divided the nation with bad effects yet to measured.

                      And with that, I’m through talking to you and arguing with you. You contribute nothing here but kneejerk obstinacy. You offer no evidence, and refuse to respond to direct requests for justification for your views. I don’t have time to debate nitwits.

                      In the Comment rules that I repeatedly asked you to read, there is this: “The Stupidity Rule, which holds that some people are just too ignorant or stupid to take part in the discussion here, and interfere with the orderly exchange of opinions and ideas.” I’m invoking it. Not because you have differing positions than I, because well-argued, varying opinions and conclusions are a great benefit to all, but because your logic is stuck at the level expressed in this sentence: “…death is way more crippling than any lockdown.” You are either 10-years-old, or a dolt: in either case, this isn’t the place for you. Unlike with other banning causes, there is no appeal from a Stupidity Rule ban, because you can’t fix stupid.

                      I encourage you to keep reading, because you may learn something about critical thinking. But don’t try commenting here again. They will all go directly into spam.

                      Bye. Good luck in your future endeavors.

  2. I don’t know that I agree with you on #7, Jack. Your complaint teeters dangerously close to the “you can have whatever faith you want, as long as you keep it shut inside your church and your home, and never tell anyone about it” argument which I hear frequently. The majority of people pray at times, particularly in times of high pressure or fear. Im certain many of their audience was praying along with them. It’s a very human thing to do, to pray together.

    Now, if it were in violation of the networks’ code of conduct, then the network would have cause for complaint if they wished to pursue it. But it can only be considered grandstanding if one assumes that a) prayer has no value, and b) that the broadcasters prayed purely with the intent of appearing holy, which I have yet to see any evidence supporting.

    • If he had tied, I could see calling for a moment of silence in his honor, but I don’t remember anyone on TV praying at the time of the 9/11 attacks, so why now?

    • It’s really simple: that’s not their job, nor the reason they are on TV. It’s an abuse of position. I would be in breach of my position if I led a seminar in prayer. It is similar to Colin Kaepernick “taking a knee” in an NFL game. he’s welcome to make whatever statement he wants, but not while working, in the workplace.

      • That screen shot is the funniest, silliest thing I’ve ever seen on television. The prayer they are saying should have been something along the following lines, “Dear Lord, please let your faithful defensive back, who’s pretty good and has a nice contract and is a decent interview survive whatever weird thing happened to him. Him dying could really have a very bad influence on the survivability of the NFL and our continued ability to make a LOT more money than we otherwise could if the entire NFL house of cards were to collapse around all our ears. And it would also be great if you could help the league figure out how to get the game finished so the playoffs can be scheduled ASAP. Oh hear our prayer, Amen.”

  3. 6. I love Superman. I watched the George Reeves show all the time as a kid and memorized the dialogue from “Superman: The Movie” when I was 11. I checked out the book “Superman: From the 30s through the 70s” from the library all the time to supplement the few “Superman” comics I was allowed to buy. My parents barred me from listening to the soundtrack since I was playing it every day after school. I’ve met multiple actors from the shows and films from the OG Lois Lane, Noel Neill, to Tyler Hoechlin who plays Supes on TV right now (in a show I’m not watching, ironically).

    He is one of my Top Three All-Time Favorite Fictional Characters.

    And I would never take an oath on one of his comic books either.

    • Oh my God! A.M. you’re the other woman besides Mrs. O.B. who has a crush on George Reeves as the original on T.V. Superman. George always struck me as kind of pudgy. Plus, I could never get over Superman wearing Clark Kent’s black dress socks and black wingtips. Couldn’t the costume deparment come up with some boots? Kind of ruined the effect for me. I always did a kick out of the publisher or editor in chief of The Daily Planet telling Jimmy Olsen, “… and don’t call me Chief!'” Which, of course, Jimmy would do in the next scene. I often call friends “chief” to see if they catch the reference and snap “… and don’t call me Chief!”

      • The amazing John Hamilton as Perry White. I, too, thought George Reeves was a little pudgy and I never could get over the fact that there was virtually no distinction between his Clark Kent and Superman. At least the glasses and hat worn by Christopher Reeve was a good disguise because of the way he played Kent. But George played him serious so you really wondered if Lois Lane was blind.

        Thank God, though, that I didn’t have to live through the whole “Superman Kills Self” headlines.

        I’d have more “Superman” cred today if my parents weren’t in that mindset of “Superheroes are for boys, not girls!” It’s why I was given Princess Leia instead of Luke Skywalker when I asked for “Star Wars” action figures.

  4. 2. This is diversity and good. Preferable, actually. Matrimonial fidelity is a racist, white supremacist construct used to oppress and marginalize people of color. And also, her body, her choice.

  5. About #5: There’s an interesting documentary about New York funeral home that was doing the same thing. Free if you have Amazon Prime.

  6. I know we’ve been through a lot of this, but just a couple more things regarding the lockdowns.

    Prior to 2020, it was explicit, solid CDC policy that lockdowns were not the answer to a pandemic situation. They maintained that view when we were facing a potential 1918 style influenza outbreak (don’t remember the exact year but maybe around 2006-10: There was an outbreak in Mexico that initially appeared to be targeting the young and healthy, as did the Spanish Flu).

    Of course, secondly by the time we started to discuss lockdowns (let alone implement them), it was already too late. Studies were showing that Covid was loose in the general population already, and short of using the Mad Cow cure, quarantines haven’t worked for this type of disease.

    Thirdly, in the fall of 2020 we had the Great Barrington Declaration, signed by thousands of scientists and doctors, urging governments to segregate and protect those most at risk and open the rest of society. What was they response to this? They were attacked as ‘fringe’ and crackpots, they were shadow banned by social media, their work was suppressed as much as possible.

    Perhaps we would have gone one way or the other, given the choice, but we were never given a choice. We were never allowed to even debate the matter. We were just told to shut up and stand in the corner, and if we were good we’d be allowed to eat our dinner.

    It has been a disaster and a disaster that will keep on giving for years and years to come. I think we are finding that far more lives were lost because of the lockdowns and similar policies than were ever lost due to Covid. One of the consequences may well be starting to play out with measles. We eliminated this disease once — but the public health sector has so poisoned that vaccine well, that too many parents are not letting their kids be vaccinated even for decades old vaccines. Measles, polio, other childhood diseases are not a joke and these would be dictators may succeed in bringing them back to plague us.

    And we are still not done with mask theater…..

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